Further Weblog Maintenance

When I changed the way trackbacks appear, I broke something as well. It turns out that when someone pings you, only the index templates are rebuilt automatically. Since I had the trackbacks in the individual entry pages, those were not rebuilt and hence did not show the recent pings from Kianoush.

First, I tried to do a server-side include of the trackback CGI file into my individual entry template. But that did not work for some reason. Therefore, I used Phil Rignalda’s hack which required adding a few lines of code in Trackback.pm MTBlPing.pm.

If I have broken anything or if you know a better solution, please let me know.

Another issue has been the delay that comments take to post. I timed the time from hitting the “Post” button to a refresh of the individual page to be about 35 seconds. That wasn’t good enough since we strive here for a better reader experience. I realized that about half the delay was caused by the MostVisited plugin which calculates the top 10 pages in terms of hits during the last 30 days. This is obviously not something that changes with every comment and it changes only a little in a day. So I used Eric James Stone’s suggestion:

  1. Create an index template with the code to list the most popular entries.
  2. Uncheck the box for “Rebuild this template automatically.”
  3. Link the template to a file.
  4. Use the MTInclude tag to include that file in whatever other templates you want. [Main Index template in my case — ZA]
  5. Set up a once-a-day (or other period) cron to rebuild that specific template.

To rebuild the template as a cron job required the mt-rebuild script.

As I was doing all this, I discovered MT Plugin Manager by David Raynes. It is supposed to make the install, upgrade and uninstall fairly automatic from a browser window. It seems like a great tool and so of course I went ahead and installed that as well.

Now, the only task I need to think about is how to backup all the weblog data regularly. Any ideas about that?

UPDATE: I have added an “On This Day” feature to the sidebar. It links to a random entry from previous years using the RandomOTDEntry plugin by Mark Paschal.

Categorized as Internet

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. I too have wondered about the backup. I figured that the ‘export’ function pretty much does everything (except images) and I keep meaning (one day) to set up a cron job to autodump all the blogs running on my server – value add for the clients 🙂

    As for images, I am now keeping them as a pseudo-photo-blog and that means one directory to back up (presumably at the same time as the templates).

  2. If you wish to backup everything on your home machine, consider using wget, there is a windows executable somewhere on gnu.org. Depending on your directory structure a simple batch file/script that does a recursive websuck should do the trick.

  3. The export funtion in MT is handy but has a couple of problems.

    1. Exporting multiple blogs (I have a total of 4 including sideblogs and a portion of my website) is a hassle.
    2. If I export a weblog and then import it, the entry IDs will change breaking all links.

    I am actually thinking of trying to automate the whole process. This will involve copying all the files on my webhost periodically to my PC as well as making a backup of the MT mySQL database. I think mysqldump will probably work for that.

    Ubaid: wget is a good utility, but I might use scp since that will copy all the files, not just the ones publicly accessible.

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