After much awaiting in the streets of the digital world, WordPress 2.7 Coltrane has finally come out of beta and the release candidates and into the official books. As always, every version of WordPress is code named after a popular Jazz musician, WordPress 2.7 is no exception, being after John Coltrane (on a side note, do check his works out if you have some appreciation for music).
The new version of WordPress does sport more than a handful of radical changes, most noticeably the new spruced up admin which I have to say it MUCH better than the one that came out in version 2.3. This new admin layout is much more streamlined and much more accessible then the previous version. Being a fan of the vertical left-placed navigation bar than the traditional horizontal top navigation, I must say they did a pretty good job at it. However, people used to the old navigation system as well as people with a smaller resolution size might find less screen space for their dashboard or writing their posts due to the navigation bar taking up a portion of the screen. Not that I notice it any more, but it has to be said that some people might not enjoy it and may need a while to get used to the difference.
The other major improvement happens to be under the hood with database and code tweaks which make WordPress run faster than before. As you know, I’m not a fan of the gradual bloat of the WordPress platform, having to deal with long loading times between pages. However, WordPress 2.7 appears to have a significant boost than before. Even with my ridiculous amount of plugins that are being run on my blog, there is a marked improvement in loading times which is needless to say a good thing and I am liking it.
One of the most sought after feature in WordPress 2.7 happens to be the WordPress Core Updater. This allows a whole new generation of WordPress users to skip the old manual method of downloading, then uploading as you pray nothing goes wrong.
This new method is much like the way I’ve been updating WordPress for the past year by updating it straight from the WordPress repository. Rather than having you waste time downloading and uploading it, the Core Updater deletes old files and updates your WordPress with the new files straight from the WordPress repositories themselves. It’s fast and doesn’t rely on the speed of your internet connection.
The only catch is that you have to make sure that your webhost supports this ability. While most up to date webhosts should have no problems, I’m pretty sure the slightly dodgy ones out there would have problems using what I think is the best feature WordPress has to offer so far.
Lastly for productivity junkies like myself, WordPress 2.7 features Keyboard Shortcuts for going through our comments. We can finally do away with all the incessant mouse clicking and go straight to using the keyboard to scan through, select and edit all out comments (not like I need them much anyway since I don’t have much comments to filter through anyway). A great feature especially since we already use keyboard shortcuts when writing our posts.
Other newly added features to WordPress 2.7 can also be found at the codex which of course it the one stop site for all your WordPress knowledge needs.
As always before you upgrade though, I should remind you to back up your WordPress database as well as to turn OFF your plugins just to be safe and sure. However, much of WordPress 2.7 seems to be compatible with a lot of plugins out there, however, it would do you good to at least deactivate your ADMIN plugins like those that affect your admin themes or general layout of your admin. These plugins will definitely interfere with the new WordPress admin layout and might prevent you from accessing your admin page.
For more information though on WordPress plugin compatibility, you can check out this page on the codex for more details. But generally, and this is the word of a guy who has about 50 plugins running on his blog, most of them will be fine.
So that really is that as they say. There is no reason why you should not upgrade your WordPress now. Version 2.7 is one of the most stable versions of WordPress out there thanks to the hoards of people working on it as well as testing it before it’s grand debut. There is a lot that can be said about a software, but the most important bit can be summed up in 4 words.
It works, really well.
So go ahead. Download and update your WordPress blog now. You really have nothing to lose and everything to miss out if you don’t. Trust me. I do know what I’m talking about.