What You Need to Know!

It goes without saying that one of the best blogging tips you’re going to get is to use WordPress.  Back in January, though, they announced that they were going to blow through their usual 120-day cycle and actually skip the release of WordPress. 2.4, and put out 2.5 on time in March.

Well, according to Aaron Brazell of TechoSailor.com, they’ve now got a Release Candidate out, although the official release date hasn’t yet been announced.  But if you use Wordpress.com or have had a look at the demo site, you’ll know what’s upcoming.  I’ll try and summarize what Aaron’s posted and include the stuff I find most relevant to myself.

 New Admin Interface

This is going to be the most obvious change that you’ll see.  The colour scheme has been changed to include lighter blues, greys and and even some orange thrown in there as well.  It’s a very “Web 2.0″ experience, and if you don’t mind that, then you might not mind the new interface.  If, however, even the term “Web 2.0″ makes you look around for something to bludgeon, then maybe you’ll want to create your own custom look, which you can now do.

Menu Layout

When you log in, you’re liable to say, uh, where’d everything *go*?  The main tabs on the dashboard when you log in are now limited to Write, Manage, Design (formerly Presentation) and Comments.  Settings, Plug-ins, and Users have been moved to the right hand side of the layout, almost as secondary menus.

Personally, I’d like the ability to move the main tabs around on the dashboard.  I never use the Write tab, simply because I do all of my posting from Windows Live Writer.  So I’d like to be able to swap Write for Plug-ins, for example.  I’m more likely to activate and de-activate plug-ins.

Widgets

Holy crap.  I like it.  The whole concept of moving the widgets around and laying them out the way you want just got a whole lot better in my opinion.  Aaron wasn’t wild about it, saying it feels like more work, but I have to say I really like the changes.  It doesn’t feel like a module from 1999 that just got woven in.  Much better, guys.

New Visual Editor

Sorry, but like I mentioned above, I don’t deal with the writing process inside WordPress, so I don’t really have an opinion on this one.  Maybe someone else could give it a try in the demo and let us know, eh?

Automatically Upgraded Plug-ins

A nice feature, but a security risk.  This would require your plug-ins to be updated from anywhere, automatically.  If this doesn’t make you a little nervous, it probably should.  You will have the option of disabling this, however, and updating your plug-ins the old fashioned way, too.

Time stamping

Apparently it’s been given a complete re-write, and it’s long past time.  The options now are much move like Movable Type (ugh) where you specify where a post is published or not, and you can then modify the time stamp if you wish.  It’s something that needs to be seen to really get it.So that’s what I got from Aaron’s post that meant the most to me.  Have a look at the full post, by all means, and see what might be in there for you. If you’re a bleeding-edger, you can test the latest version by getting it from: http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/trunk but all of the standard disclaimers apply.  You’re on your own.When the release date is announced I’ll be posting about it here on BloggingNotes.

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