The release of WordPress 2.7 has been pushed back by a couple of weeks and will not be released on November 10th as scheduled. Lucky for us the WordPress 2.7 Beta 1 has been unleashed onto the world for testing purposes.
This article will be having a look at the latest enhancements and changes which are in WordPress 2.7. These changes may or may not be in the final release. So far WordPress 2.7 is looking to be a great step forward compared to previous versions and quite a few new features have been added and the administration section has been given a total overhaul.
The screenshot below is how the new WordPress Dashboard will look. As you can see the Dashboard has been given a full makeover. A new feature that has been added to the Dashboard is the “Screen Options” tab. The options enable you to remove/hide certain parts of your Dashboard like Incoming Links, Other WordPress News and basically anything else in the centre of the screen. WordPress users have now also been given a whole new navigation menu and this menu is a vertical menu placed on the left of the screen instead of the old top menu which was in all previous WordPress versions.
Below is another screenshot taken from the Dashboard. This time the screenshot is showing the new WordPress Statistics Panel that is called Right Now. As you can see the new area is compact and can be hidden if not needed. At the top of the screenshot we are able to see the “Screen Options” tab in action.
Below we have a side by side comparison of the two view options for the new Navigation Panel. The first half of the picture shows the wider Panel which includes images and text and the second half shows a compact version that uses just the images.
The next screenshot we will be looking at is the Add New Post section. All the modules on the screen like Custom Fields, Post Slug and Tags can be hidden away from view if needed by the “Screen Options” tab as in the new Dashboard. All the modules can be organised any way you want. For example the Publish module could be put under the Write Post box. A new feature that has been added to WordPress 2.7 and to the post creation section is the option to create a sticky post on the front page. A sticky post will stay on top of all other posts on the index of your site. Previously a plugin like Lester Chan’s WP-Sticky was needed to accomplish this. The Add New Page section is basically the same as the post section.
The next two screenshots we’ll be looking at is the Edit Posts section. As you can see by the first screenshot a few new features have been added, One of these features is the Quick Edit option that will drop down a menu with plenty of post options that enable you to change the post title, slug, category, timestamp and tags. A plugin like Admin Management Xtended was needed to accomplish this in the past. All these new Quick Edit options are using ajax so the changes are instant. The second screenshot is showing the Quick Edit screen.
The second new feature in the Edit Posts section is in the first screenshot, the option gives you a choice of viewing post excerpts from within the Edit Posts section (the two squares under Search Posts).
Next we will have a quick look at the new comments section. A couple of new options have been added that include Quick Edit and Reply, both of these options allow comments to be edited and to reply to comments instantly using ajax. The quick reply option will enable you to reply to comments from within your administration panel instead of viewing the whole post and all other comments. Previously we needed a plugin like Ozh’ Absolute Comments to achieve this.
The Plugins section has also had a major update to add one needed feature. This new feature enables downloading and installing plugins from within the administration panel. The choice is yours whether a new plugin can be uploaded from your computer or whether a new plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress Plugins Directory. The first screenshot is search for plugins screen and the second screenshot is the plugin install screen.
Another feature that WordPress is introducing in 2.7 is the Upgrade WordPress feature. The WordPress community has been wanting this one-click upgrade feature for quite a while now. I think the upgrade process is already quite easy even though I need to upgrade six installations every time a new version comes out, all in all it takes me roughly one hour. This Upgrade WordPress feature would come in handy for those with ten or more blogs or for someone who cannot gain access to their FTP. I will personally stick to the manual upgrade for now.
Not only has WordPress 2.7 added a whole lot of new features but they have added quite a few new tweaks for media and comments settings.
The Media Settings section now has quite a few new options for images. Images now have the option for larger images instead of just thumbnail and medium size. We are able to give images some default options, default alignment, size and link type. (None, Post URL and File).
Comments can now be broken up into pages thanks to a new template tag instead of every comment being listed on the one page. In 2.7 you will get the option to pick how many comments you want displayed on each page and some template changes might be needed for this feature to work. WordPress 2.7 now has a threaded comments feature, This feature will allow you to quote other comments. (yay, no more plugins for both of these features)
Another new option in the comments section enables you to close comments automatically on all posts/pages after a certain amount of days. This is handy for stopping comments being made on redundant topics and I would set this feature at 90 days or a similar amount of time.
I must admit this is one of this most promising WordPress releases to date! The WordPress User interface had a full overhaul in March 2008 this year and I hope this latest UI will keep the WordPress community happy this time around. I already like the feel of the new 2.7 UI (AKA crazyhorse).
- New admin UI based on the crazyhorse experimental UI branch with new menus and navigation
- New edit post page that allows dragging and dropping of meta boxes. Boxes can be expanded and collapsed as before and now also completely hidden.
- Ability to hide columns on the content index pages
- Inline editing of posts and pages on the content index pages
- Comments XMLRPC API (Who wants comment moderation on the iPhone? Me.)
- Reply to comments from the admin
- Keyboard hot keys for managing comments
- Threaded Comments and new wp_list_comments() API
- Sticky Posts
- Automatic plugin install and integrated plugin browser
- Automatic upgrade of WordPress
- HTTPOnly auth cookies
- New HTTP request API
- A new SSH2 filesystem abstraction for updates and installs over sftp