It’s a good day for WordPress users – WordPress 2.5 has officially been released. I’ve been playing around with release candidates and nightly builds for the last little while to test compatibility of the current design as well as the plugins I use. Fortunately, there were no problems, so with the official 2.5 code, I’ve gone ahead and updated the site.
WordPress 2.5, for me, is the biggest release since WordPress 2 (UTW really dulled 2.3 for me). Indeed, if you’ve tried out any of the release candidates, you’ll have noticed the significant changes to the administration portion of the application. Some features I’m really digging are:
- Admin panel update – I’m sorry, but the old admin theme was horrid, in terms of aesthetics. I’ve looked at both Movable Type and ExpressionEnginer and their administration panels were light years ahead of WordPress’. There have been plenty of improvements suggested and implemented for WordPress, but they’ve either never really left the ground (literally… like Shuttle) or became a bit derelict (Tiger Administration). The new admin panel makes writing and well, administrating, much more enjoyable. I would like to see some increased support for wider-resolution monitors, perhaps with a more fluid layout. On my 24″ widescreen panel, most administration content only reaches about 60% of the way across the screen, meaning more vertical scrolling is necessary. For an added kick, give Fluency a try. There are a few rendering issues, but it uses a fluid design, fitting my display resolution.
- Streamlined plugin updating – WordPress 2.3 added notifications to the plugin page when updates were available. Now 2.5 takes it a step further and downloads and installs the update for you, after you provide the required FTP credentials for your web server. I have in the range of 10 plugins activated and it can be annoying to keep up with updates. The process is pain-free now.
- TinyMCE 3.0 – I typically just want to write, so the visual editor works fine for me. But in some instances, I’ll manually style certain elements to make them show up the way I want to. Unfortunately, in the past, switching between HTML and Visual mode and vice versa could cause some code weirdness. The WordPress blog post on the matter put it quite succinctly – “it doesn’t mess with your code anymore“. Excellent.
- Improved media integration – The multimedia functions have undergone vast changes. You can now upload multiple objects at once and a progress meter is there to provide some user feedback as well. Embedding content is slicker as well, with the help of a built in gallery function.
Overall, some big changes, many of them things that directly affect the way I post to this site. I’ll take anything that makes writing a bit more enjoyable. Now let’s switch attention to this site, random process. I’ve implemented one plugin that should make browsing the site a bit easier and less frustrating: SRG Clean Archives.
I’ll be totally honest here, I pushed the current design, rc1, out a little before it was completely polished. The way I’ve set up the main index page (as in displaying only the first 4 posts) had some major affects on the rest of the site, including archives, search and categories. Navigating them was painful, requiring the user to browse 4 posts at a time. With about 700 posts total, you can see how that was a problem.
For now, I’ve cleared up the archives problem with the plugin mentioned above. If you click the Archives button at the top of this page, you should be presented with a nice list of all the months this blog has been written in.
I’d been meaning to redesign the site over the current work semester, but with the plethora of after-work activities I’ve gotten myself into, there just wasn’t time. Still, the intention is there, as I look over at the design mockup I drew up almost 3 months ago. Perhaps with PDEng 45 out of the way, and orchestra about to end for the semester, I’ll have some time to devote to transferring my ideas to code.