Upgrading to MovableType 4

I’m back. I’ve neglected my own blog for too long, so I decided to return to it and give it a little revamp, starting with MovableType 4.

One of my friends had already done it and he didn’t have many problems, so I thought I would give it a go, and I have to say the installation and upgrade was dead easy. However if you to take advantage of many of the new and powerful features of MT4, then you’re in trouble.

As I said the upgrade worked well for me, no problems at all. However when I upgraded MT4 simply copied the old site, templates and structure across and did nothing else. So although I had a swanky new looking interface, the old setup of the site remains the same.

Since MT4 has many new features in the area of archiving, templating and the code it uses within these template pages, I thought I might be able to take advantage of them in some way, but with everything ported across as is, I’m stuck with all the old code, archiving and templating from MT3.

Now I am realistic, I didn’t think it could analyse sites and upgrade all the content, but I had thought that the new templating and archiving system would be easier to get into.

I resorted to creating a new site from scratch to get access to the new templates and archive structures and then copy and pasted them across. This was a disaster. When I tried rebuilding the site there was code galore that wasn’t working because I’d removed plugins for the upgrade, so when I managed to remove all these old references and try a rebuild again, the site failed because of the archive templates.

I was utterly stumped. As far as I could see I’d copied everything across.

So the next attempt was to make a brand new, blank site and try and import the entries, comments and categories and restore the look and feel.

Another disaster, this took the rest of my day and I found that when I finally got everything across my site was displaying pretty much as plain text.

I caved and restored everything from the backups I’d made prior to the MT4 upgrade, so I’m back to MT3.34.

I really want to get upgraded, but the leap to take advantage of the new system just seems to involve so much work.

So I had a look at Drupal, and there was more pain. It seems that whatever method people have of migrating from MT to Drupal doesn’t work for me. So here I am wondering what the hell I should be trying next.

Any thoughts or suggestions from bloggers on any systems? Anyone managed to move across to MT4 and upgrade all their templates and archives?

2 comments on “Upgrading to MovableType 4”

  1. Vic Reply


    Instead of Drupal have you considered WordPress? That blog software has a fanatical and loyal following along with many, MANY plugins. I’ve actually considered it myself, but I don’t know if there are any tools out there to port a MovableType blog database over to WordPress.


  2. Richard Brunton Reply

    Hey Vic, I have thought about it and the only thing holding me back is the whole dynamic publishing bit. My MT site, as with yours, is all static and the pages are there in HTML and easily searchable by all. I’d have to get my head around the whole dynamic thing before I decided to move Filmstalker there.

    While I’d probably be happy enough to move this site, it wouldn’t make sense to be operating two different platforms at the same time.

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