When I logged into this blog the other day and saw that there was a WordPress upgrade available a few things crossed my mind. Firstly I thought “Excellent, I wonder what new features it has?” and secondly, I wondered “If I upgrade will it mess up my site?”
Obviously I want to keep everything as current as possible but I was worried that by upgrading it would render some of my plugins inoperable (in that “this plugin has not been tested with your version” way). I ignored the message for a while and then decided (after viewing the upgraded feature list) that the pro’s more than outweighted the cons. So off I toddled and to carry out the automatic upgrade. I must say, the auto upgrade feature is amazing, so fast and easy to use and always works like a dream. After upgrading I checked out my site and its plugins and everything was hunky-dory leaving me in peace to go play with the new version.
Looking through the new features there were some that I was dying to get my grubby mits onto and others I could take or leave. With the after effects of a fun teambuilding night last night, I am feeling far too positive to concentrate on the ‘take or leave’ features so here’s a quick list of the bits that made me smile.
Easy theme installing (and finding!)
Just like with plugins, you can now easily browse for themes and install them through the admin area without having to mess around FTP’ing them to the server first. When browsing for the themes you can search for exactly what you want by filtering your serach results (number of colums, colours etc).
Better widget layout
Ok, so this is more just a cosmetic change but the way the widgets are now displayed seems a lot clearer. For example on the right hand side the sidebars are more obvious. You can also remove widgets from a sidebar and choose to keep or delete their settings depending on which panel you drag them back into. Handy if you are deactivating a plugin but intend on re-instating it at some point.
With 2.8 you can now easily edit all the plugin files from the admin area. Previously you had to edit the uplaod changes so this will save time and effort.
Syntax highlighting in code editor
The code is now easier to read such in the plugin and theme editors with syntax highlighting. Previous to this when I’ve had difficulty I have always copied the code into another editor to find a problem so once again, it’s bound to be a time saver.
Lets you arrange the wordpress dashboard into handy colums for easily displaying what you need. Maybe not as exciting as the syntax highlighting or theme editing but it still makes for a nice welcome each time I’ve logged on!