Goodbye Movable Type, Hello WordPress

I’ve moved my blog over from Movable Type to WordPress. The main problems I’ve had with Movable Type are that the comment and trackback handling is confusing and sub-par, and the theme interface is god-awful. I’ve been thinking about making the switch for more than a year but never got around to it because of the daunting task of making sure that all my old permalinks, category and date archive pages have an HTTP 301 redirect to the new WordPress pages.

The most common method for doing this seems to be to maintain the old MT install in parallel with the new WP install and have MT publish pages that have HTTP 301 redirects to the new WP pages. Another alternative is to use mod_rewrite in a .htaccess file. However this is complicated when the MT dirify directive is used because there is no systematic way to translate from the old links to new. So the only “automated” way of doing this was to maintain the old MT install and publish HTTP 301 redirects through that.

I really didn’t want to do this, and wanted to deprecate MT immediately. So I opted for the “low-tech” method of manually coding just over 200 redirects in my .htaccess file. This covered the 186 individual entries, plus the date-based and category-based archive pages.

I assume that having over 200 redirects in my .htaccess file will incur some kind of performance penalty during pageloads, but it’s not noticeable to me. The main advantage is that I can now forget that MT ever existed on my blog and Google and other search engines will transfer whatever SEO karma I had on my old links to the new ones automatically.

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