As you may have heard WordPress 2.5, the much hyped upgrade from 2.3 skipping 2.4 has been delayed for more than the promised week. I don’t know much about what they’ll be doing with the new release and took a little peak at the demo site.
So what is really different about WordPress 2.5
Admin Interface Re-design
The admin area of wordpress has seen a significant overhaul, not so much in functionality as far as I can tell, but in terms of the user-interface and design with a few added extras. Here’s hoping it works faster than the existing one as I find one of the issues is the loading time with my limited bandwidth. I logged into the 2.5 demo site and poked around a little taking a few pics.
Here’s a few screens of the admin interface
The dashboard is not customizable/widget based which means you can very much personalised your admin area ased on your own preferred usage. WordPress has been working with Happy Cog to give wordpress a re-design which will hopefully very much improve its usability. Any usability changes improvements to wordpress will take it from good to Great I think. Also with the involvement of Jeffrey Zeldman I feel alot more confident the new solution will solve many problems. I agree fully with their reasoning behind the dashboard redesign:
The Dashboardâ€™s most important role is to inform quickly and get you to where youâ€™re headed in the admin. In interviewing users, we found that most of you ignore the Dashboard entirely â€” its useful information being mostly hidden in an overly complex design.
The Admin Navigation menu
Very much more simplified which will hopefully reduce the confusion first timers experience and should make homing in on specific tasks a little more straightforward. I Particularly appreciate the little touches of detail which gives you an idea of activity at a glance like the comments bubble in the screenshot below.
Posting Interface upgraded
Because of the clunkiness of the wordpress post writing interface I’ve moved over to posting through Windows Live Writer, though I have found the code it generates to be a little messy. I still like it for the speed at which I can get a post together along with images and formatting. I hope with the new wysiwig editor interface things will happen alot faster for those of us accessing the web on South African speeds.
Moving in the direction of a full CMS
Something else which has become more important for wordpress is being able to order the display of your content in ways which suites you. 2 new tags is_front_page() & the core feature which allows you to randomly order posts allows for more flexibility in determining what shows up where.
There’s also a new media library which will among other things give you the ability to upload more than 1 file at the same time, something I know I’m definitely going to be much happier with.
The get_avatar() tag, which is something I think will play a greater role on blogs and other social networking sites as people increasingly connect randomly via the sites they visit. I’m definitely looking forward to integrating avatars into my site soon as this was part of my initial plan but the time needed to integrate them into the code meant I ditched it while I was re-developing. I love to know who’s visiting, who’s commenting and generally who’s out there.
The addition of buddypress into the wordpress family is another promising development and one I can’t wait to hti the ground with. As we know a website is nto just a website anymroe but a platform for conversation & community and even blogging as we know it is set to evolve further along those lines.
I cannot wait for the new Buddy Press plugins are released. This new feature supports the concept of multiple niche social networks across the web. While sites like Ning attempt to cater to this, the reality is that websites will continue to exist as standalone entities. As such, the new Buddy Press plugins will enable users to communicate within any blog that they find interesting.
All in all I just can’t wait for a stable version of wordpress 2.5 to hatch from the incubator now. C’mon guys, let us know what’s happening.