Very early Saturday morning, WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 was released for users to play with and test. They stressed that it is an early beta, but they didn’t want to wait anymore to release it. There are many new exciting features and enhancements. I installed the new version of WordPress to peak at what is new, and so far I am loving it. I will go over some of the new features, and give you a look at them.
I noticed new features before WordPress finished installing. The installation process has been reworked to make it more friendly and your blog more customized from the beginning. You now have the opportunity to chose your username, so you can have something other than the old default, “admin”. In addition, you can set your password right at the installation screen. There is no more automatically generated password, and the “Hey, change your password!” reminder when you first sign in. This not only reduces the steps you need to take to set up your site, but increases security greatly.
Since they added the password reminder, most people do change their password right away when they install, but some may forget about it. Hackers may be able to get into your site using a tool that generates passwords similar to WordPress’ generator. Now your site can have a custom password from the beginning, and a custom username if you wish. Hackers will have to guess your username and your password.
The WordPress backend theme has been updated to a more modern looking grey color. In addition to the color, the font in the content editor for pages and posts has changed. It got a bump up in size and change from black to a dark grey.
The default theme has been updated as well. The new theme, aptly named “Twenty Ten”, includes support for all of the new features, and six widget areas. There are two widget areas in the right sidebar, and four in the footer.
Comments directly on the page/post in the backend
When you’re viewing a page or post in the backend, you can now view all the comments that have been posted to it. The new comments section is not a replacement for the existing comments section, it’s just a way to extend it. In the new section, you can control all aspects of the comment like you can now in the existing section.
The themes section has been revamped to include tabs for your existing themes, and to install themes. Both of these functions are available now, but the tabs make them more prominent. In WordPress 2.9, there is also no way to get back to the “Manage Themes” page without selecting it from the menu on the left, or using your back button.
This may be one of my favorite new features. Keep in mind that this is far from complete. They say that it will not function/look the same in the next beta, but they didn’t want to hold up the beta release for this one section.
The new menu system gives non-web-savvy people control over their menus on their website. I just had an experience that this menu system would have been perfect for. I created a client’s site that had all menus and dropdowns dynamically populating from their pages and categories. They only wanted some of these pages to be displayed, so I created a custom field solution to display certain pages in the menu.
With this new menu system, users can just go into the “Menus” page and select what they want to display in the menu. Users can create multiple menus, which can then be placed on the page via PHP code or widgets. Users can put any link in the menu they want. They can link an existing page or category, and even custom links to any URL. When linking to an existing page or category, the user can search for the page name, and WordPress will find all the pages with that word in the title. From the results, that link can added to the menu.
There are a few other new features such as the ability to change the background and header images within the backend. I’m assuming these are theme dependent features, but I haven’t tested them out yet. There is also a new “featured image” area when editing a post or page. I added a featured image to one of the posts, but didn’t notice any changes. I’m assuming this feature isn’t quite finished.
Explore WordPress 3.0
If you want to check out WordPress 3.0 for yourself, hop over to the WordPress blog post and download the release! Leave a comment if you find a new feature that I have missed, or comment about your favorite new feature.