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Setting Standard Preferences

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This chapter is from the book

Hour 3: Setting Standard Preferences

With your Movable Type software installed successfully on your Web server, you're ready to create a weblog and configure it for yourself (and any other site administrators) as well as your site visitors.

This hour focuses on giving you step-by-step assistance with getting your preferences managed. You'll learn how to

  • Set up a weblog in Movable Type

  • Modify log preferences

  • Manage personal preferences

  • Set user preferences

Setting Up a Weblog in Movable Type

Movable Type is powerful in that a single installation will allow you to run multiple weblogs. For this hour, you'll focus on adding one log, setting its preferences, and modifying it at a basic level.

Doing this will give you a foundation upon which to build a log as you work through the book. Your work in this hour will also hone your skills for building additional logs later on.

Logging In and Setting Profile Preferences

In the last hour, you stopped after you logged in to the Movable Type main welcome screen that was generated during your successful install. It's at this screen that building a weblog begins. You have to log in to Movable Type, and upon login work with several important screens to set the various preferences necessary to create and customize the log—at least at a preliminary level.

So the first step is to log in to your installation of Movable Type, and then we'll move through some exercises specifically geared toward setting preferences.

Logging In to Movable Type for the First Time

To perform your first login to Movable Type, follow these steps:

  1. Point your browser to the Movable Type install on your server as follows, replacing the fake URL with your own:

  2. http://www.myserver.com/mt/mt.cgi

  3. Upon reaching the Movable Type sign-in page, you'll see the Username text box. Into the box, type the name Melody.

  4. In the Password text box, enter the password Nelson. Leave the Remember Me? Check box unchecked for now (see Figure 3.1).

  5. Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Performing the first login to Movable Type.

  6. Click Log In.

You'll now be in the Main Menu screen of Movable Type, ready to set up your own profile and create your first log. But before you do that, let's take a moment to review the various options found on the Main Menu page at this point.

If you examine Figure 3.2, you'll see the Main Menu screen. Along the top of the page, you see the Movable Type logo, and a top navigation bar offering Menu, Help, and Logout buttons. The Menu button will take you to this page from other pages, and Help and Logout are self-explanatory.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 The Movable Type Main Menu screen for the first weblog.

You also have a drop-down menu of your Movable Type logs, although at this point in the process you should only see one available, "First Weblog," because you haven't created a log of your own just yet. You'll also see a field for the User, in this case "Melody," which you'll change to customize to your name and preferences.

In the main body of the page, you'll see a menu on the left side, under the title "Your Existing Weblogs." This menu allows you to perform additions and modifications to posts and attributes of the log itself.

Along the right portion of the main page, you see five options, most of which will be used in this hour to set and edit preferences.

These options consist of the following:

  • Create New Weblog. This option takes you to a page where you can create new logs on your server.

  • Add/Edit Weblog Authors. This option enables you to manage all people who are allowed to create entries using your Movable Type site. You can add, modify, and delete author entries from this section, as well as set permissions. You'll learn more about how to manage authors in Hour 8, "Managing Multiple Authors."

  • Edit Your Profile. In this section you can change passwords, contact information, and language preferences.

  • View Activity Log. This section allows you to monitor system activity. It's a handy tool that you'll want to check in with from time to time. In fact, if you click on it now, you'll see an entry about your recent login as "Melody."

  • Set Up Bookmarklets. In this section, you can set up a means of one-click, remote posting and publishing to your site, and configure the utility to do this. You'll learn more about Bookmarklets in Hour 4, "Adjusting Your Editing Preferences. "

Setting Your Personal Preferences

It's time to dive into establishing your own identity on the system.

To establish your own user name and password, follow these steps:

  1. From the menu choices on the right side of the page, click Edit Your Profile. This will take you to your personal profile page (see Figure 3.3).

  2. In the Username field, highlight the name "Melody" and type over it with your preferred user name.

  3. If you'd like to use a nickname instead of your name for posts, add it to the Nickname field. You can also just add your name again.

  4. In the Email Address text field, add your preferred email address.

  5. If you have a personal Web site unrelated to the log, or another section of the site where the log resides, you may want to enter the URL in the Website URL text field.

  6. NOTE

    The Website URL feature is optional.

    Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 The Edit Your Profile page.

  7. You'll note a Preferred Language drop-down option. Default is currently set to US English, which you'll be able to modify later.

  8. In the Change Your Password field, enter your desired password. Enter it again in the Password Confirm text field.

  9. Add your birthplace in the Birthplace text field. Movable Type has a handy built-in password recovery system that will send you your password via email should you forget it.

  10. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. Movable Type will return a page that says the following:

  11. Your User ID, password, and login preferences are set! You can now log out of Movable Type.


Because this is the first activity you'll do that writes to the database directory you created in Hour 2, "Installing Movable Type," any errors introduced in the mt.cfg file can cause a problem. If you get an error that indicates the database (db) directory is unavailable, go back to Hour 2 and troubleshoot, using the instructions for the mt.cfg file and creation of the db directory.

Creating Your First Log and Setting Core Preferences

With your personal preferences set, it's now time to create your first weblog.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. If you are not logged into Movable Type, do so now. If you are still on the Edit Your Profile page, click the Menu button on the top navigation bar to return to the Main Menu screen.

  2. Click the Create New Weblog option. This will bring you to the Create New Weblog interface (see Figure 3.4). This will also open a help file in a separate window, which you can use for reference.

  3. Figure 3.4Figure 3.4 The Create New Weblog page.

  4. In the first field, Weblog Name, enter the name of your log. This can be anything you want it to be, and you can change it at any time.

  5. In the second field, Local Site Path, you'll add the path to where your log will reside. Remember, in Hour 2 you set up this directory, so you'll want to point to it specifically. The path will depend upon where you placed your content directory.

  6. In the Site URL field, enter the site's URL, such as http://www.molly.com/. But don't add any filenames here, just the URL.

  7. In the Local Archive Path field, you can set up a path for archives. You can leave this as is for now, as you will learn more about archives in Hour 6, "Managing Archives."

  8. Similarly, in the Archive URL field, you can set up the URL now if you know what it's going to be, or leave it as is until you get to Hour 6.

  9. Now select your Time Zone from the drop-down menu. This should be the Time Zone where you are located, not your Web server, which may well be somewhere else.

  10. Click Save to save your changes.

At this point, Movable Type will save your changes and present you with the Rebuild link shown in Figure 3.5. In order to make your changes live, you'll have to select the Rebuild link. You can also wait until all of your preferences are set before rebuilding—it's entirely up to you. There's a step at the very end of this hour where you'll rebuild the site, which can be used as a guide if you'd like to rebuild now—or when you get to that exercise.

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 Your first weblog, complete with new menu options.


You'll notice that you have a much more explicit menu now. This menu is related specifically to your new weblog.

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