WordPress 3.0: which are the changes?

A few days ago the new WordPress version 3.0 (beta 1) was released, while the release of the definitive version is scheduled for May 1st, day in which the WordCamp takes place in San Francisco.

This new version of WordPress introduces various changes which should contribute to considerably strengthening the functions made available by this platform. Despite still being in beta version we as editorial staff have decided to test its potentiality by sharing and discussing them together.

Which are some of the main changes of WordPress 3?

Let’s take a look at some of the main changes brought by the new version of WordPress:

  • The management of the menu has been improved.
  • A new graphic theme called “Twenty Ten” has been completed, which will be the only one to be released in the new WordPress distribution.
  • The Default (Kubrick) and Classic themes will no longer be included in the WordPress distribution but will be available inside the WordPress Theme collection on the WordPress official website.
  • The WordPress functions and those of WPMU have merged: in this way it will be possible to manage the contemporary installation of more blogs from a single WordPress installation.
  • Possibility of creating specific templates for single authors and for various kinds of posts.

For the full list of the changes it is possible to consult the respective page on the official website. Anyway, let’s have a look at some of these changes.

Installing the new WordPress version

We get a glimpse of the first change immediately during the installation process. In this phase it is now possible to choose a personalized username for the system administrator different from the classic “admin” which before was set automatically and on which the user had absolutely no control during the installation phase. This will obviously contribute to improve the level of security of the platform: many administrators had in fact the habit of leaving the predefined user – “admin” – as administrator of the system thus making the life easy for an eventual hacker who was already half way done knowing the username of the administrator account.

Besides during the installation process it will be possible to insert also an own password or you can proceed by leaving an empty field and in this case the system will create a random password as it already happened in the past.

A look at the aesthetic aspect

As we have already mentioned the new version brings with itself a renewed graphic vest: the theme called “Twenty Ten” will replace the now obsolete Kubrick.

Let’s see a preview:

From the administration panel now it will be possible to manage the background of the proper theme without having to modify a single code line:

Besides the new theme has already been predefined to host up to four sections of widget in the footer, in this way it will be possible to personalize the footer with a simple system of drag & drop adding and moving the interested widgets like it occurred for the sidebar:

The management of navigation menus

Another extremely important novelty regards the management of navigation menus which previously resulted extremely limited. Now it will be possible to create and manage the menus in a more intuitive and advanced way.

Although the graphic interface of this function will surely go under other modifications – as hinted by the message on top of the page – let’s take a look anyway to the screenshot that follows:

This system of simplified management of the menus has been released by Woo Themes and thanks to this new function (which brings this platform closer to a real CMS) now it will be possible to position the menu items with a simple system of drag & drop.

The single items that compose the menu can be added from already existing pages, categories or generic links. Check the video that follows if you want to see the practical use of this new system.

The multiblog management

Another extremely important novelty regarding this new version is the unification of the functions of WordPress MU and those of WordPress, which will make it possible to manage more blogs at the same time with a single installation.

In order to create a network of blogs in this beta version you have to open the general configuration file named “wp-config” and define the constant which allows to enable this function, as described on the official documentation.

define ('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

After this operation, inside the administration panel it will be possible to find the Tools ->Network menu from which it will be possible to configure your own network of websites.

Conclusion

It’s less than one month now before the official release of WordPress 3. There are many other upgrades – in addition to those already mentioned – that will be brought by WordPress 3. In this article we wanted to give a brief outlook of what from the preview of our test seem to be the most interesting changes.

With the new version WordPress gets closer to a real CMS moving away from what used to be its original mission, a simple blogging platform. Don’t you agree with that?

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The Author

Nando is administrator of Edi Group, a Sicilian web agency founded in 2005. He deals with the development of web applications in php language and the implementation and administration of databases. And besides Microsoft Trainer with years of experience in regional and private training courses as a designer and lecturer.

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