The big news in blog application ville is that Moveable Type has upped their pricing which seems to be freezing out a number of university blogging teachers who had set up multiple sites for their students. So I think it’s time to make another pitch for Manila.
Now I know it’s not an open source alternative which many are espousing, and I know that universities are more willing to go down that road. But from a public school perspective, it’s still just not an option for most. So, what about Manila? Educational license is $400 year for as many sites as your server will hold. We’re running a couple of hundred with no problem, and conceivably we could run as many as a couple of thousand. In the past year since we installed it, we’ve had only one or two instances where the server went down for more than just a few moments. (Frontier, the server software Manila runs on, has a cute little “keep it running” feature that automatically restarts it if something crashes.) In other words, it’s been very, very stable with regular maintenance.
The power and flexibility of the software is self-evident, it’s easy to use (at least as easy as MT,) Userland is showing some new energy in developing it, it has widespread implementation, and it’s got a great theme artist cranking out good stuff on a regular basis. It’s a great tool. And you can try it for free here.
No, it’s not perfect, and there is still a lot of work that Userland has ahead of it. But I think it’s still a great alternative to MT. Just my two cents…