WordPress 3.0 has just been released and we decided to use on of our blogs as a guinea pig for a bit of testing and trying out of the new features. WordPress 3.0 is the 13th iteration of WordPress, it took 6 months to complete and involved the work of 218 contributors. That’s a lot of people working together to bring the world this updated release so hat’s off to them all for giving up their time and expertise to get involved.
Having just installed it this is a brief post on my first thoughts but I’ll follow it up once I’ve had a proper look round.
Admin Theme Update
So my first thought on upgrading was that the admin area has had a theme update, still the same easy navigation but just a touch brighter and lighter.
One reasonably small point (but one that will save a few seconds) is a a drop down in the top right. So now it’s faster to quickly pull up a page for a new post, edit comments etc without waiting for the menu on left to drop down. OK, I know this will only save a few second but time is money ‘n all!
Admin Editable Menus
Among the features of this upgrade is the ability to easily edit/add sub menus through the administration panel without having to play about with the theme.You will need to ensure your theme supports this but with a little editing it’s easy to get it working with this new feature (read more). I love the drag and drop for the menu system too (the way the widgets already worked), it makes the job of editing menus so simple and fast. Adding menus through the widgets keeps it simple too – no messing around in the code.
Bulk Plugin Update
Another update is the ability to upgrade loads of plugins in one fell swoop, another a labour saving update that I shall be using.
Custom Post Type
From my basic reading the way I understand it is that using custom post types lets you section out your content into a more organised structure and into a far more usable way. Each ‘type’ can be tailored to the specific type of content it will hold and get rid of extraneous options. I think this will make it a much easier product to demonstrate and admin for our clients.
This feature also lets you display content at the other end by ‘type’ so for example if you have a YouTube ‘type’ you can pull out (display) all the YouTube entries only and not all the other posts in the site too.
I like my organisation and lists so I can see myself really getting into custom post types because everything can benefit from given an order can’t it!?
A really great explanation of customer post types is over at kovshenin.com and is well worth a read.
Multiple Sites – One Installation
One major feature that I have yet to read up on is the ability to run multiple ‘sites’ from one installation. This is something we have been asked for previously and if only we’d been asked this week instead we’d have been able to say yes (instead of sourcing an alternative solution). I’ll be looking into this over the weekend and I think it deserves it’s own post.
A Little Reflection!
A few months ago I had the pleasure of working on a friends WordPress site, they still had version 2.1 running so the difference between that and the version I was running at that time (2.8 I think) was huge. It was good to go back and work on this ‘retro’ version to get a good feel of what had been changed and the feature that I now heavily rely upon. I have a feeling that when I’ve had a really good look round WordPress 3.0 I’ll be under the same impression.
So, go and upgrade it and if you have any thoughts then drop us a comment.
Plugins (post-publish addition)
So while playing with the upgrade at the weekend I noticed another nifty wee feature. When you go to update your plugins (which can now be done in one bulk update) WordPress 3.0 now tells you the % compatability of upgrading with your current install based on customer reviews. Again, just a wee time saving addition but one that’s pretty handy.