WordPress 2.5 RC1

Wordpress 2.5 RC1

WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1 is out and it’s causing the stir among WordPress fans. From the WordPress website:

A customizable dashboard, multi-file upload, built-in galleries, one-click plugin upgrades, tag management, built-in Gravatars, full text feeds, and faster load times sound interesting? Then WordPress 2.5 might be the release for you. It’s been in the oven for a while, and we’re finally ready to open the doors a bit to give you a taste.

The items on the post page have been shuffled around into a more logical order: the post data has now gone below the post entry box (which, incidentally, uses a new revision of TinyMCE which works properly in Safari). The save/publish buttons have moved to the sidebar, and there’s also a ‘related’ section underneath that. It is very intuitive. This also applies to the page authoring interface. Tags now have a category-like management system, which allows you to delete tags you don’t want. This matches the interface of the overall category, link and post management systems. All are excellent, clean and gorgeous.

Not that there was anything really wrong with WordPress before, but an upgrade like this will be widely accepted and greatly appreciated. On the backend, you can add your own RSS feeds to the dashboard and edit the way information is presented so that the new Dashboard conforms to the way you use WordPress. The WordPress backend navigation hasn’t always been the easiest thing to understand. With the admin area, they’ve cut the number of navigation options in half, separating the primary functions (writing, managing posts and pages, editing the blog’s theme…) from secondary functions.

The new write screen is similar to the one in 2.3 in that it only displays the information that you’ll use most often. In 2.3 you could expand options like “discussion”, “post password”, and “post timestamp”. It displays the most common fields in a way that makes posting incredibly easy, it anticipates the natural flow of the way you write, and is smart enough to remember the way you left it so that you don’t have to arrange your writing space to the way you like it every time you begin a new post. The new visual editor has an awesome full-screen mode that will surely help those with short attention-spans. The manage screen to me has always been a cluster…well…a big mess. In 2.5 the manage screens have been redesigned and unified so that now, managing your pages, posts, media, and comments all use similar, consistent interfaces.

Another nifty feature in 2.5 is the introduction to Admin Color Schemes. When asked if users would be able to create new admin styles and color schemes a member of the development team stated “New color schemes can be added as plugins”. For those of you interested in learning more about creating admin CSS styles this is how you would go about doing it. Recently the first full fledged admin theme for 2.5 has been released. It’s called Fluency.

For those of you interested in trying out the Release Candidate 1, download it from here: http://wordpress.org/wordpress-2.5-RC1.zip and join up on their mailing list here: http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-testers. Official sneak peak here.


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