Movable Type 5’s Controversial New Dashboard



You might be surprised why I’m blogging about Movable Type, right? Well, this post somewhat involves WordPress. For those who aren’t famliar, Movable Type is another type of blogging platform which is developed by a company called Six Apart. Yesterday, they released the newest version of their software – Movable Type 5. This version’s features include a new user dashboard for both website and blogs, a new theme mechanism and enhanced content management features like revision history and new custom fields.

So how is WordPress involved in this topic? Movable Type 5’s new user dashboard. As you can see from the screenshots below, MT’s new dashboard does have a very strong resemblance with the WordPress dashboard. I included a screenshot of Movable Type 4 so you can compare and see the changes in the user dashboard.

Movable Type 4 Dashboard
Movable Type 4 Dashboard

Movable Type 5 Dashboard
Movable Type 5 Dashboard

WordPress Dashboard (Post version 2.7)
Movable Type 5 Dashboard

I first read about this on Weblog Tools Collection and although I’m totally against ripping off somebody’s ideas/work, I agree with Jeff Chandler’s stand on this topic. The WordPress dashboard is not only pretty but also very functional so it won’t be a surprise if someone would try to imitate or adapt that into their own work. As the saying goes – “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. There’s also the issue of GPL. WordPress is open source and is released under a GPL License Version 2 which means anyone can copy it as long as the process adhere’s to the license.

Anyways, I heard that many WordPress users aren’t happy with this and are accusing MT of “borrowing” the WordPress publishing interface. We can’t blame them because you can really see a strong resemblance especially if you compare the new MT dashboard with the previous design. Although there are also some WordPress users who say that they like Movable Type’s new dashboard better than WordPress.

My take on this? I’m interested to find out what Matt or the other core developers feel about this. If they don’t react or say anything against this, then I think we users should also do the same thing. If there’s anyone who should react to this, it should be them. Also, I don’t care what other blogging platforms do or how nice their user interface looks like because I’m sticking with the best blogging platform/content management system – WordPress. I <3 WordPress!

You might also want to read this related article on BloggingPro.

So what do you think about Movable Type’s new user dashboard? Which dashboard version do you like better, Movable Type or WordPress? Please share your thoughts.


Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

11 Comments

  1. Michael

    January 13, 2010 at 6:01 AM

    where can I find more themes for my WP dashboard? I really like tweaking things :)

  2. Walter

    January 10, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    I believe that WordPress is still the best. This blogging platform is always evolving and the user feedback is excellent. :-)

  3. joie

    January 10, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I like it too. But I think I am not moving to MT. Not at this moment. I am used to WP right now.

  4. vbdietz

    January 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Though I no longer support any websites that use MT v3.x so that I can post a sample screen shot, the point should be made that the vertical side navigation that MT has added back in, first appeared in the earlier pre-MT4 versions, long before WP gained its current popularity.

    One might say that the original WP dashboard layout took something from the MT layout.

    Just saying.

  5. Ken Edwards

    January 9, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    And yet it is so controversial no one here, author included, has ever seen the MT3 interface.

  6. jan geronimo

    January 8, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    Very interesting. Ade’s got a point. MT looks great. It’s improved upon what it has “copied.” I’m not going anywhere though. WP is great.

  7. Jhay

    January 8, 2010 at 7:12 AM

    I don’t think this would cause some mass migration to MT from WP. It’s a form of flattery from MT to the success of WP.

    Though Ade has a point, MT’s new dashboard has a cleaner typography whilst WP’s is kinda pale and faded.

    Still, WP rules!

  8. Jeffro

    January 8, 2010 at 6:00 AM

    I’ve given it some more thought and when I use Joomla or Drupal, I always told myself that I wish they had the same publishing interfaces as WordPress because that;s the one I enjoy using. So this can be nothing but a good thing to see the interface in other publishing systems.

  9. Hesham @ FamousBloggers

    January 8, 2010 at 5:41 AM

    I also don’t care about any other blogging platform, basically I am with WordPress and other CMSs like Joomla and Drupal! 3 applications that I can do with them all what I need in this life!

    mmm maybe some WordPress users will feel not good for the adaption, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.. it’s an open world after all!

    very informative post deserve to be tweeted and more!

  10. Ade

    January 8, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    To be fair, I like MT’s dashboard better. I’m just not a fan of WP’s serif fonts.

  11. Vix

    January 7, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    It’s funny that people are saying that MT is “borrowing” from WordPress because when the WP’s dashboard first came out I thought it looked a lot like MT’s earlier versions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.