September 23, 2004

Creating an About Page

Updated September 23, 2004

There are two basic ways to create an about page in Movable Type. The first is to just create it as any ordinary entry. Then use the permalink URL to link to it from your main page. Unless you want comments and trackbacks on your About page, disable them for that entry. The other method is to create a new index template just for your About information. The steps for this method are outlined as follows:

1. From the templates menu, select Create new index template. Name the template something recognizable as referring to an about page. Pick a name for the output file and enter it in the output file field. Use either the .html or .php extension for the ouput file name, depending on what file type you are using in your weblog.

create_new_about_template.gif

If you plan to have content on your about page that updates when you add a new entry, a sidebar of recent entries or archives, for example, keep the rebuild this template automatically box checked. If not, uncheck it to reduce server load.

2. Copy the main index template and paste it into the new about file template body window. Remove all the tags between (and including) <MTEntries> and </MTEntries>. Remove any other extraneous main body or side bar tag sections that you don't want on your about page. The following text window contains the basics of the template I use for my about page on Learning Movable Type:

For MT3.x versions:


For MT2.661 and earlier versions:


Add text about you or your website.

Save and rebuild your template.

3. Place links to your about page on your Main Index template and on your Individual Entry Archive template. If you have chosen "about.html" as the output file for your About index template, then the URL for your new About page will be your-blog-url/about.html. For example, the site URL for my weblog is http://www.elise.com/weblog. If I had an About page for this blog with an output file of about.html, then the URL for the About page would be http://www.elise.com/weblog/about.html. You can find your site URL or blog url by checking your weblog config core set-up page. See the Add Your Links Here tutorial to see how to add a hyperlink to a template.

You can also make your About page a popup window. See How to Make a Popup Window. Save templates and rebuild your site.

Links:
How to Make a Good About Page - great tips on what should go in the content of your About Page.


Has this tutorial been helpful? Please consider linking to Learning Movable Type at http://learningmovabletype.com/ . Thanks!

Posted by Elise Bauer on September 23, 2004 to General Tips and Tricks
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Comments

hi elise, i've followed your instructions, but #3 kind of confuses me. I can't find my about page anywhere - any hints what the link should be?

Jaaney - try going to the main page of your weblog, what ever it is, and substituting index.html with about.html in the URL in your browser.

Hi,

I'm unclear on why you wouldn't just create a new entry called about and then place a direct link to it on the main index. Why would you want a seperate template? Doesn't that mean more work if you decide to rearrange you site, not stylistcially of course because that's covered by the CSS.

Have I missed somthing?

PlanetPhillip - Perhaps you don't want the same sidebar information and the comments that you might have on your regular individual entries.

In addition to having a pared-down page, the "naming" issue is very appealing. However, I've wondered if I couldn't just make a logical link from an MT entry to a file (e.g. ln 000090.html about.html).

Could this work as a main site page? I love how the MT template is all laid out and it makes it easy for me to add links and other items to the sidebar. However, I do most of my blogging on live journal, so am thinking of just having a dateless entry of some kind (maybe an "about me" entry) and have that be my site, with various items on the sidebar.

KG - Yes you could link to a standalone file, especially if you didn't want any sidebar elements that update. The nice thing about having standalone pages in MT is that you can easily edit them through MT.

Lisa - Yes this could work as a main site page as you described.

how can i create this file in a directory (blah.com/about/index.html)?

Abdulla - in step one, have the output file include the directory - instead of about.html, have it read about/index.html. Make sure you already have the directory set up on your server.

Thank you :-)

I want to make a file in (blah.com/archives/index.html) to show link for each month, so do i use the same way or there is a better way?

sorry for my english.

Abdulla - Your default main index page has links to monthly archives. If you want these links on your about page as well, include the code for it on your about/index.html page. (Make sure the rebuild template automatically box is checked as per instructions in step one above). If these instructions are still confusing the best place to ask for help is not here but on the Movable Type Support Forums - http://www.movabletype.org/support/. Thanks!

If I create a static "about" page as a separate template, and hard-code the text into it, will the MT search function be able to search it?

Liz - from what I can tell, no, the MT search function will not search it. So you could create it as an entry, uncheck comments and trackbacks, don't give it a category, and just link to it from your index page.

i realise the fact that mt-search will only search the database entries but not the hard-coded words in my template, is this right?
Thanks for the clear inspiration! :)

Joerg - this is right.

Is there anyone else receiving an error when creating a new index template? MT 2.661 is returning: Template 'filename.html' does not have an Output File.

I've tried using the full site path as well, receiving the same error.

Tijo, you need to write "filename.html" in the Output file section at the top of your new template. If this is doesn't work, please open up a new topic at the MT Support Forums and post a link to your site.

I'm thinking of using MT to create a whole website for a friend, with various individual pages. The blog (news page) would only be a small part of this - other pages would be receations of her html website... photos, other texts, stories etc. I guess this trick here, could then be used for my purpose? Converting a standard html site to MT by making these new templates... or is there a better way?

elise,

I have enjoyed and learn a lot from your dialogue and instruction but frequently find myself missing one key element.

like a writer above. the 3rd step seems to stop short and just offer a "just do that thing" and it'll work.

i'm not sure how to find and link to the new content that i've just created. could you expand on the conclusion?

Hi Eric, I've added some explanation to step three that you might find helpful.


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