switching to dynamic publishing


Ever since I upgraded to Movable Type 3.2, rebuilding has been much slower on my current host. That's caused two problems, one just annoying and the other more serious. The annoying part is that marking comments as junk (an all-too-frequent need) forces a rebuild, which is painfully slow and often times out on the intranet at work. The serious part is that most incoming trackbacks are failing, probably due to timeout issues.

So tonight I'm going to try switching from static to dynamic publishing--for the non-geek readers out there, it means that most pages on the site won't be saved as individual static documents, but instead will be generated on-the-fly when you request them.

If the site breaks in the process, don't panic--it's all backed up. Worst case I'll revert back to original settings and live with the problems. Best case it'll be working perfectly in a few minutes, and trackbacks will start working as they should again.


Update: It worked. Only two real problems, which were relatively easy to fix. The first problem was that I use mt-textile and smartypants for text formatting on the blog (the former lets me use things like underscores to create italicized text, or asterixes to generated bulleted ists; the latter handles typographic niceties like em dashes, curly quotes, and true ellipses). Those text processors don't work properly with dynamic publishing, but I found this post on Movalog with information on how to fix that. The second problem involved the fact that I had some custom PHP code in my templates that used movable type tag variables--apparently since the dynamic templates are PHP based, this causes some problems. There are apparently ways to call the variables, but I didn't feel like mucking with them, so I just changed the few instances to non-variable code (using http://mamamusings.net/ rather than the BlogURL variable, etc). Not the most elegant fix, but it was expedient, and now it all works. And since I'm planning on a site redesign over the holidays, it wasn't worth spending too long on the template code.

The good news is that the trackback problem does appear to be fixed--a number of new trackbacks have appeared over the past few days, after a long dry spell that I suspect was technological (especially since I saw several inbound links on other sites that hadn't registered here). Mission accomplished!


I switched to dynamic publishing a couple of months ago for two types of templates: individual archives and the master archives page. It was very easy to do and all went without a hitch. I was soon reaping the reward of a significant improvement in rebuild times.

Problem was, dynamic publishing put an enormous load on the shared server my blog is hosted on, pushing CPU usage well over threshold. So, I had to revert the individual archives back to static pages. It's a shame because I was using the ultra-cool Smarty templates to paginate comments on entries where comments numbered in the hundreds.

So, while there are plenty of advantages of moving to dynamic templates, there are situations in which to avoid them as well. Your mileage may vary.

I hope your move to dynamic publishing goes well. =)

Give us an update when you're done -- I run 3.2 and I'm curious.

How are you liking the switch so far, Elizabeth? I'm working on moving up to 3.2, but now I honestly feel like am a crossroads between static or dynamic.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on November 23, 2005 6:41 PM.

brilliant presentation on identity was the previous entry in this blog.

gratitude is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Category Archives