New WordPress 2.7 Features That Casual Users Might Miss

In the last post, I mentioned a couple of new features that WordPress 2.7 came out with with that were pretty awesome, the keyboard shortcuts and the core updater. Now I’m going to show you some of other cool practical changes that WordPress 2.7 has implemented that casual everyday users may probably overlook. Changes that are pretty awesome on a whole.

Maximising/Minimising Admin Navigational Sidebar:
Probably the first thing that many people would have noticed and the very thing that people overlook. If you think that your Admin sidebar takes up too much premium space on your browser. Then why not minimise it? I actually prefer the minimised icon-ified interface to the full maximised icon and text sidebar. Why? Because the minimised sidebar also sports an AJAX drop down menu similar to that of Ozh’s Admin Drop Down Menu plugin which I’ve been using ever since the early days of WordPress 2.0. It’s perfect for opening pages on the go and saving those extra clicks you’d spend on the maximised sidebar.

Integrated Plugin Installer:
If you already haven’t noticed or you’re new to WordPress, ever since version 2.5, WordPress has included an automatic plugin updater to the interface. Perfect for those of us with a lot of plugins and very little time to check and see if they have been updated. More to it, the integrated Plugin Updater automatically updates plugins straight from the WordPress plugin repository ensuring that you don’t need to fiddle with FTP to keep updating your plugins, but in those days, you still needed to handle the FTP to install the plugins in the first place. In WordPress 2.7, they have taken it to the next best level, you can now search and install WordPress plugins straight from the WordPress plugin repository. You don’t even need to open your FTP anymore. Similar to Firefox 3’s ability to search install addons straight from the browser. WordPress 2.7 allows you to do the same thing as well (just for WordPress plugins). And if the plugins doesn’t exist in the plugin repository, you can upload and install plugins from the WordPress admin itself if you already downloaded a zipped up plugin from the authors site. While I’d like to see this expanded to compressed tar.gz files as well. This is definitely a step further in helping you expand what your WordPress driven blog could do…with the help of plugins.

Movable Dashboard, Add-Post and Add-Page Windows:
The people have asked for it (back) and WordPress has given. The Admin dashboard now sports an AJAX based interface similar to iGoogle. That means that you can now customise to a certain degree what you want and where you want it appearing on your dashboard. You can collapse and move the windows around easily as well as create either a single or double column dashboard. If you don’t want those windows around, you can easily remove them from the dashboard itself as well. As if that isn’t enough. However, I still like an older, more spartan, but much more flexible plugin that does the same job called My Dashboard. It still works on WordPress 2.7 and is worth a second glance. The Add-Post and Add-Pages also sports the same collapsible/movable windows last seen in WordPress 2.0 before it was taken out in version 2.3. We liked it and now it’s back to make our lives easier. Never has been the interface been so pretty and practical at the same time.

Integrated Sticky Posts:
No longer will you have to rely on a plugin for this one, WordPress 2.7 allows you to have a sticky post that will show up above all other posts as long as it is activated. Perfect for people who want to display long term announcements over a period of time, especially coupled with a theme that highlights the most recent posts (which in this case will be “sticky”).

I know there are a few more added goodies that I didn’t mention like the Keyboard Shortcuts and the newly integrated WordPress Core Updater, but I’ve already mentioned before and this post is long enough already. All in all, these features while small in terms of newly added stuff, is actually a big change to the overall WordPress design. Changes that make the platform a little less ungainly and a whole lot more practical. I would go as far to say that after years, I’m in love with WordPress all over again thanks to all the hard work that the developers have been putting in.

If there is any other newly added features to WordPress 2.7 that I’ve missed out, don’t forget to chime in. Who knows, I might give you more hidden WordPress hacks on a later date. After all, 5 years of using a single blogging platform. I’ve got to have picked up more than my fair share of hacks for it.

And wouldn’t you like to know what they are?

6 thoughts on “New WordPress 2.7 Features That Casual Users Might Miss

  1. Oh,.. sounds really nice and I think I will give it a test run later. WordPress rocks! I especially like the plugin installer, makes our life so much easier.

  2. I am new to WordPress and now I am dealing with the upgrade. I do like the new dashboard and I have been exploring it. I wasn’t aware that it could totally minimize the sidebar to icons. That’s a great feature and I like the way the menu pops out on the side, rather than the drop down menu with the Ozh’s. Thanks for pointing out these new features 🙂

  3. You don’t even know how happy I am about this new version. upgrading was painless and for the first time in my experience, no animals were harmed (me). 😛 I’m loving it.

  4. I upgraded mine with plenty of apprehension (as my WP guru is away on holiday ;)), and thank God, it went smoothly. I backed up my stuff just in case. But all’s well 🙂

    Am having other problems with my feed now though, but I shan’t bother you with the details 🙂

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