WordPress 2.5, First Thoughts

So, I’ve installed the new WordPress version on one live site, none of the plugins stopped working and the live site appears fine. Looking on the Codex at the Version 2.5 page it doesn’t seem like much has changed with the core code or maybe that’s just because the page isn’t complete yet. So what’s the main change and why are plugin developers not happy? That’s because the admin has changed radically. Apparently it’s from user feedback but I wish they gave us the option of the old layout still.

I’ve noted down my findings so far, the pros and cons of the new WordPress admin. Let’s just say I’ll be playing with some CSS to override the layout and see if I can improve it for my own liking.

The following is just my own opinion, being a seasoned user of the old WP layout. It’s just my observations ;o)

The Bad Points

  • On the default installation the menu is all over the place with some items in the usual horizontal menu area, some on the far right and a couple at the top of the page. Thankfully the Admin Menus plugin fixes that and brings it into line.
  • On the manage pages it used to list pages in page order which was handy to see the order of your menu on the front end. It’s now in ID order
  • On the manage posts/pages they used to list the ID number next to the post/page. That’s gone, so you have to hover over the title to see the ID in the link.
  • On the new/edit post/page the side column has been put below the main box and you can’t drag and drop to reorder, so important boxes are right at the bottom, easily missed.
  • The timestamp box is hidden on post page and you have to click the Edit link by the ‘Publish Immediately’ in the box on the right.
  • The new/edit post/page page doesn’t fill the screen. There’s a lot of wasted white space on the right now.
  • Whilst most plugins work, plugins with admin sections need redesigning to fit in with new design.
  • On the manage post/page list you have to click the post/page name to edit it or click the published/unpublished to view it – not very obviously at first.

The Good Points

  • Upload image box neatly hidden out of site
  • On uploading, the image can be positioned with css, good for novices (just have to set up the CSS for the classes alignleft and alignright)
  • On the new/edit post page there’s handy info on the right with last saved time, preview post link comes up in a neat position and after first auto save
  • You can delete multiple posts or pages with one click, but then again how many people delete more than one post/page at a time?
  • The comment section is nicely laid out.
  • Gravatars are built in.

Overall, if I can reposition the layout to suit my own tastes then I can’t see the new admin being that much of an issue and easy enough to get used to. The plugins have just visual issues and should continue to work regardless. There’s a new gallery built in although I’ve not really sussed how to use it yet!

So all in all well yeah, it’s okay. Just wish they’d not messed with the admin.

Update: Check the compatibility of the plugins used at 2.5 Plugin Compatibility. Of course, not all plugins are listed and that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Best option is to install WP 2.5 locally or in a hidden directory and check everything’s okay there first. Or just go for it and worry about the broken bits later 😉

9 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Just came across a WordPress 2.5 FAQ along with a plugin to remove the fixed width aspect of the posting area – Remove Max Width.

  2. slee says:

    nice run down and nice to get some actual facts about how it works now. i really need to play with 2.5 and update my own site.

  3. Sarah says:

    I think that’s the main step, either install 2.5 locally, or just install it on your site. At the end of the day we’ll have to make this step for security and plugins.

    Also found a plugin that displays IDs in the manage post/page listings – http://www.schloebe.de/wordpress/reveal-ids-for-wp-admin-25-plugin/

  4. Jem says:

    Although I don’t use WP personally I was armed with the task of upgrading Karl’s blog at sirbendy.co.uk and it actually went a lot more smoothly than I expect – in fact, the upgrade fixed a few issues caused by the last version.

    I like the setup of the admin panel, but I’m not sure if that would be true if I had to use it frequently?

    Ah well, I’m sure all the negative posts on WP2.5 that I’ve been reading will disappear as people get used to the change.

  5. Sarah says:

    Upgrades do seem pretty smooth. Nothing major in the database to change which helps. I think the main complaint is just the radical admin change, without the option to keep the old look. Some of the standards things have been hidden (such as the IDs for posts/pages) and I think it’s less user friendly in a couple of areas as mentioned on the bad points list.

    But it’s only a visual thing. A couple of plugins and a little CSS later and that can be fixed. It’s nothing major 😉

  6. Mike Touch says:

    It’s been bugging me to update for a while now but I am happy with it at the moment so I really do not want to risk updating and then having plugins not working and templates messed up.

    Thanks for the informative post though. I will most probably update quite soon.

  7. Sarah says:

    Mike, I doubt you’ll find your templates don’t work. Most plugins work too, besides a few admin specific ones. Easiest thing is to upgrade either a quiet site or set it up somewhere and test all of your plugins on that first.

  8. Mike Touch says:

    I think I may get a new template anyway. Mine doesn’t look very good AT ALL!

    Thanks for the helpd

  9. Sarah says:

    Mike, sorry, your comments keep getting trapped in Akismet for some reason.

    Your template doesn’t look too bad although your links on the right could be a bit darker, same for your nav up top. The blue is a bit hard to read on a blue background.