Movable Type Installation Help - For Amy

Working with Amy's How to Skin Your Site and the Movable Type journalling software

This document explains the contents for setting up the important MT templates. This document assumes that you already have set up your MT files as documented on the MT Installation Instructions page. If you need further help setting up Movable Type, check out the Blogplates resources page. This tutorial is only meant to be a side tutorial for those using Amy's tutorial to skin their site. You can use multiple love-productions templates in this manner, because all of the div classes in the stylesheets are consistant throughout the sets.

The categories are broken up into the sections, and you may need to tweak with other templates to get them to your liking. If you'd like to hire me to install a copy of MT to your server and put the templates in, please drop me an email at I'd be happy to work with you!

For use with a love-productions graphic set: You should unzip the zip file you downloaded onto your hard drive and upload all of the graphics files, stylesheet, and any scripts included into a subdirectory of your journal called images before beginning.

Log into Movable Type and click on the Templates for the blog you are configuring. I'm gonna show you examples of all of the important templates that need customizing below.

Template NameOutput FileRebuild
Index Templates
Main Indexindex.phpYes
Master Archive Indexarchives.phpYes
Skins 2skins/index2.phpNo
Skins: cookiecheckskins/cookiecheck.phpNo
Archive Templates
Category Archive[template here] 
Date-Based Archive[template here] 
Individual Entry Archive[template here] 
Template Modules
header[template here] 
footer[template here] 

You'll need to create the templates that don't currently appear on the list - click Create New Index Template to add Skins, Skins 2, and Skins: cookiecheck. Create new directory under you main blog directory named "skins" and chmod it to 777. This will allow you to publish the 3 MT-generated skins files. Click Create New Template Module to create the modules header and footer. For the Main Index and Master Archive Index, you'll also need to make sure you change the extention of the file from .html to .php as shown on the output file.

There are also comment and trackback and popup templates which will appear on your window, but this tutorial assumes using Individual Archives for comments and doesn't customize any of the additional templates.

Once you've used all the codes below to customize your templates, you'll want to create skins [sample templates here]. When I create a skin, I take the portion of the file that is above where the entries will appear and call it header1.php. And then I take the portion of the file that is below where the entries will appear and call it footer1.php. With the next skin I add, I create a new header2.php and footer2.php, increasing the number each time.

Rebuild all when you are done. Then upload your skins and start posting!

Template Backup

Template codes updated on: 22-Jul-2018 20:18:33


Name: Main Index
Type: index
Rebuild: 1

Name: Skins 2
Type: index
Rebuild: 0

Name: Master Archive Index
Type: index
Rebuild: 1

Name: Skins: cookiecheck
Type: index
Rebuild: 0

Name: Skins
Type: index
Rebuild: 0

Name: Dynamic Site Bootstrapper
Type: index
Rebuild: 1


Name: Date-Based Archive
Type: archive
Rebuild: 0

Name: Category Archive
Type: category
Rebuild: 0

Name: Individual Entry Archive
Type: individual
Rebuild: 0


Name: header
Type: custom
Rebuild: 0

Name: footer
Type: custom
Rebuild: 0

Name: sidebar
Type: custom
Rebuild: 0


As with any tutorial, it helps to see real examples. You are welcome to check out the newest graphics set I'm testing out on this test blog by visiting The Skins blog. Please note that if you are interested in using this skin, you'll want to check out the Setlist and download it from there. Thanks. It uses all of the codes above here for its information inside of MT. And then, I have external files saved for the header and footer. You could put these inside of MT, but when I have more than a few skins, it seems to clutter my MT templates list. So I have a subdirectory of the skins directory named nav (per Amy's directory structure!) that contains folders for each of the skins and header/footer/sidebar files for each skin.

My directory structure looks like this:

Sample Header

filename: skins/nav/header1.php
note: this file is currently inserting in the sidebar instead of showing the php include - I'm working on learning how to fix that!

Sample Footer

filename: skins/nav/footer1.php

Additions Added 040102 - Add on a calendar into your sidebar!!!!

Common Terms:

blog: shortened term for the word weblog. Check The History of Weblogs for more information on how this genre of websites came to be.
blogplate: (also plural form, blogplates) Weblog Templates. Many linkware and shareware graphic designers create templates which are expressly designed with blogs in mind. is a webring of many of these designers sites.
sidebar: a common location for links and buttons to other related sites. Yours should include a linkback to for the template usage.
upload: using an ftp program to copy files from your hard drive onto your host's server. Recommended program for uploading - Leech FTP.
give credit: the idea of making sure to linkback on the same page to show where the items on your site came from. See Give-Credit for more information.

Movable Type images are of software © to Mena and Ben Trott. All references to php related to skinning your site are © to AQ of Domesticat. Instructions are ©2002 by Kristine Beeson of Love-productions.
No duplication is allowed without written permission.