Now let me start off with this statement.  I am not an expert.   Some of my verbage may not be as technically accurate as you may desire or need. 

But I am going to at least try to share what I’ve found about customizing a Movable Type 4 web site from simple perspective.

I wanted to add in “Clustermaps.com” to the system.

It’s actually a very easy addition, but unfortunately since Movable Type 4 is very new, there is very little community information available that I could find on “how it’s done”

Version 3? LOADS!

Here’s what I have found on the structure of the pages.  

First off editing is actually very easy, you just have to understand a little of how they have set it up.

Piece one.  Look at your web page.  All you see, is what I saw.  Words.  I was digging about for HTML code to edit as a single page.

But it’s not made up that way.  It’s full of little modules called “Widgets”.   Widgets are actually tiny little web pages in themselves.

Your Main blog page is actually a template called MAIN.HTML.   It points to a pile of little widgets and OTHER templates pointing to other widgets.

Think of it like a box of lego (maybe a bad analogy, but again, verbage remember?)

So in my case I wanted to add in a line of code supplied by Clustermaps.com to show the little internet map of all the neat little sites that had hit my web site.

Free service, well documented.

Except for Movable Type 4.

So on the default page for administering the blog, find Design (click the silly down arrow) and choose “Widget Sets” (You’re changing your lego blocks for the system.  You’ll find in Movable Type 4 you’re not so much editing a web site as editing pieces of Brick which plug together, so it’s really a more modularized web application)

Now depending on what format your site took (Two Column or Three Column) You can choose one of three in the list to figure out what widgets you need to change)

In my site, I have the three column layout.   The default “Left” side on mine has Archives,Page Listing,Syndication,Powered By.   (Hint Powered by is that “Powered by Movable Type” Logo)

I decided to play with that one.  You could play with any you want (Back up the code first!) but in my case, I decided the ClusterMaps.com data needed to be above Movable Type’s logo.

So clicking on the link for “Three-Column-Layout-Primary SideBar” brought up two lists.  The list on the left are widgets you are using for this.  The list on the right are widgets you can add to this.   I suspect what I SHOULD have done and gone to find out how to make a Widget.  Another article another time.

But Clicking on the EDIT to the right of “Powered By” on the Widget List on the left brought up an editing window showing me the code for that page. 

It looks like pretty standard HTML Web stuff in there, so I grabbed the code from Clustermaps, popped it above the line referencing “Powered by Movable Type” and saved it.

Now the catch here is you’re not going to see a change until you RE-publish the main.html template.  I’m guessing that you’ve edited a block but it’s not Dynamic and automatic.   When you re-publish the Main.html template it re-compiles it (Wording is probably very off here and again, COMMENT so we can get this right)

So after saving the Widget go back to DESIGN (Above your nose) and choose Templates.   Click on the Main Template to edit it, choose “Save and Publish”

With any luck, you now have the page online with the modified code.

Yes this article is a work in progress.  Going to have to add pictures, reword here and there.  Hopefully it helps others down the road in working with Movable Type.

Now does anybody know how to backup the content?

Sean
The Energized Tech
Dedication and Inspiration creating the new Generation