I’m running Movable Type for my blog, as you are with Ask Dave Taylor, and I want to let some friends add content and new articles, but don’t want to have them messing things up. How do I set this up?
One of the greatest features of Movable Type is that it supports multiple authors right out of the proverbial box. I have used this for years, ranging from having other authors contribute to blogs to setting up a completely different blog with a different admin who does have complete control over their weblog, but not the others (in the latter case, it’s my sister’s awesome art dolls blog).
A caveat before I show you how to do things, however. I’m not running the very latest version of Movable Type, mostly because I’m lazy: the version I’m running, 3.3, works great and I fear the jump to 4.0 will break my heavily customized templates, etc. Perhaps I’m wrong — in which case perhaps someone from MT developers Six Apart can help me upgrade — but from what I can tell, most people are lazy about upgrades unless there are amazing, must-have features added. Rarely is that the case. That’s why you’re probably still running Windows XP instead of Vista, for example.
Anyway, in MT 3.3, here’s how you set things up…
First you want to log in to the MT backend using the administrative account. You’ll know if you haven’t done so because critical features will be disabled, like adding new accounts. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see all your blogs listed, along with some helpful system shortcuts:
We want to click on “AUTHORS”, which brings us to a list of the currently authorized authors and contributors to the various blogs configured with the MT backend. The key link is on the right:
You’re now at a fairly complicated form where you need to configure the new account:
Note here that you can check one – or more! – blog so that the new account is associated with that particular weblog. For this example, I’ll just choose the real life debt personal finance blog by checking it, enter a unique and mnemonic account name (which can, if you want, include spaces) and the other information specified.
Once you’ve filled all this in, make sure you scroll down, as the next section is where you specify the account password and a recovery phrase. I’d do something that’s simple for the author to remember, but not just a dictionary word as that’s too easy to guess.
When you’re done, click “Continue” and you’ll be able to specify what they can do once they’re logged in:
Since I only want the author in this case to be able to add new entries, not administer or tweak things, I don’t need to change anything on this screen, but as you can see, there are a LOT of options and the power is terrific!
That’s basically all there is to it. You’ve set up a new account and when they log in, they’ll only have administrative options consistent with the permissions you have granted them.
Next, I’ll write about how to enter – and schedule – a blog entry in a Movable Type weblog…