Berbs.us Updated

My spontaneous Saturday night project turned out to be updating the blogging software that manages this site to Movable Type 3.2, the latest version released just this week. I took the opportunity to do some house cleaning and take care of a few other things I’ve had on my to-do list:

  1. Update the look of the website
  2. Convert from the old, ugly URL style (i.e. www.berbs.us/archives/000137.html) to a better, more descriptive format (www.berbs.us/archives/2005/08/23/finding_new_music/)

The first one was trivial – I just picked one of the many styles Six Apart offers for Movable Type. I may make some modifications later, but I’m pretty happy with the new look.

The second was a little more tricky. Instead of just making all new entries use the new URL format, I wanted to have all of the old pages use it too. The process described on this article titled “Converting from dirified title to basename” made it easy to update the 130+ 120+ entries in my database and served as the start of a solution to my biggest concern. Although my site doesn’t get very many readers, I didn’t want to break any links other people may have made to my individual pages. Using a modified version of the process shown in the previous link, I was able to generate a file that will automatically redirect visitors to the correct page. It works surprisingly well, and should be completely transparent to people and search engines.

I said it before when I was experimenting with the Movable Type 3.2 beta, but I’m really impressed with this update. Six Apart has packed in a ton of new features, including powerful anti-spam technology that will hopefully make it more difficult for spammers to post comments and trackbacks to blogs. The fact that they’ve included and enabled the amazing Spamlookup plugin by default should make life a lot easier for anyone using the new version of Movable Type!

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