Movable Type Pro and 4.2: Where Blogging is Headed

By Anil Dash

Today, we're releasing the latest update to Movable Type, version 4.2, and along with it we're announcing the launch of Movable Type Pro, a profoundly powerful new set of capabilities that shows the web where blogging is going next.

So, what's new in this release?

  • Movable Type Pro lets you turn any site into a full social publishing platform, combining all of Movable Type's abilities as a blogging and CMS with social networking features like profiles, ratings, user registration, forums, following, and more.
  • The platform upgrade to Movable Type 4.2 fulfills the top three requests made by our community -- it's up to 100 times faster for common tasks, features much simpler templates for customizing your site, and includes 100% free and open source TypePad AntiSpam for keeping junk comments off your site.
  • Movable Type Pro includes all of the features in the Movable Type Community Solution and more, giving you all the power of this enormously successful social networking platform. And if you're a personal blogger or have a current MT license, Movable Type Pro is a free update.
  • Movable Type remains the most secure publishing platform of its kind. As part of developing these new versions, we completed the most intensive proactive search for security issues in the history of the platform.

First, we set publishing free. Next up, social networks.

These announcements are a milestone for the entire Movable Type community, but they represent a vision that we've been building for years. Almost seven years ago, when Movable Type was first being created, the power of publishing on the web was still largely in the hands of a few giant media companies. In the years since, thanks in no small part to the community of bloggers who got started with Movable Type, that power has been unleashed, making it possible for anyone to publish with all the professionalism and presence of a giant media corporation by using easy-to-use, open tools.

Movable Type Pro logo

Today, we're bringing the same idea to social networking. Providing social features to your community doesn't mean you have to give up control of your community to a giant media entity. Managing a community online is something you can do yourself, using easy-to-use, open tools.

Enough theory -- here's the features in MT Pro:

  • Everyone's invited. You can easily add full-featured forums, community blogs and group blogs to your site, and since Movable Type has always managed an unlimited number of blogs in one interface, you can keep track of all those conversations using a single set of tools.
  • Membership. It's easy to allow anyone on the web to register on your site, or to sign in with MT's industry-leading OpenID support. Once they're in, your site's members get full-fledged customizable profiles, personalized user pictures (avatars), and can follow their friends or other site members they're interested in.
  • Call it "UGC", if you must. Any member of your community can, with appropriate permissions, submit content for publishing on your site. Administrators have full ability to review submissions, and submitted posts show up on user profiles right next to their comments and other activity. Whether you call it "user-generated content" or just "a good idea", it's built right in.
  • Ratings and Recommendations. Any registered user on your site can vote for content they like, making it easy to create "most popular" or "most recommended" lists on your site. You can even create your own voting communities within your site -- think "Digg in a box".

And all of those features are on top of the amazing new powers of MT 4.2:

  • It's fast. MT's smart caching only publishes the parts of the page that change, and the core engine's been radically revamped to make it more efficient. The result? Using your current templates, publishing can be two to three times faster, right out of the box. Some testers have seen results with publishing up to ten times as fast or more.
  • Templates are super simple. MT has always been designed so you don't need a ton of plugins to do fancy things with your site's design. But with all that power, our community told us that we also needed to make sure templates were still easy to understand. So in MT 4.2, templates are vastly simplified, and easier than ever to customize. And live template previews even let you see design changes before they're published on your site.
  • 100% Free AntiSpam. TypePad AntiSpam is the best comment spam prevention service on the web. And it's 100% free no matter how many comments you get, plus it's open source and Akismet API compatible so it's easy to hook up to your site. With MT 4.2, it's also built right in to Movable Type.
  • Even better APIs. OpenID suppport, OAuth libraries, and the ability to add in plugins to connect with the iPhone, Action Streams and more are all built right in. And all of your MT4 plugins should keep working just fine with this update, or have been updated to work even better in 4.2.
  • Plus all the power of MT4. A powerful built-in asset management system. Integrated widget management. The smartest template editor around. The ability, as always, to manage an unlimited number of blogs and authors all in one place. Industry-leading support for new technologies and features. And an absolutely unparalleled community of passionate developers, designers, bloggers, and experts.

MT Pro and Platform Features

Get Started

So, with the release of version 4.2, it's time to get started with Movable Type Pro. The web sites you're running today can blossom into a full-fledged communities, connected and communicating with the rest of the web. Your existing blogs can zip many times faster than they do today. And your community can help shape the next evolution of social publishing on the web.