Yes, I said it. And any of you who are WordPress fanatics probably already know about it. But I, being a lowly developer still on sabbatical, just heard about it this morning. I received an email from an old colleague of mine to inform me of this fun new release.
Rumor has it that WordPress 3.0 will be released on May 1, 2010 (just in time for my birthday!), and that it will include fun new features like combining WPMU with the regular WP installation (so you can have all the multi-blog fun of WPMU but using a regular single installation that’s not run by the MU – if that makes any sense!) We will also say bye-bye to Kubrick as the default theme, and hello to “Twenty Ten” to replace it.
As I said, these are rumors. But hearing just these juicy tidbits got me fairly excited. I haven’t really been this excited about WordPress in quite a while. I was so happy to hear this stuff this morning that I actually logged into the subversion access and downloaded the alpha, and installed it on my localhost – something I haven’t done in a very long time.
I’m going to tell you the cool stuff I’ve noticed right off the bat. Now keep in mind, this is just the alpha – which means the things I’m noticing could easily be changed. (This also makes me think that the May 1 release date is probably just for beta testing, because to actually have the release fully completed and issued as a release candidate by that date seems very ambitious to me.) But even so, just the installation process has such neat changes that I would be happy with just that! So do bearing mind that any of these things I’ve seen could be scratched at any point prior to beta testing for various reasons.
1. Better Installation Options
I can’t quite figure out the correct way to say this, so I went for the above line. it’s not that you have a crapton of new choices and options, but it seems to take security in mind. I’m not a “security guru” either, but I do know that when I install WordPress for anyone, I take certain steps to help aid in keeping it from being hacked. I do things like ensure the default “wp_” table prefix is changed in the wp-config.php file, and make sure I remove the default “admin” login and change it to something else.
3.0 takes care of at least part of this for you. Instead of assigning the default “admin” and random character password generated for you, you get to set it yourself during the installation process. As you can see (from the screenshot to the left) the regular same ol’ stuff is involved, but you can now create your own login name, and set your own password, without having to jump through the hoops of changing it after the installation process is complete.
I would also like to note that the old Authentication Keys (which you add to your wp-config.php file) have been expanded to include salts. Hackers will definitely have more work cut out for them if they want to break into your site. (Now, for each unique key, there’s a salt attached to it.) So I can definitely see how they are keeping security as a priority here.
I can verify that the default theme (as mentioned above) is now “Twenty Ten“, but “Kubrick” and the old “Classic” are still standbys, and are still available to use.
But there is new awesomeness: the “Themes” section is now tabbed, so you can manage themes in one screen, and install new themes in another. Remember the old “themes.wordpress.org” site? Looks like we now have it in the back end of your WordPress area. You can browse through themes, select options for your search – very handy and totally cool. (it also appears you can do this with Plugins as well!) You can even upload your own custom theme work from the back end – no more need to FTP in and do your thing (just upload the .zip file and go!)
Total awesomeness – even though the “Widgets” area seems to be pretty much the same – you might notice a new option: menus. You can now create customized menus from the back end of your site – no more messing with tons of code to pull it off. Classes are even added to define your menu items (using “menu-item-Custom or “menu-item-page”, etc. and even further by assigning numerical items to each one for further CSS customization) to make it really easy to create a customized menu for yourself.
Even creating dropdowns is dead-easy – if you want a menu item to show up as the child of another one you’ve created, just drag-n-drop. Bam. it’s now a child, dropdown/flyout created.
Further coolness: you can create your own headers and upload your own backgrounds easily through the back end as well.
3. Exporting Content
Exporting now has new goodness: you can now define what you want to export. Before, all you had was an option to restrict your export to a particular author. Now you have the option to also restrict status, category, and what type of content (Pages? Posts? Or all?)
There’s still a lot of yummy stuff I haven’t completely trolled through yet – for instance I don’t see any indication that WPMU has been rolled into this as rumored. However, it does appear that you can download and install the BuddyPress plugin (which used to be solely for WPMU) and use it on single installations of WordPress. But this isn’t something that’s being saved for 3.0 – you can do it right now and use it with 2.9.x.
I stand freaking corrected! To enable “multiple blogs” on this, you just have to add the following line to your wp-config.php file:
I’ll note here that – as with WPMU – it will not run on localhost properly just by using “http://localhost” or “http:/127.0.0.1″ – you have to have a virtual hosts setup. I have a tutorial on how to set up a local virtual host already, if you’re interested.Once you do that, and go under “Tools”, you will see a new menu item called “Network”. Hot damn, that’s cool. I picked up this tidbit on the wp-testers list, and from the discussion going on, this looks like a temporary thing. What I’m gathering is, at one time, there was just a button on the back end to enable this, but for some reason, it was removed in last night’s build, and this is the temporary solution while they continue testing.
All in all, this looks very promising to me. The new features that are put in here, I think, will not only aid the run-of-the-mill blogger to manage and control his own site, but I think that these initial things I see will also help developers who used to think that WordPress was too hard to code for become my competition