Movable Type Index Pages

By Deane Barker on November 30, 2003

Movable Type is great software, but there’s one aspect of it that makes a site get more and more inefficient as more and more entries get added: index pages.

Whenever an entry is modified — added, edited, or commented — MT rebuilds every index page on the site. The longer a site has been around, the more index pages — daily, monthly, category, etc. — it’s going to have.

Here’s the comment in the MT code that explains this phenomenon.

The above will just rebuild the archive pages for this particular entry. If we want to rebuild all of the entries/archives/indexes on which this entry could be featured etc., however, we need to rebuild all of the entry’s dependencies. Note that all of these are not *necessarily* dependencies, depending on the usage of tags, etc. There is not a good way to determine exact dependencies; it is easier to just rebuild, rebuild, rebuild.

You gotta give Ben credit for honesty.

I’m on the verge of getting rid of some of my index pages on this site. The site is getting slower and slower by the day. I get duplicate comments because commenters get tired of waiting and click the submit button more than once. Using Zempt, it takes about a full minute to get a new entry in the system. I want to add some more categories, but I don’t dare, at this rate.

I have daily and monthly pages that aren’t linked to, but are just there in case someone butchers a URL. I’m considering making those pages dynamic database pulls to cover the off chance somebody visits them. Not as efficient as writing out the HTML, but then I can remove them as MT archives so they don’t have to be rebuilt every time someone enters a comment.



  1. I just shut off Daily and Monthly archiving on this site, and I think publishing speed has increased about 200% just from that change alone.

  2. I’m considering doing that as well, and also removing one or more of my different RDF/RSS options. Are you getting a lot of 404s now from searches or did you mod_rewrite the old urls?

  3. Well, the old pages are still out there, and I’ll leave them there. Additionally, they were all set to “noindex,” so no search engines should have picked them up. I’ll leave the pages out there for a few months, then RedirectMatch them and call it good.

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