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This chapter is from the book

Setting Archive, Notification, and Comment Preferences

Additional preferences are available for basic configuration of Movable Type. These include archive, notification and publicity feature, and visitor comment preferences. In this section, you'll learn what these preferences do and how to set them up.


Many of the preferences in this section are dependent on more advanced configuration features. Therefore, you'll probably be leaving quite a few at their defaults until you reach those hours that deal with these Movable Type features in greater detail. We'll cover them here so that you have a basic understanding of the options and you'll be able to quickly modify them as your strategies for archiving, notification, and comments become clearer.

Options for Archiving, Notification and Publicity, and Comments

The following preferences are available for archiving, notification and publicity features, and site visitor commenting:

  • Preferred Archive Type. There is a range of archiving options. This preference allows you to set which option you'll be using. We'll look at this briefly in this hour's exercises, but most of the valuable information on creating and maintaining Movable Type archives can be found in Hour 6.

  • File Extension for Archive Files. This option allows you to set the file extension for your archive files. If you are creating the site in HTML or XHTML, this extension will be .html or .htm. However, if your pages need to be processed by a server-side application layer, such as Active Server Pages, Java Server Pages, or PHP, you might need to set a different extension for them.

  • Notify the Following Sites When I Update My Weblog. There are numerous ways to disseminate your information. One way is to send notifications to existing weblog services that keep track of recently updated sites, such as weblogs.com and blo.gs. Movable Type can automatically notify these sites about updates. You can learn more about a variety of notification options in Hour 17, "Using Movable Type's Email Features."

  • Recently Updated Key. If you've given Movable Type some money, you can have your log listed on the Movable Type site whenever it's updated as well.

  • Google API Key. You can add Google search features to your site using the Google API key.

  • Allow Pings on by Default? This setting specifies whether pings are allowed to your entries by default or not.

  • Email New TrackBack Pings. This cool feature can automatically email you when someone sends a TrackBack ping.

  • Turn on TrackBack Auto Discovery. You can automate aspects of Movable Type's TrackBack feature using this setting. More information on the TrackBack feature is found in Hour 16, "Using TrackBack."

In the following exercises, you'll set those preferences that you are sure of now, leaving the more detailed preferences at the default for future modification.

Setting Up Basic Archiving Preferences

To set up archiving preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Scroll down to the Archiving section of the configuration page.

  2. From the drop-down menu in the Preferred Archive Type section, select your archive type. Until you've made the determination as to how you're going to manage archives, set this option to No Archives.

  3. If you do know the file extensions you'll be using for archives (this will be based on the extensions you'll be using across your site), add it to the File Extension For Archive Files text box. If you're unsure, leave HTML as the default.


Do not put a dot "." in front of the extension entry—just the extension itself, such as html, php, asp, or aspx.


Because there's a lot to consider regarding archiving, we've put most of that information into Hour 6.

Configuring Notification, Promotional, and TrackBack Preferences

As mentioned, notification and TrackBack features are both powerful and detailed. As such, we've dedicated specific hours to them individually. Before you set these temporary configurations, though, keep a few points in mind:

  • If you've made a donation to Movable Type, you will receive a key to allow the Movable Type site to be notified when you make an update. This will add you to their "recently updated" list, and it's a good idea if you're interested in getting your weblog out into the public eye.

  • If you intend to use Google as part of your site, you'll want to get a key from them as well. The Google API key is a powerful means of creating custom search features for your site, but obtaining this key is best suited for more advanced developers. You can learn more about how to develop features, create a Google account, and obtain and use a license fee all by visiting http://www.google.com/apis/.

  • In later sections of the book, you learn more about TrackBack. For now, leave these preference settings blank.

To create early configurations for these features, follow these steps:

  1. In the Notify the Following Sites When I Update my Blog section, check the check boxes next to the blogging sites blo.gs and weblogs.com to configure Movable Type to automatically notify those sites of your updates. This is recommended for all public blogs. You may also add additional known sites that you'd like to have notified by entering their URLs into the text box below.

  2. If you've made a donation to Movable Type and have received your key, enter it into the Recently Updated Key text box.

  3. If you have received your Google key, enter it into the text box.

  4. The next three entries are all related to TrackBack. As we mentioned earlier, we recommend at this time that you leave these boxes unchecked because you'll determine whether and how you'll be using TrackBack later in the book.

  5. Click the Save button to update your entries.

You can now move on to setting commenting preferences.

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