WordPress 2.7 is to be publically released in the next week, and a whole bunch of features have been packed in, looking past the obvious such as the new redesign. The new dashboard, Screen options, Plugins, Themes and Core upgrades and the media library!
New Commenting system
The Comments section of WordPress has been completely redone, rethought and redesigned. Quick Edit, Reply, and Keyboard Navigation Moderation are the most notable!
You are now able to edit comments right from the full comments screen. If you click ‘Quick Edit’ when you hover over a comment in the moderation screen, the comment is replaced with an edit panel, where you can edit the Name, URL, email and content of the comment. This inline editor is great as it saves a whole lot of time going to the individual edit screen to edit a comment.
So your blog may have heavy discussion, and to reply to them at bulk you have to find the comment, remember what it says, scroll down to the ‘add comment’ form, type it and send it off. Now, with WordPress 2.7 you can reply to comments live on the same page. By clicking ‘Reply’ a form appears below the comment which you can fill out and reply- quick and easy and painless!
One of the coolest features yet, WordPress has developed a system with jQuery that allows you to moderate the comments via the keyboard! You can scroll between comments using the J and K key. A approves comments, U unapproves the comment, S marks the comment as Spam, and D deletes the selected comment. R initiates the Reply (as above) which you can escape that with esc, and Q initiates Quick Edit. This allows for a much quicker moderation experience.
New Dashboard Features
The messy, clunky Right Now section of the old version of WordPress has been pressed into a small grid, which cleanly displays all the information about activity on the website. This enables it to be much more readable and understandable, rather than an ugly spot on the dashboard. It greatly contributes to the refined look of the 2.7 admin.
Another cool set of features are the two QuickPress and Press This.
QuickPress is basically a very stripped down ‘Add Post’ Widget on the front of the Dashboard. It provides, once again a quick way to use frequently accessed functions that usually take pages to get to.
Press This is kind of like a Quick Digg Link, or A StumbleUpon quick link. Basically you save a bookmark that looks something like this:
And when you find a website that you like, you can easily blog about it by clicking the Press This Bookmark, which opens a new window with the link to the page you are currently browsing! Great for Networking, and easy enough for anybody to use!
Due to the monument of information displayed onscreen at any one time, the Developers have added a handy feature called ‘Screen Options’. Basically you can decide which sections you see on any page that has a tab. When clicked, it expands to show a number of check buttons that correspond to their sections on the admin page.
These sections are also rearrangeable! You can drag and drop the ‘widgets’ around the place, make it so you have your optimum setup possible.
The guys at WordPress have built in an API for the plugin repository on WordPress.org/extend, which allows you to install plugins directly from your Admin section. This beats the process of searching, finding, downloading, uploading then activating the plugin, by simply searching, and installing.
It’s that easy. There is also a Tag Cloud to link to lists of popular search terms/plugins.
For those plugins that are on other sites, there is a simple upload form that allows you to upload the plugin and go from there.
Although not significant, this new feature allows you to upload files to your WordPress uploads without having to create a post to do so. This is great if you want to upload a zip or some other large file to your hosting without having to go through FTP. The benefit is that it attaches a whole lot of meta data to the upload too!
Post management has been completely revolutionised with ‘Bulk Edit’. By selecting multiple files then adding an ‘edit’ filter, you can bulk moderate files in regards to their tags, categories, etc.
If you find a button, you can also toggle between displaying posts a certain way, with a short excerpt, or without.
Honourable Mention: Interface change.
Ok. Understandably I can’t overlook the biggest new feature; a complete interface overhaul. They have scrapped the colourful motifs, and have moved to a grey colour scheme, that is much more aesthetically pleasing. Word is they also have a blue admin theme in the pipeline!
Not only is the menu now vertical (which ensures no wrapping happens, allows for unlimited amounts of menu items, but it is also collapsable. This saves a whole lot of space on the page whilst still having the full menu accessible. Plugin and Theme developers can upload their own icons and use the API to add them to the menu!
The new grey motif is a lot slicker and clean cut that the more childish blue and orange one. The admin interface has always been somewhat unrefined, and WordPress 2.7 finally gives it the overhaul it needs. The new interface is much tighter and robust than the others, whilst still being flexible; a hard feat to achieve! Kudos Jane!
Finally, the new layout is a lot more intelligent, efficient and easier to use. It provides for a more faster and more flexible workflow. It allows you to ‘custom build’ your interface so that it suits you best.
Now what’s your excuse?
WordPress 2.7 is the last excuse gone for you not to switch. The new interface and features completely revolutionise blogging, and the tightened interface is a dream to look at. Go get it and learn it!
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