I’m Still Switching From Movable Type to WordPress

I recently wrote a comment on Ask.MetaFilter, the gist of which is that I plan on switching this blog from Movable Type to WordPress (probably with the next major WordPress release, to save myself at least one upgrade cycle).

And, Anil Dash — the vice president of Six Apart, the Movable Type company — saw my comment and e-mailed me personally to ask why I had decided on that. Though I’ve e-mailed him a reply as well, I’m posting my response as an open letter here, in case other bloggers are considering the switch to WordPress.

Hi Anil,

Fancy running into you on the InterWeb. And, I believe we’ve met before at SXSW — I’ve played kickball both in ’03 and ’04 :). I also found a picture of me from the SXSW 2004 moblog.

I’m still planning on switching to WordPress and it’s primarily due to Movable Type’s new licensing. Sure, I can use 3.x for free as I limit my blog to one author and three or fewer blogs — which currently is the case — but why not switch to a publishing system without those limits, in case I want to add another author or a few extra blogs sometime later?

I think my thoughts on this are summed up well in DiveIntoMark’s essay "Freedom Zero":

“I do not have the freedom to run [Movable Type] for any purpose; I only have the limited set of freedoms that Six Apart chooses to bestow upon me, and every new version seems to bestow fewer and fewer freedoms. With Movable Type 2.6, I was allowed to run 11 sites. In 3.0, that right will cost me $535. […]”

Continuing along those lines, I can’t be sure that Movable Type 4.0 won't limit free use to one author + one blog — or even start charging for non-commercial use in general. Now, I take to heart that Six Apart is one of the most non-evil companies around and that such a scenario may be unlikely; but that’s not to say that it couldn't happen.

Anyhow, Anil, please don’t take this as anything against you personally. I’ve had a great time playing kickball every year and if you’re ever in Dallas I’d be happy to take you out for a beer (HHOS).

Alex Bischoff

2 thoughts on “I’m Still Switching From Movable Type to WordPress

  1. Alex – It was a long time ago since you switched, but I was wondering if you ever had a chance to look at MT4? We got a lot of things right this release including the licensing (MT will be open source this fall). But we also took a fresh look at everything including our website, our plugin directory, movabletype.org and more.

    You can check out a demo at http://www.movabletype4.org – a site run by our reinvigorated and growing community.

    Let me know if you need any help or have any questions. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can.

    Byrne Reese
    Product Manager, MT

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