WordPress 2.7 is Sweet!

Being the impatient sod that I am, I decided to grab the public beta of WordPress that was released yesterday. I had tried to get a nightly build last week but the zip file was corrupted.

So, what’s the new version like? I have to say it’s pretty fine! Actually it’s better than that. It’s such a major improvement in the admin, and there’s plenty of nice new features built straight into it.

The Admin

This is the best improvement of all. The Admin screen has been completely redesigned again, but for the better. The upgrade on WordPress 2.5 was nice but it had removed some of the great features from before, such as being able to drag your boxes around on the Write Post/Page screen, plus it put the categories for posting below the write post box which was annoying to say the least!

The new version has got the nice sleek design look of WP 2.5 however it also has the menu to the left with all options easily available – so we no longer need to install the drop down menus plugin 🙂 The dashboard is improved in that you can write a quick post directly from there (although that’s not something I’d probably use) or moderate your comments directly in it. However, the best improvement is on the Write page. Opening up Write Post, the categories box is back to the right of the content box where it should be! You can also drag your boxes around to change the order. To add to all this, there is a screen options link up top, which you can open up and select which boxes are hidden, afterall there’s always something you never use (bye bye Tags!).

You can move boxes around on a lot of the management pages, and also turn off selected boxes and sections on various pages too. This gives you so much more flexibility in how your admin appears and can remove the clutter that you just have no use for.

New Features

There are a few new features that have already caught my eye.

WordPress Upgrader

This is now built into the default installation. You can select whether you just want to download the latest version or allow it to upgrade automatically (note this doesn’t mean it’ll upgrade as soon as a release comes out, it just means that you can press a couple of buttons and it’ll upgrade right before your very eyes rather than you having to mess around with the FTP). I’ve used the Automatic Upgrade plugin and am guessing that this upgrader is built on that, or perhaps incorporates that into the default build.

Sticky Posts

Ever wanted a featured post, or a post that stays at the top of the front page until you say otherwise? Well that’s now an option too. In the Write Post page you can tick an additional box to make the post ‘sticky’ and it will stay at the top of the front page until you uncheck it. No more need for a hidden featured posts category or anything like that!

Comment Control

You now have several more options with comments. You can select when comments are closed on older posts if you want to. For example, if you wanted to allow comments for 3 months on individual posts but then have them closed then you could turn this setting on and set it to close comments after 90 days.

The option to have threaded comments is also available. This means if someone wants to reply to a specific comment they can do, and their reply will appear below (and indented) the comment they’ve replied to rather than at the bottom of the list. It’s potentially useful but I don’t know how confusing it could be or whether it would be used, although I have seen it on other sites, it just depends how many replies a comment gets I guess.

You can select whether you want to have your comments in ascending order of date (so oldest at the top) or descending, so the newest comment is at the top of the comments.

Finally, and the most interesting to me, is to have your comments go onto more than one page if you get a large number of comments on a particular post. Recently I’ve been intending to set this up on some of my posts with more than about 25 comments, as it makes the page very long to read and load. This new feature means I don’t need a plugin to do the job. You can also set it so that the most recent posts are displayed under the post and then the user can go through the pages of comments to read older posts if they wish.

Release Date

WordPress 2.7 is currently due out on 10th November late November and I for one can’t wait! It’s going to make upgrades so much more quicker, and the improved admin will be great to work in. All I need to do now is check my plugins work with it (they should do but it’s always good to confirm this!) and also make sure they fit in with the new design.

For a full run down of the features see the 2.7 Codex Page.

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27 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    I totally agree about the new admin. It is awesome.

    If you haven’t already you should check out the WordPress Weekly podcast. On Friday Jeff interviewed Jane Wells, the person that is really behind the design of the main admin changes.

  2. Will says:

    It all sounds like a very useful upgrade with real functionality benefits to be had. Sticky posts and threaded comments especially so.

    Thanks for testing it out and summarising it, Sarah!

  3. Sarah says:

    Hey Andrew. Not a podcast person to be honest. More of a blog reader 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Just an update, it’s now not due for release until the end of the month unfortunately. Now I’m wondering whether I should upgrade my live site to it. Decisions, decisions!

  5. Sarah says:

    @Will you commented right before I did! No problem on the summary. I am far too nosey anyway and really wanted to see what was coming 🙂

  6. Amelia Smith says:

    I’ve recently started learning to manage my own blogs and I’m glad that they’ve added some new features that will shave off a few of my plugins! I have two blogs hosted elsewhere and the people who are hosting them won’t upgrade to any new versions, so my blogs are still stuck in wordpress 2.3. Dunno why, it’s frustrating and hence why I’m going out on my own very soon.
    I’m excited about the new version and will wait till the official release. But until then I’m happy to be reading reviews like yours and get myself ready.

  7. Sarah says:

    Amelia, sorry to hear your hosts are not concerned with the security of their servers! Running WordPress 2.3 is just a major invite to hackers!

    I’d recommend ditching them and get out on your own as soon as possible, or if nothing else, get a free wordpress.com site and pay the $5 or $10 a year it costs to point your own domain to the blog.

    Anyway, glad you liked the post. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  8. Sam says:

    Sounds sweet, thanks for the update Sarah. I like the sound of all the new features – sticky posts sound interesting. Can’t wait to install WP 2.7 now.

  9. Amelia Smith says:

    Thanks for the reply Sarah.
    I’m currently planning for a swap over in December. I purchased the Thesis Theme, purchased some hosting space and am doing lots of trial and error with what I want to do.
    Almost there!
    I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I appreciated having someone else taking care of things while I knew very little about hosted blogs. But the curiosity side of me wanted to learn more and now I’ve out-grown my current site!!! Not being able to upgrade wordpress or add to the plugins list the hosts have is stopping my blog from going to the next level. It’s become limited, which seems silly considering it’s a hosted blog!
    But WordPress 2.7 is going to be just great.
    I’m definitely on the bandwagon!

  10. Sounds good, Ive got a few sites going live soon using WP and the sticky post thing could be really useful.

    Thanks Sarah 🙂

  11. Goran Giertz says:

    Awesome interface, much more user friendly, and has great new features. WordPress 2.7 rocks!

    This one is definately a winner design. 😉

  12. Scott Pape says:

    I’m looking to set up a video blog on my new website – similar to the winelibrary vblog, would you recommend WP for a video blog?

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi Scott, I see no reason why not. I’ve seen WP being used for video blogging quite effectively.

    Cheers for everyone elses comments. WP 2.7 certainly looks like a great milestone.

  14. This admin screen that is coming soon sure has been reported by a few as more user-friendly than the current version. The “sticky post” feature sounds like it could be relevant for those wanting to keep a strong article at the top for any new viewers to see. Having an automatic upgrader will do quite a bit to have all users up-to-date, instead of leaving the FTP procedure for a later time.

  15. Jauhari says:

    Wow, I will wait 😉

  16. Hi there Sarah,
    I have been spending quite a lot of time learning the ins and outs of blogging with a focus on wordpress and will start helping my team create and manage blogs of their own Jan 1… the timing of this couldn’t be better for me…. thanks for the heads up 🙂

  17. Sarah says:

    Cheers for all the comments guys. Just another week and a bit to go. Beta 3 is out but I’m still holding off for the final release (only just though!)

  18. Tammie says:

    The sticky posts thing alone will be a wonderful asset for me. I know I could have installed the plugin, but by the time I realized I needed it, I heard that it would come standard in 2.7, so YAY! One less plugin to manage. Also, I love the threaded comments too.

  19. Love your writing style. Very good points.

  20. Sarah says:

    Thanks for your comments. 2.6.5 is out now for anyone still running 2.6.3. Let’s hope 2.7 isn’t far behind 🙂

  21. Andy H says:

    Hi there,

    I am at the end of my tether with WordPress 2.7.1. I recently upgraded to this new version when I had to change webhost due to them closing the service down.

    I upgraded, uploaded my previous posts and bingo, I was up and running. I managed to create some further posts through Adobe Contribute. Everything was rosey!

    Then, a few days ago I went to create a post through the dashboard screen. I entered all the info, pressed publish and the page refreshed leaving me with a new blank post screen. The problem is, the post wasn’t on the post list screen and it doesn’t show up on the internet. I’ve since tried it a ton of different ways i.e. using the html and visual editor, deleting all the widgets, changing various settings, changing themes and nothing will get it working!

    I am desperate for help as I use it for my business blog and if I can’t post, I can’t do my newsletter which is a major source of communication with my clients.

    If anyone has any ideas or experience of this issue then please please please let me know. I don’t know what else to do!

    Regards and happy blogging

    Andy

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Andy, can you detail the steps you made to upgrade your site as it sounds like it wasn’t done in the best/right order.

      Ideally you should have uploaded your site and database as it was on the old server, once that was running then upgraded WordPress. Have you tried installing a fresh version in a secure directory and just see if it works fine out of the box? If so then it’s either something missing on the upgrade, depends whether you did the upgrade by FTP or via the automatic upgrade in the admin, or whether you’ve altered the database and broken something.

      You’ll need to let me know a few more details before I can give a more accurate answer 🙂

  22. Andy H says:

    Hi there Sarah,

    Thanks for the reply. Happy to tell you as much as I can about my problems, in the hope that someone, just someone (hopefully you!) might be of help.

    Exactly as it happened then: First, I took a download of my database when it was hosted with my old host Lycos. At the time I was on version 2.3 I think.

    I wanted to upgrade anyway and I thought there would be all sorts of problems if I uploaded and then upgrade (boy I wish I’d have done it that way now!), so I installed version 2.7 as a fresh installation. My new host Justhost, then uploaded the data dump from my old version and after a bit of messing about, getting it to point to the right places, it was up and running just fine.

    I started adding a few more posts and it all worked nicely. Then I tried to upload a post through adobe contribute and it wouldn’t connect. I sorted that, but it wouldn’t allow me to publish a post. I tried it through the admin screen in wordpress and it just wouldn’t work.

    The rest is pretty much as per my last post. I haven’t done anything fancy to it or added any widgets. I’d be happy knowing I’d done something stoopid and undoing it but I can’t even think of anything I’ve done.

    Well you asked for it and there it is, as full as I can remember.

    If you can help I’d be eternally grateful.

    Andy

  23. Sarah says:

    So your WP was working to begin with on the new server, then you tried using contribute, then it stopped. Do you use a plugin for that? As I’ve never heard of Adobe Contribute working with WordPress. If you do then try disabling that plugin and try using WordPress as normal.

    If you don’t have a plugin for contribute look at your other plugins and deactivate them all, try posting, see if it works. If it does then one of those is the culprit and you’ll have to turn each one on individually, test a post, then move on to the next until you find which one is causing the problem.

    Let me know if any of that is of use. However, it sounds like the connection for contribute is the potential problem.

  24. Andy Hughes says:

    Hi Sarah,

    It’s not contribute because it worked while I was using contribute. Adobe contribute is part of the adobe design suite used for updating the blog direct from the web. it’s not a widget.

    I’ve tried taking off all the widgets and it made no difference, still had the problem without any activated. I also did an upgrade from 2.7 to 2.7.1 just to see if that would clear the problem but it didn’t.

    Not sure what else to do or try apart from uninstall the whole thing and reinstall, which I really really really don’t want to do.

    My fuse is running short as they say.

    Regards

    Andy

    • Sarah says:

      No, I realise what contribute is 😉 I just wasn’t sure if it needed a plugin to work with WordPress (note, a widget is simply something that is added to your sidebar, a plugin is something that is listed under Plugins and does not necessarily create a widget). When you say you took off all the widgets I assume you mean, you deactivated all plugins via the Plugins admin page?

      It sounds to me like you need to export your WP site via Tools -> Export, then completely remove the installation, install it again from fresh, import your exported XML file, and then try again within WP. If that works then give Contribute another go. Something somewhere has got corrupt or a setting in the database has gone wrong. Your export won’t include these settings, just your posts, pages, comments and links. Of course you can also back up your entire database using phpMyAdmin or using the WP Backup plugin. However, that’s going to be your best option.

  1. Sun, 30 November, 2008

    […] the release of WordPress 2.7 just around the corner, I've had a chance to look at the new features and the updates needed […]

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