The New MovableType LogoYesterday SixApart, the company behind MoveableType, released a new version of their software along with a new pricing structure. For those of us running MT, we’re going to have to seriously consider if we’re going to stick with it because for some sites, it’s going to get VERY expensive. Luckily, for those running simplified weblogs, there’s still a free version, but if you have too many weblogs, or too many authors, then you could be forced to pay a pretty penny.
I went ahead a bit the bullet and purchased the Personal Edition. It’s currently reduced 33%, plus I was credited $20 for my past contribution (although I donated $30), which brought down the price to $49.95. Funny how that math worked out isn’t it. ??? Anyway, I went ahead and installed the upgrade and applied the changes to the main weblog. I’m still sorting out a few things here and there and I’m getting ready to head on vacation, so it may be a week or so before I get around to fixing everything, so things be a bit clunky for a little while.

I do notice a few nice changes, but this version isn’t drastically different from 2.661, so if you’re running an older version, I’d hold off on the upgrade until a more final version comes out. The biggest change, which you’ll notice if you post a comment to the main weblog, is that TypeKey has been implemented in MT 3.0. This is optional and weblog authors do not have to enable it if they don’t want to. I decided to give it a test run to see how well it functions. So, if you want to post a comment, you’ll need a TypeKey account. It’s free, but it is an extra step and that might turn into a PITA for many people.

The motivation behind TypeKey is to limit the amount of comment SPAM that’s oh so prevalent in the weblog community. Back in March, I installed MT-Blacklist and it’s helped a lot, but there’s still some SPAM that gets past. TypeKey should help stop that. If you find TypeKey prohibitive to you posting a comment, please let me know.

So far I like the changes that have been implemented with version 3.0, however I have to admit that the price tag is a little scary. I think most people who run personal weblogs of any depth are going to migrate to WordPress, or some other weblog tool. My greatest concern is for commercial users. I’ve been implementing MT with a lot of my clients, but given the new pricing structure, I don’t know if many will be willing to pay the extra money. $199 was a real sweet spot for my clients and the fact that there wasn’t a limit on the number of weblogs you could create made it very flexible. Even with the most expensive license, a whopping $799, you’re limited to 15 weblogs and 20 authors. That’s a pretty steep price tag. :O

Often times with commercial applications, I end up creating multiple weblogs to get around issues with the software, such as the lack of complex categories. Perhaps when the final version is released, some of these workarounds will be worked out and my clients will qualify for the $199 license. Until then, I think the entire weblog community is going to take a “wait and see” approach to see how the dust settles. I know that SixApart needs to charge more for their software, but the restrictions placed on the number of weblogs and licenses is pretty steep and a lot of people are ticked off about it.

Burning Bird hits the nail on the head and sums up my feelings pretty well regarding the new pricing structure. I run a lot of volunteer web sites that generate ZERO revenue and none of them will fit within the free version license. This puts a lot of projects on hold, because I can’t see deploying MT knowing that there’s a huge price tag waiting for me somewhere in the future. Either SixApart is going to have to revise their pricing, or fan of MT are going to flee in droves to a competitor’s product.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between the versions available, Les has a pretty good take on it, albeit a bit of a harsh one.