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Swiss army knives

I’m sort of fooling around with a side project, with the intent of using Movable Type as a general content management system, and I came up with something that I thought was kind of clever. I wanted a list of offsite links on the front page, and I thought it might be nice to allow other blog authors to add links, but I didn’t want to give full template modification access. Thought about it a while; came up with a solution.

I created a category named “Offsite Links” and added a bunch of entries in that category. Each entry had the name of the destination site as the title, and the URL for the site as the entry body.

Then I added the following MT template code to the front page template:

<MTEntries sort_by="title" sort_order="ascend" category="Offsite Links">
<a href="<$MTEntryBody convert_breaks="0"$>"><$MTEntryTitle$></a><br/>

Boom. Quick and easy link list effect. Note that this would also be a way to maintain a blogroll if you didn’t want to use


  1. Bryant: It’s bragging, but for an example of what Movable Type can do in the way of content management, check out my Nobilis blog at Follow the links to “website view.” I left a “blog view” available, but I COULD have eliminated it entirely.

  2. I saw that when you posted about it a week or two back — in fact, it was somewhat of an inspiration. It seems to me that MT is more well-suited to general content management then perhaps even the authors realized at first. For example, how easy would it be to use it to run a small online daily newspaper?

    I’ve tinkered a bit more, and now all the static text on the front page of the new site is also done by way of MT stories. There’s a plugin which allows you to include a given post in a template, but I just added a template to generate raw archive pages and used PHP to include the stories at appropriate points. I ought to have this open in a week or so, and I’ll post when it’s done.

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