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The Top 5 Ways to Make Movable Type Even Faster

Movable Type is well known for its scalability, and few other alternatives offer more flexibility in regards to how you can optimize it for performance, reliability and availability. And while Movable Type offers a number of different options to build out a system in support of millions upon millions of visitors, the average user doesn’t want or need such complexity. They simply want to know: what can a regular human do to make my Movable Type experience better?

Here they are:

  1. Upgrade to Movable Type 4.2. Movable Type 4.2 introduced numerous improvements to its infrastructure to help dramatically enhance performance. Plus, it contains a number of features outlined below that will allow you to speed up Movable Type even more.
  2. Cache template modules and widgets. In Movable Type 4.2 you can cache the HTML your template modules produce to prevent them from having to be rebuilt unnecessarily. Furthermore, you can configure them so that their contents are only refreshed when it is absolutely necessary to do so. For example you can instruct MT to refresh your “Recent Comments” widget only after a new comment is received.
  3. Use Server Side Includes. Server Side Includes, or “SSIs,” were introduced in Movable Type 4.2 and can be used to more efficiently share HTML fragments between pages. This can dramatically reduce the number of pages that need to get republished to keep your site fresh, plus it will keep your content across your entire site up to date more easily with less overhead.
  4. Use Publish Queue for some pages. Publish Queue allows you to publish pages on your site “in the background.” This means that your users, commenters and readers don’t need to wait for content to be republished when they post a comment. In Movable Type 4.2 we make this framework even more flexible by allowing to select on a template by template basis what should be published in real time, and what can be published in the background. We recommend publishing your main index, your feeds and entry archives in real time, or “statically.” Everything else can probably be published in the background.
  5. Use FastCGI. FastCGI is a framework for running online web applications that can dramatically improve the performance or Perl, Ruby and PHP applications. When Movable Type is run under FastCGI you can see dramatic increases in page load performance and throughput (the number of requests you can process at any one time).