How WordPress Beat the Pants off Movable Type

By Deane Barker on February 10, 2011

How did WordPress win?: Here’s a blog post written by a former Six Apart engineer about how Movable Type lost to WordPress in the battle of the blogging platforms.

It’s long, but informative.  He starts off with these three reasons – which are, lets face it, the most obvious – but then moves on to say much more about what happened.

Movable Type’s licensing fiasco in 2004 angered the community and drove users to WordPress […] Movable Type is not open source. WordPress is.  […] Movable Type is written in Perl, while WordPress is written in PHP.

Gadgetopia still runs on Movable Type, believe it or not.  There’s just not a compelling reason to change right now – MT does the job I’ve asked it to.  (Thought, to be honest, all MT is doing is generating files that define PHP object instances – all the templating is done in PHP.)

Adam Kalsey pointed me to Melody the other day.  For all my experience with MT, I didn’t even know this existed.

What I find interesting is that MT/Melody is still a decoupled CMS platform – probably the cheapest, most current one you’ll find.  Most all CMS these days are coupled, but MT/Melody is still doing flat file generation, which is really handy in a lot of cases.  There are still many, many environments where this is the only option that will work.



  1. I remember the licensing fiasco! I had been a MT blogger for two years at the time, and I dropped MT for Textpattern and, later, WordPress because of it.

  2. The licensing thing didn’t bother me that much, I guess. I always knew they were going to start changing at some point. I paid it.

  3. Yeah, I paid, too, and then gave credit to Six Apart for changing their terms when it became clear that they’d made a mistake. It seems too many people wouldn’t forgive…

  4. It was always amazing to me how, even after all these years, the licensing fiasco is still very close to the surface for a lot of people. Even mentioning Movable Type is like talking about someone’s ex-girlfriend who cheated on them. Yeah, time heals all wounds, but still what a fing b*h. High five.

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