What’s in the Package?
With Movable Type 4.0 and 4.1, a number of plugins come bundled with the core platform. Some of these plugins enable core features and functionality in the platform, some connect to optional services, and some are designed as examples of what the platform can do.
Here’s a quick guide to the plugins and add-ons to the system that you’ll find in your Movable Type install. And a side note for those who obsess over every file on their system: As plugins, any of these can be disabled from the system-level plugins screen, or even moved or removed from your server if you’re not using the functionality they provide.
This plugin provides the core blog-cloning functionality in Movable Type 4, which duplicates the templates, settings, and content in one of your existing blogs. If you only maintain a single blog in your system, or never have need to clone one of your existing blogs, you won’t need to use this plugin. Check out Cloning a Blog for more info.
MultiBlog is a plugin which provides the ability to aggregate content from more than one blog in a page. If you’re not using more than one blog, or not aggregating information across blogs, you won’t use this plugin. See MultiBlog Template Tags to find out how to use these aggregation features.
StyleCatcher is responsible for the “Styles” feature under the “Design” menu in your MT4 install. It provides a friendly interface for browsing, installing, and selecting between the many pre-created styles available for Movable Type. If you do not change styles, or you maintain all of your templates manually, you don’t use StyleCatcher.
Textile and Markdown (and the SmartyPants feature of Markdown) are simplified systems for applying formatting to your words without having to use HTML. If you know what they are, then you’ll have use for one or both of these plugins, but if not, you’ll probably prefer to use the Rich Text editor. Text Formatting in Movable Type can tell you all about it.
For users migrating from WordPress blogging software, the WXR importer plugin lets you import the custom format that WordPress uses for its backup/export files. If you’ve already moved over your WordPress blog, or don’t intend to import any more WordPress blogs, you can safely disable this plugin. Read up on Importing and Exporting Content.
Widget Manager is the plugin which enables the “Widgets” option under the “Design” menu for your blog. This feature gives you drag-and-drop control over the content on various sections of your page, such as sidebars. You can find out all the details about Widget Sets, or if you manage all of the content in your templates manually, you can disable this plugin.
Spamlookup is a collection of three plugins which use a smart set of customizable rules to greatly reduce the amount of junk comments left on your site. The three components use a keyword list, an evaluation of the links in a comment, and a set of lookups to an anti-spam service to assess whether comments and TrackBacks that are submitted are legitimate. If your blog is inside a company or running on another network that can’t be accessed by spammers, you can safely disable these plugins.
In addition to the plugins which are bundled with Movable Type by default, MT includes a number of plugins in the
/extras folder, which offer experimental, untested, or developer plugins. While these are not officially supported, they can be handy and downright educational.
This experimental plugin implements OpenID server (IdP) support in Movable Type 4, letting any of your MT users use their MT-powered site as their identity on any OpenID-enabled site.
These plugins are all designed as proof-of-concept code examples which you can use as-is, modify, or use as the basis for your own plugins.
This simple plugin demonstrates how to useÃ‚ the backup/restore callback.
A straightforward plugin to add support for Google Accounts as an authentication method for commenters in your MT system.
This plugin shows off MT4’s built-in ratings framework by providing an interface for rating your entries on a scale of one to five stars.
The Google Search API feature which was introduced in MT 2.x let you display the results of a Google Search query through the use of Movable Type template tags. That functionality is now available through this plugin.
This plugins shows the proper method of implementing localization (l10n) in a plugin. Movable Type supports many languages by default, so good l10n support helps broaden the audience for your plugins.
This simple plugin is designed to show off how you could build your own plugin to mirror the content of one blog in your MT system on another system using the Atom API.
This plugin provides an implementation of the popular reCaptcha system of spam-protection which integrates with MT4’s native Captcha framework.
The default list of weblog update services (ping servers) in Movable Type is appropriate for the United States and many English-speaking countries, but this simple plugin provides a nice list of servers for Japanese blogs.
If you’ve purchased a paid license for Movable Type, or you’ve purchased the Enterprise Solution or Community Solution for Movable Type, there are several Packs and plugins which may be installed in your system. The Professional Pack, which comes with all paid licenses, and features of the Enterprise and Community Solutions will install themselves in the
/addons folder under your Movable Type installation. In addition, the feeds-app-lite plugin for making widgets out of XML feeds is included in these products, located in the standard
/tools folder under your Movable Type install includes a number of command-line utilities for performing advanced tasks with your MT blogs.
Thanks to electrasteph for inspiring this documentation page with a great question in the MT forums!