It might seem weird for Movable Type tips to come from a blog that uses WordPress, but I use MT at work so that is how I’ve learned how to work with it. Keep in mind I’m using MovableType 3.2 for these tips. By default MT doesn’t have any kind of system built in for a header and footer. Each page duplicates quite a few things. It can take some time to create a templating system but its worth it if you need to override the default template for multiple blogs that all need to look the same. Here are some tips.
MTInclude with the “file” attribute will not allow “MT tags”, they will just show up as text. Therefore I setup TMPL files for the modules that need to be created for each blog and linked to since modules allow “MT tags”.
MT will compare the time and date of the templates linked to and what it stores in the textarea. It will override the oldest (it can rewrite the files you uploaded), allowing people to edit the templates, but that isnt a good idea. Templates should be in sync with what you have saved as a backup offline and with all the other blogs you have online without having to copy and paste 1000 times. Therefore don’t use the textarea, to edit templates, edit offline and upload them, then rebuild “all pages” for each blog.
You can call a module from another module.
Templates must be on the same server. You can not call templates from another server, if you do they show tags as text.
So if you want several blogs with the same template just point them to the same TMPL files.
For security purposes, template files cannot have the following extensions: .cgi, .pm, .pl, or .cfg.