Movable Type $3.0

Mena Trott‘s post explaining the new pricing structure for the next generation of Movable Type has more TrackBacks than I care to count. I’ve yet to find one that, from the excerpt at least, is positive. In a web culture where people expect everything to be free–and where most of the competitors are free–going from free to a rather whopping fee based service isn’t going over well.

I have no clue how MT or any of the other companies that make web hosting software stay in business. I donated to MT, as have lots of others, but that can’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things. Frankly, people who create well written, popular software–and MT qualifies on both counts–ought to be able to make a living doing it. That said, I’m not going to rush in and pay $69 to upgrade when I’m reasonably happy with my current version and in an environment where there are several other highly regarded competitors (notably WordPress) that still give away their products.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. sean says:

    I have a feeling that people will treat this like the Win 95 -> Win ME upgrade. With a big shrug. So far, I haven’t seen anything that would make the upgrade worthwhile. Their comment registration scheme, aka TypeKey, doesn’t really sound all that great. I’ll stick with 2.661 and MT-Blacklist.

  2. Boyd says:

    I don’t use MT and haven’t examined its code, but some software developers I respect have disagreed with your statement that MT is well written software. And Kevin’s experience over the past couple of days does seem to expose a few cracks.

  3. pennywit says:

    As I understand it, a number of “free software” companies make their money through support services and by creating customized versions of their software for specific clients.


  4. McGehee says:

    I’m not seeing anything that threatens to cost me a dime. In two years (sometime next week) of using MT I’ve never had an issue that required tech support from SixApart. I’m running only one blog and the only actual guest blogger is my wife.

    And anyway, this is the “Developer Edition,” not the general release. People who plan to dump MT because of strings on an edition they wouldn’t be using anyway, are kinda jumping the gun.

  5. Skillzy says:

    I think a lot of people were sitting on the fence, waiting for some sort of motivation to try somthing besides MT. And I think this gave them a reason. Sixapart either overestimated their users’ devotion to them, or underestimated the competition. Whatever the reality of the new plan, they did a terrible job of handling the perception of the changes in the community.

  6. Janet L says:

    If you are looking for a new system, check out Expression Engine, the folks announced today they are giving away 1,000 copies. I am dumping my MT install and going with it!

  7. Carthik says:

    I moved to WordPress a few months ago, and it was the best thing that happened to my blog. I wrote a How To move from Movable Type to WordPress over at my blog, which might be of interest to you.
    WordPress lets me do everything MT did, and the support and user community positively rock!

  8. I believe Carthik is overstating things a bit on WP. I abandoned MT before 3.0 was released — though I had read some bad reviews — because the static pages and rebuilds were killing me. I wouldn’t mind paying for MT if it weren’t such a pain to deal with the rebuilding process.

    WP has it’s weaknesses in the feature department, though they are not that bad. The thing I miss most is my inline comments and trackbacks.

  9. James Joyner says:


    Yep–I’d miss those as well. I’ll likely keep what I’ve got until WordPress upgrades or MT relents to the pressure.

  10. Kathy K says:

    I’m going to figure out how to put inline comments in WordPress. If someone hasn’t done a plugin for it already. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

    I assume you mean you miss MT’s autofind on the trackbacks? I’ve had that turned off since day one because it kept re-pinging people every time I edited or updated a post. So I won’t miss it at all. WP can do trackbacks/pings.

    One thing I will say is that of all the blogging software I’ve ever installed it is the only one that makes me chuckle while I’m installing it.