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June 5, 2003

Word Herder Help

Beginnings of a help section available in the extended entry of this post. Feel free to add comments or edit the post to flesh out the section.

MovableType General Info

The MovableType website - http://www.movabletype.org - has a ton of great information. It also has some CSS templates that allow you to change the look of your website. If you accidently mess up your templates - either HTML, CSS, or others - you can download originals for the MT website as well.

The only templates you should need to change are the CSS and HTML ones. The others should be fine as is.

Logging into MT

You log into Movabletype here: http://www.wordherders.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi


Use the FTP account information sent to you. If you lost your information, email me.

A good FTP program is WS_FTP. Get it at downloads.com. If you are on a Mac, let me know and I'll find something else for you.

Basic HTML help

Confused by HTML and/or CSS? Here are a few helpful links to help you brush up:


Your webspace has an "images" directory in it. In order for your images to show up both in the regular blog and in the archive, you should write your image code the following way:

<img src="/images/filename.jpg"> or <img src="/images/filename.gif"> where filename is the name of your image file.

The / in front of the images directory refers to your local web "root" - this is basically a short version of a direct link. If you use a relative link (e.g., forget to put that / in front), then the images will be broken when archives are saved.

Code for logo

If you want to put the little wordherders logo on your website, here's the code to do so:


Setting up a blogroll is an easier way to keep track of the blogs you frequent. Sign up only requires an active e-mail address. Once you get set up, you can add links and sort them by a variety of means (random, alphabetically, etc). The free version allows one blogroll, which is usually sufficient. In your preferences section, you choose a character (I use the ^ sign) to signify that the blog has been updated.


Log in on the web or set up to pop/imap from home. Your login includes the @wordherders.

Pings and TrackBacks

Built in to Movable Type are some useful automated features for letting other sites know when you've posted a new entry (this is what allows the "recently updated" feature in Blogrolling to work, for example) and for providing two-way linking between blogs (called TrackBacks, see this explanation, if you like). The following directions explain how to activate these features.

  1. Choose "Weblog Config" from the lefthand menu.
  2. On the next page, select "Publicity / Remote Interfaces / TrackBack."
  3. Check the boxes for "blo.gs" and "weblogs.com." These are centralized sites that other applications will consult to see if your blog has recently been updated. If someone is using a blogroll to list a link to your site on their page, the list will now be able to indicate when you have posted a new entry.
  4. Scroll down a bit and select "Allow Pings on by default." If someone links to one of your blog entries in one of their blog entries, this will allow a "TrackBack" to their entry to register in your entry; i.e. a link to their entry appears at the bottom of yours. Voila! Two-way linking.
  5. If you'd like to be notified by email when someone sends a TrackBack to your site, then check "Email new TrackBack pings."
  6. Finally, in order to enable your blog entries to register TrackBacks on other people's blog entries, check the "Turn on TrackBack auto-discovery?" box.

"Recent Comments" on Main Page

Let's say you want to add a "recent comments" section to your blog sidebar. In April of 2003, Liz Lawley generously posted some of her template files, and by using the relevant portions of her code, you can pull this trick off.

Here's how you do it

On your "Main Index" template, insert the following code in your sidebar where you want your recent comments to be displayed. Change the value for the lastn attribute of the MTComments tag to indicate how many comments you want displayed.

Then in the template for your "Individual Entry Archive," change the relevant section of code so that it looks like this:

It's just that easy.

"Recent Trackbacks" on main page

If you want to put a "Recent Trackbacks" list on your main page, use the following code:

Change the "lastn" value to whatever you like.

Coming Soon

Other helpful tips. And miscellany.

NOTE: Comments closed on this entry due to massive spam.

Posted by Jason at June 5, 2003 10:13 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


"Advice on pings and trackbacks. Other helpful tips. And miscellany."

Miscellany is the largest catagory.

Posted by: Matt K. at June 6, 2003 7:20 AM

So I hear ;-)

Found myself falling asleep at my keyboard last night, so just decided it was best to postpone the remainder ...

Posted by: Jason at June 6, 2003 8:27 AM

I just added some instructions/explanations regarding pings and trackbacks. Edit at will.

Posted by: George at June 11, 2003 8:42 PM

Thanks George! Been meaning to add more, but have been busy with the new job and all...

Posted by: Jason at June 12, 2003 5:08 AM