WordPress 3.0 Thelanious released!

WordPress 3.0 code named Thenolious has been released and from what I have seen playing around with it, it looks promising and even comes with a brand new default theme finally! I have written a few comments about some of the new features below. By the way this blog  is now running on WordPress Thenolious.

A new default theme called Twenty Ten:

Twenty Ten is plain and simple yet elegant and easily customisable. It allows you to change the top banner image or remove it all together and set a background image or colour all within WordPress without having to edit any source code. A lot of people would find this feature useful. It also means you can set up a decent looking site with very little effort.

Twenty Ten theme screen shot

A slightly crispier and cleaner interface:

In terms of looks not much seems to have changed in the backend except for the new feature buttons here and there. It has a slightly crispier and cleaner look I thought.

Wordpress 3.0 dashboard screenshot

Changes to Menus:

You can now create multiple menus, menu items and sub-menus all within WordPress and menus can be displayed anywhere on the page including the sidebar and footers depending on your template. Menu items can be created to link to categories or URLs including external URLs.

You can also drag and drop menu items to sort them or to create a sub menu which is quite neat and will avoid a lot of hassle for developers and designers alike.

Wordpress 3.0 menus screenshot

Custom Post Type

Custom post type for me is perhaps the biggest shift towards a fully fledge CMS with WordPress 3.0. You would need to install a plugin to be able to create custom post types though which I didn’t like I would have thought such important plugins should be released by WordPress for  3.0. I understand why features are increasingly being left to be included via plugins but some features are too important to be left to the public to create plugins for.  Matt Mullenweg did talk about creating “Core” plugins that are shipped with WordPress which I think is a good idea.

Anyway, Custom Post Type allows you to create section in WordPress for special types of post kind of like how pages are separate from posts. This can be used for example to create Products, Movies Post and Review posts. By using custom post types you can limit what options are displayed for that post type editor.

Custom Post Types allow for a more cleaner and easier to use interface, for example if a Product custom post type exists a user who addeds product information regularly will only see product related options within the Products page making it less cluttered.

Search and install plugins within WordPress Admin:

Another cool feature of WordPress 3.0 is the ability to search and install WordPress plugins directly in WordPress rather than having to upload the plugin folder manually. Did I hear the non techie people cheering?

Improved Usability:

Usability improvements included a help button on every screen that slides down to reveal helpful information about the current page.

So what is next for WordPress? I was glad to hear that Matt Mulenweg and the team will be focusing more on things surrounding WordPress such as documentation and plugins for the next few months. So hopefully we should see some improvement in that area.

Finally I don’t mean to belittle the work that Matt and the team have been doing as I think they have been doing a great job for something that is free but am I the only one that expected a bit more for a version 3 release?

See the presentation from WordPress below:

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