Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Setting General Preferences

Movable Type preferences will assist you in adding the first level of customization for your weblog. These general preferences don't offer the same level of customization as will the custom templates and other preferences you'll build later in this book. Nevertheless, the general preferences are important, as they ensure that Movable Type is configured appropriately for you and your site visitors.

General preferences include the following:

  • Weblog Description. This option allows you to set a description of your log that will be displayed in the Movable Type main menu.

  • Number of Days Displayed. This option allows you to set a default of how many days' worth of entries will be visible on your log page.

  • Language for Date Display. This option allows you to configure your preferred format for date display.

  • Order of Entries Displayed. Allows you to set whether entries will be in ascending or descending order.

  • Default Text Formatting for New Entries. This option sets the default text formatting options for you and anyone else authorized to post to the log.

  • Draft Post Status. You can determine the default post status here.

  • Number of Words in Excerpt. Excerpts are generated from your entries. By default, this number is set to 40 words, but you can change that default setting here.

  • Sanitize Spec. This feature allows you to use default or custom settings that Movable Type will apply when running its Sanitize feature. Please see Hour 19, "Scrubbing Content with Sanitize," for advanced details on using this feature.

  • Welcome Message. This is a welcome message for your log authors (not your site visitors) when they log in to Movable Type to create an entry.

  • Creative Commons License. If you would like your log information to be published under the Creative Commons license, you can select a license here and have Movable Type display the license automatically. For more information about Creative Commons, please see the sidebar in this section.

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a fascinating idea that encourages artistic growth through the sharing of content that pertains to Web sites, music, film, photography, literature, courseware, and other creative works. It is an extended means of protecting intellectual property while allowing easier access to and dissemination of that material by other people.

There are several licenses from which to choose, some more restrictive than others. The type of publishing you're doing will help you determine which, if any, of the Creative Commons licenses will be appropriate for you.

Please note that prior to adding Creative Commons licenses, you'll want to have the materials copyrighted via traditional means. Because copyright rules and regulations are different depending upon the country or region where you live, you'll want to contact the copyright offices in your country for more detailed information on copyright.

To learn more about Creative Commons and study the available licenses, please see http://www.creativecommons.org/.

In the following exercises you will set up these preferences. When the topic is more detailed, such as with archiving, notification, and TrackBack, you'll want to refer to the corresponding hours for more details on how to work with these features.

Adding Log Description, Number of Entries, and Time Language Display

To create a description for your weblog, choose how many entries will be displayed on the page at a time, and choose which language the display will be in, follow these steps:

  1. If you're not logged in to Movable Type, do so now.

  2. When you've reached the Main Menu screen, find the log you want to set general preferences for, and click on the Manage Weblog link under "Your Existing Weblogs."

  3. You'll come to the Editing Menu page for that weblog. From the Manage section of the administration menu, click Weblog Config to access the configuration page.

  4. When you're in the Configuration menu, select Preferences. This will take you to the preferences configuration page (see Figure 3.6).

  5. Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 The configuration menu for your selected weblog.

  6. Enter a short slogan into the Description text field.

  7. TIP

    The welcome message can be anything you'd like it to be, but typically, keeping it short and sweet will make it more effective for both those folks authorized to make entries into your log, and those site visitors enjoying your log content. The message appears to your users when you log in, and also appears wherever you use a specific description tag, meaning that the public will see it unless you override it as well. So, the slogan should accurately reflect the site.

  8. In the Number of Days Displayed text box, enter the number of days worth of entries you'd like to have appear in your log. If you expect to have a lot of content added every day, you may want to make this number lower than the default of "7"—if you don't expect to be making many entries, a higher number may be in order. The longer your entries, or the more entries you have, the longer your page becomes and the more difficult it is for readers to keep up. You can always modify this later but starting with the default is usually okay for most people.

  9. In the Language for Date Display section, use the drop-down menu to determine the language style for date display. Different languages display dates differently in terms of day, month, and year order and use different ways of representing time of day. If you and the majority of your site visitors are English-speaking, you can choose English. However, if you use another language for your logs, you can choose to display the date in that language by choosing it from the menu. Figure 3.7 shows the General Settings completed.

Figure 3.8 shows the blog description as it will appear on the Main Menu screen after you've saved your changes by clicking the Save button at the end of the configuration page.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 The description, days displayed, and date language are set.

If you'd like to take a break before completing the remainder of the configurations, you should scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button. This will ensure that your changes are recorded so that you can come back at any time to proceed.

Setting Entry Order, Customizing Text Formatting, and Configuring Default Post Status

The next settings determine the order in which posted information appears on your site, the format of posted text, and the default post status. By default, information is posted in descending order, which means the most recent information will be at the top, rather than the bottom, of the displayed entries. Text formatting refers to whether you'll allow line breaks for the default (meaning Movable Type will write the HTML paragraph tags rather than the author) or not, and whether a post is published immediately or rather, saved as a draft for later publishing.

Figure 3.8Figure 3.8 Now the Main Menu screen offers your custom description associated with your new blog, as well as the information from your First Blog.

To set the entry order, customize the way text is formatted by individuals posting to the log, and configure your default post status, follow these steps:

  1. If you've left Movable Type, you'll need to begin by navigating to the Editing Menu screen for the weblog you're customizing by logging in to Movable Type and clicking the Manage Weblog link under "Your Existing Weblogs."

  2. Click the Weblog Config option from the administration menu.

  3. Click the Preferences link in the Configuration menu. This will bring you back to the configuration page you were working with in the last exercise.

  4. Scroll down to the Order of Entries Displayed option. From the drop-down menu, choose between ascending (your oldest entries will appear at the top) or descending (your newest entries will appear at the top). Most people choose the default option of Descending.

  5. In the Default Text Formatting for New Entries option, select your desired default value.

  6. NOTE

    You can make advanced configurations to Text Formatting later, and in fact customize the text formatting options by individual posts. So this is just a fallback setting. The options are Convert Line Breaks, which will automatically place paragraphs in paragraph tags and a break tag wherever you input a line break. The None option means that you will add the appropriate HTML to the entry. If you don't know HTML, set this option to Convert Line Breaks for now. If you do know HTML you can decide which is easier for you.

  7. Set the default Post Status by selecting either Draft or Publish from the drop-down menu. In most instances, Draft is going to be the desired default so that you can easily edit your drafts for later publication. No matter which you use as your default, you can change this later on, and both options are always available from a drop-down menu in the Edit Entries menu.

Figure 3.9 shows an example of the updated configuration settings menu.

Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 Order, text formatting, and post status preferences are set.

Configuring Excerpt Values, Sanitize Spec, and a Welcome Message

An excerpt in Movable Type is a short synopsis of a given entry that you can have appear in a variety of locations within your blog. Not everyone uses excerpts, and some people prefer to limit any authors on their Movable Type system to specific word lengths for excerpts.

Sanitize is a means of cleaning up incoming data prior to publishing. Sanitize is covered in detail in Hour 19.

Your Welcome message is a short message that will be used to welcome authors on the main editing screen of your Movable Type interface. This is not displayed to external visitors on your actual site.

To configure the next set of general preferences, follow these steps:

  1. In the Number of Words in Excerpt text box, type in the number of words you'd like your excerpt to be limited to. Of course, you can change this at any time, and you can also choose not to use this feature. If you're unsure what to do now, leave the value as it is.

  2. In the Sanitize Spec option, you can choose between system defaults or customized settings. Unless you are already versed in Movable Type, you'll want to leave this feature set to Use Defaults for now.

  3. In the Welcome Message text field, type in your welcome message. This will be displayed on the Editing Menu screen to your log contributors (see Figure 3.10) .

Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 After you've added the Welcome message and returned to the Editing Menu screen, you'll see the message as you've customized it.

Once again, if you'd like to take a break, click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save your changes. Otherwise, you're ready to move on to adding a Creative Commons license.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020