Since I am using WordPress almost exclusively for building my own affiliate sites, I decided to join the WordPress 2.7. beta testers so I could give you a quick overview of what is coming. What I cover here is only a small part of WordPress 2.7., and represents what I found interesting in the hour or two I have had to play with it.
The site I installed it on is a fairly new one, although it did have an earlier version of WordPress installed. The update from my previous version went without any hitches. I edited the new wp-config.php file and then just uploaded the WordPress 2.7. files, over-writing the older WordPress files. When the upload was finished, the database needed updating, but as usual WordPress took care of that with a click of a button.
I was into the new WordPress Dashboard, and this is what it looked like:
You’ll see the Quick Press feature on the dashboard page. This will allow you to quickly make posts, but don’t expect any frills with this feature.
You’ll also notice the navigation bar across the top has gone, and its now down the left hand side of the screen. Clicking any of the menu items on the left will open up the menu to show all of the options. In the next screenshot, I have clicked on the “Plugins” item:
You can then access the various pages within that group.
The various pages of WordPress 2.7. look very similar to the version 2.6., but there are a few new additions. For example, on the new post screen, there is an option in the top right that allows you to “stick” a post to the front page:
Rumour is, that the author of the WP-Sticky plugin is now going to stop updating his plugin as this new feature built into WordPress 2.7. appears to do the same thing (although its not quite as flexible).
You’ll also have a link on most pages to the page options, which allow you to turn on or off various columns. Here you can see the options on the “Edit Pages” page:
It looks like WordPress developers are taking the most popular plugins, and building in the functionality directly into the WordPress interface. Hopefully this isn’t going to bloat WordPress, and it will mean less problems with plugin incompatibility, since more and more of the plugins will become obsolete.
NOTE: I am using the latest build of WordPress 2.7. and after looking at screenshots from other sites, I must warn you that the interface in my screenshots may not be the final interface.
You can read about the new features on the WordPress Site, but here are some of the additions that I am looking forward to:
- Sticky Posts
- Reply to comments from admin
- Core updating – which will allow you to update your version of WordPress from within the Dashboard. This functionality is currently done with the Automatic Upgrade plugin.
- Plugin browser embedded which means plugins can be installed directly from within the Dashboard. No more FTP! Below, you can see a screenshot of the current “Add Plugin” screen, showing that you will be able to search for and install plugins directly from within the Dashboard:
Searching for a plugin gives you a list of matches, with a link to install:
As you can see, this is a fantastic feature.
WordPress 2.7. is going to be a great upgrade, and I read somewhere that it is scheduled for a release date in November 2008. While it is looking good, it is not stable yet, so don’t be tempted to join the beta testing just to install it on an existing blog.