Our most recently completed weblog happens to be one of the largest Hollywood gossip and entertainment weblogs in the world, A Socialite’s Life. They are “your daily source for celebrity gossip, photos, fashion news, and media speculation brought to you in digestible bites” and it is suggested you enjoy the site while sipping on a martini. I’m a margarita guy myself, but hey, Hollywood news + alcohol is always a win-win :)
Similar But Different
The previous version of A Socialite’s Life used CSS but the markup was a bit clunky, it had three columns but they were indistinguishable from one another, and it had a similar entry structure however the various blog entry elements were a bit squished. If I had to classify this project, I’d say that the new site is more of a realign than a true redesign. You can view an example of the older look here for the time-being, until the category and monthly archive pages are updated.
High traffic weblogs are normally more function than form, simply because when a site pulls in monster advertising revenue figures each month, you don’t want to mess with the formula for success. For A Socialite’s Life, that formula was three columns: main content on the left, two columns of advertising, and then a wide banner at the top of the site. There’s no point in giving a site a fresh coat of pixels if you endanger its revenue formula.
Movable Type For Large Weblogs?
I now realize why larger weblogs are switching to WordPress — when a site posts a dozen or more entries per day for the past few years, rebuilding the individual entry archives takes a long time. A long, long time. About 32 minutes each rebuild. There is now an option in the newer version of Movable Type to switch to dynamic publishing (aka each individual entry archive request is retrieved from the database dynamically, no static files, like WordPress) but turning the option on and getting it working is not really something a non-technical person can accomplish. WordPress has dynamic publishing on by default (I’m not a WP expert, but I don’t think you can turn it off, not that you’d really want to) so it’s easier for a novice user to setup dynamic publishing using WordPress than with Movable Type.
I’m a big Movable Type advocate as my friends know, however for large weblogs dynamic publishing is the way to go.