During our 17 years experience as Movable Type Consultancy provider, we've sometimes had to go beyond the movable type capabilities and code hacks or plugins which to allow us to fully satisfy our customers' demands.
What does it entitle developing a Movable Type plugin?
In order to be able to develop a movable type plugin, one has to be able to understand the movabletype core functions and to be fluent in Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) and CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programming.
Plugins we've developed
Among the dozens movable type plugins we've coded, I feel like mentioning a couple:
Biz Report, one of our long term customers, one day asked us for a way to grab items from a TradePub.com XML file and populate two separate blogs, one with white papers, the other with magazines.
TradePub.com is an online subscription service provider since 1994. It goes beyond magazines, providing a sophisticated repository of content for professionals in over 33 industry verticals, with extensive reach through 1000's of B2B partner sites worldwide.
We've initially coded the plugin for movable type v3.x series, together with some custom fields which to accommodate more data per entry.
Later, prior to upgrading Biz Reports's movable type publishing platform to movable type v4.x series, we've recoded the plugin to make it compatible with this new release.
During autumn 2007, we've had a request to develop a movable type plugin for Metro International, London.
Metro was using movable type enterprise v1.52 and the goal with this plugin was to paginate comments in blocks of 10 comments per page, which to be later used in an AJAX paginated comments facility.
Images (Extracting, Display and Filtering out)
Around spring 2008, Metro came back and asked us for a way to extract all the images associated with an entry and then to display them on the right side of the text, one after another, resized to a specific width and also linked to the image full size version.
What was even more interesting was the fact that Metro's bloggers were allowed to publish up to 5 images from a front end custom interface, as well as upload any number of additional images from inside the movable type admin environment.
Given this assignment, we went ahead and developed this 'images' plugin, successfully extracting any images from both the front end and back end publishing interfaces and then displaying them on the indicated space, according to the specifications provided (thumbnail creation on the fly etc.).
Furthermore, we've also coded (as part of this plugin) a way to filter our these extracted images from inside the Entry Body and Extended Entry fields, in order to not get the same images displayed once within the content, and once on the side.
I'm not going to write about all the plugins we've developed for Metro International, but I feel like mentioning another one.
'External Links' is a plugin that automatically adds a parameter to any link going to an external site.
In technical terms, the plugin is looking for links inside the fields specified by the movable type admin (it can be set at which fields to look and operate), compares the URL from the link to the current blog URL and if they're not the same, it automatically inserts the target="_blank" link parameter that is necessary for the external link to open in a new browser window.
This little plugin was pretty useful for Metro in order to avoid having visitors leaving the site when clicking an external link.
You could find this plugin at:
I've coded an excellent plugin which would allow you to automatically get the 'rel="nofollow"' parameter to your website external links.
The plugin would allow you to define one or more domains which should be considered 'internal domains' and which should be skipped from getting this 'nofollow' attribute.
Furthermore, this plugin would also open all external links in a new window.
Get in touch for a quote of this premium SEO plugin.
Movable Type System Templates Refresh
Shiny Media, known as the largest United Kingdom blog publishing network, and another customer of ours, had quite some serious problems after having another movable type consultancy provider upgrade their movable type installation from v3.x to v4.x.
This other provider did the upgrade improperly and didn't even bother to check and see if the core movable type features are continuing to work.
Shiny Media came to us kindly asking to have us troubleshoot a series of movable type errors they were getting on their large (more than 40) blogs installation, which were preventing their editors from being able to do their job effortlessly.
Among these errors:
- editors were uploading different images, but movable type was always inserting an old (always the same) image on their posts, instead of inserting the image just uploaded;
- visitors were getting an ugly error when trying to preview their comments;
- and more...
We've analyzed the situation and figured out that the issue was with the movable type system templates. Basically, instead of having the default 5 system templates, the Shiny Media blogs had only two templates.
The issue complicated a bit considering that there is no way to add a system template in Movable Type from within the admin interface.
For being able to fix this problem, we've coded a plugin which checked all the blogs and setup the default movable type system templates.
The plugin successfully solved the problems Shiny Media experienced.
Do you need any movable type plugin development?
You may like to build something that is not available by default in Movable Type.
Send your specifications to us and we will be delighted to consider coding a custom plugin for your needs.