I Heart WordPress Version 2.5!

As some of you may have noticed while logging in today, WordPress 2.5 has finally been released! This version packs a lot of new stuff into the already pretty wicked awesome WordPress software that we all know and love. Noticeable changes include a brand new user interface for all the backend stuff and a lot of great new features that make blogging that much easier. It definitely seems like a much more mature version of the software with sleek new lines, features, and smarter placements of often used functions. The developers did say that this version was heavily influenced by the users and it shows.

I Can’t Believe I Just Installed It…

I always chomp at the bit when I do an upgrade, so I started with Kelly’s blog (sorry!). After that went off without a hitch, I moved to MegaTechNews, then this blog, and then finally, the big daddy, Futurelooks. The process was so easy and so “5 minutes” that it was like the software taunted me to keep going. I was afraid that the taunting would lead to some catastrophic failure one of the times. Nope. In fact, the actual database upgrade took like a second. In fact, it took longer just to copy over the files on the server. If you’re not familiar with the process, or are running an older version, please backup, then follow the directions.

Well, I’m still here after a few hours, and have had a chance to play with the software for a bit. Here are a few of my favourite features.

New Posting Interface

One of the things that has always annoyed me about WordPress was the fact that you couldn’t use a full sized window. Well, in version 2.5, the software now allows you to use a full sized window to edit your posts in. No more scrolling up and down to see parts of your post. Editing the articles at Futurelooks have always been a challenge because of the number of pictures in each article and the multiple pages.

By having the full screen editing window, I can get my edits and formatting done quicker than ever. The writers will also enjoy the enhanced flexibility of the software in this respect, as the new posting area seems to leave your formatting alone instead of mucking with your code. Not to mention, it’s just plain easier to work in a large window.

New Media Management

In addition to these useability changes, file management is greatly improved, allowing you to upload pictures, music, even video to your wordpress blog. A new media management area is created allowing you to see what media files you’ve uploaded for your post, and then, globally, what media files you have throughout the site. Did I mention it supports multiple uploads now? Sweet Home Alabama! 😀

Combining a search function, you can find pictures you’ve uploaded in the past and reuse them, instead of always having to upload new ones because you forgot that you’ve already uploaded them in the past. This is, provided, that you’ve tagged them using the handy dandy tagging features. The new upload function also gives you a status indicator so you aren’t sitting around wondering if that file is uploading or not. That’s very handy for when you’re uploading larger files like videos and audio files.

The only downside is that in the aformentioned full-screen edit window, you can’t access this media gallery. Not to mention, all you Internet Explorer users will not be able to use this new feature as it seems broken in that browser. Seems to work just fine in Firefox. Silly Internet Exploder!  I would love to see the WordPress Team put a button in the Full-Screen edit window that allows you to call up the media management gallery.

Yeah, I Heart It!

I’ve installed a lot of plugins and altered a lot of files to get the functionality that WordPress 2.5 gives you out of the box. It’s such a nice piece of software now that all you really need is a great looking template to go with it. That’s not to say that it wasn’t awesome before, but this version is clearly a much more mature. The WordPress Team has clearly outdone themselves and have really listened to the users.

Aside from the minor Internet Exploder glitches, it’s definitely pretty solid so far. I’d definitely install it if you haven’t already done so. Just make sure you grab all the updated plugins before you make the jump as I noticed that nearly all the plugins that I held dear issued updates as soon as 2.5 hit the web. Other than that, I’m pleased with the experience, and I know that there are still a few things to tidy up, but it isn’t enough to make me want to roll back. I just heart it too much to really care. Download this bad boy!