Movable Type Monday: Easy Installs, BetterFields, Contact Forms, and More

Filed as Features on February 9, 2009 8:00 am

Happy Monday, folks! If you’ve ever struggled to install Movable Type, you may have a new option soon: Six Apart has announced that MT will soon be available under the Parallels Application Packaging Standard. This will allow hosting companies to offer a simple install to their customers. If you have a Plesk control panel you’ll be able to install MT with the click of a button. MTers have always been envious of other open source projects that could be installed through things like APS. Hopefully this means we’ll see MT on other hosting platforms as well.

Plugins

BetterFieldsJesse Gardner just announced BetterFields, a plugin that adds WYSIWYG formatting to any textbox in MT. This can be especially useful when combined with Custom Fields to allow formatting on any specialized field you create.

Contact Forms — Just out in beta is the Contact Forms plugin from Byrne Reese. Built in conjunction with iThemes, this plugin allows you to build contact forms for your site, then manage responses through the MT interface. I’m very excited to see this, since I’ve built several contact forms for MT sites, each time in a different way. If you’re curious about what all Contact Forms can do, check out Byrne’s video demonstration.

Byrne also wrote a tutorial on using jQuery lightbox with MT. His tutorial uses the Assetylene plugin to modify the output when you add an asset to a blog post.

Finally, Beau Smith has a tip for setting variables in a single location for your entire blog. It’s a good tip, and something I especially recommend if you’re building a brand new template set.

What have you done with Movable Type this week? Let us know in the comments.

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