Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Automated Posting of Deferred MovableType Entries

Trickle [-b blog_id] [-c category] [-p]


Trickle allows automated posting of deferred Movable Type entries. To use, create a category called ‘Deferred’, place entries in ‘Draft’ status, add them to the ‘Deferred’ category, and set the created date to the date when the item should be posted.

Trickle can be used with cron or some other task scheduling mechanism.

In case you missed it in the above definition, Trickle is a nice little piece of Perl designed for those of us who have yet to upgrade to MovableType 3.x who want and/or need to defer posts.

For example, while I write my posts late at night, I prefer they were posted somewhere between 9:30 and 11AM EST. I also prefer to stay employed – Trickle gets this done for me. I write my post (late at night) and then:

  • save it as a draft
  • give it a date/time stamp in the future
  • assign the secondary category ‘Deferred’ to the post
  • wait for perl and crontab to do the rest.

So What?!

How does this relate to your church website? How about your sermons page? If your pastor is like mine, he’ll email you the sermon on Saturday night with a request not to post it until the sermon has been preached.

I can now defer posts to 1PM so individuals arriving home after a lunch at Ledo’s can enjoy a second serving of some tasty theology.

This code is also a good example of how to employ the MovableType API to write custom applications that work outside the definition of a plug-in.

Show your love

What about you? Does your publishing/blog tool provide a mechanism for deferred posts? If so, leave a comment. Can you think of another situation in which this might be useful? If so, leave a comment. Got a question … you get the picture.

Oh by the way, it is now 11:55 PM on August 25, 2004 … even though the timestamp of this post might say otherwise … thanks good’ol crontab:

0 9 * * * perl /home/useraccount/www/cgi-bin/mt/trickle.pl>/dev/null


  1. Does anyone know if WordPress can do this?

  2. At Lakeshore, we use MT-Trickle for a similar things, but we also use the DateTags and MT-Rebuild plug-ins to automatically update the front page to reflect next Sunday’s message every Monday morning.

  3. Both pMachine and ExpressionEngine just have an editable posting date and time on each entry. If you don’t want it immediately posted to the site, you just enter in the date and time when you do.

    I thin kthe “always pulling from the database” approach of pMachine makes this an easy feature for them to implement (trying not to open the “dyamic vs. cached” can o’ worms here…;)

  4. Yeah I’m with Don, anyone know if there’s something like this for WordPress?

    Actually I might look into it, see if I can find something. I’ll post back if I find something useful.

  5. I used the mambo cms to make http://www.imagemagazine.co.uk which allows you to publish and unpublish items at will. You can set publication start dates as well as expiry dates which means i can have an article appear for as little or as long as I like and more or less forget about it

  6. Okay so I haven’t yet found anything for doing this particular job but I did find for WordPress users a very useful site, http://wiki.wordpress.org/ which will probably have all you want to know about WordPress. Lots of good plugins and hacks there (including Scripturizer)… but not one for posting later! I’m sure there’s SOMEONE who’s talked about it.

  7. ahhhh yes. Well IF I had paid any attention to the WordPress posting screen, I would have noticed the “Edit Timestamp” area… so when you post, just change the timestamp to your preferred time and WHOLA! It works. So you don’t need any plugins or hacks. Nice :)

    I’m glad I worked on finding an answer. Now I have a bunch of cool new links!

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