WordPress 2.7 First Impressions

Greetings Readers!

As many of you know, WordPress 2.7 launched yesterday.  I immediately updated from my 2.6 installation as I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  I decided it would be a good idea to blog my first impression of the new software with a more detailed post possibly coming later after I have had some time to enjoy the new version.  With that said, here are my thoughts about WordPress 2.7.

Lets start with the upgrade process.  While the upgrade process could have been painless, poor documentation made it a bigger hassle than it should have been.  Unlike previous documentation which told you to copy every file except a certain few such as the ones for plug-ins and stuff, the new documentation doesn’t say that.  It merely says to delete the old WordPress files, not mentioning anything about plug-ins or files that should not be deleted.  This caused me some concern, so I decided to back up all the files from my Geek News Daily podcast before attempting to install.  Come to find out, deleting the old files wasn’t even necessary.  All I had to do was copy everything except the wp-content folder and tell it to overwrite all of the older files.  Doing this allowed me to get all of the new stuff while not deleting any of my themes or plug-ins, something which in the past had been a more painful process.  Had the documentation stated this, the upload and install process would have been rather painless.  After uploading all the new files, upgrading was the same as in the past where you just went to the upgrade page and hit a button.

As soon as I got it upgraded, I started to explore the new UI.  For those unfamiliar with 2.7, the UI is completely changed.  Now you can do things such as make simple posts straight from the dashboard instead of having to go to a new posts page.  I will admit that having the navigation on the left instead of the top takes some getting used to, but the drop down menu system is nice.  There are a couple of things with the new UI that don’t make much sense.  For example, under the Posts drop-down, Edit is placed higher than Add New.  I don’t know about you, but when I go into WordPress, it is mainly to add a new post rather than edit an old one.  That said, I think adding a new post should be given priority in the order of items listed in the Posts tab.  The same goes for pages in the Pages tab.  There is also a new feature called Turbo which supposedly lets you cache all of the images on WordPress to make loading faster.  I haven’t tried this feature yet, but it sounds like a nice one as the new interface doesn’t feel as snappy as the old one.

There is one major feature that is my absolute favorite.  Like the WordPress one click upgrade for plug-ins, you can now do that for WordPress itself.  Doing this will update you to the newest nightly build of WordPress.  This is great compared to the old upgrading method which required you to download the latest version, unpack it, upload it, making sure to save your plug-ins and themes before going to the update page and then updating the install.  Now all of this is handled by WordPress with a single click.  This saves a ton of time and effort and was something that I thought strange it wasn’t included with 2.6 since this functionality was given to upgrading plug-ins.

I have only found one bug so far, and that is that I cant seem to get the inserting of a photo to work properly. In Firefox, the uploading took me away from the blog page which made me lose progress, only to have it go to a blank page when I tried to insert the photo.  When I tried to do this in Opera, it gave the normal pop-up which gave me the interface to upload a photo with while not making me leave the page.  Unfortunately it still didn’t work right.  While I got it to insert the photo into the post, it did not keep the formatting I told it (centered and medium size).  Not only that, but it didn’t put the caption box around the image, instead it just put the caption as regular text next to the image.  To say the least, these bugs are very frustrating.

Those are my first impressions, but so far I really like the new WordPress install outside of the bad upgrade documentation and very buggy picture uploader.  My only other complaint is that I think the UI could be a bit more colorful as it is rather bland compared to the old versions.  If my opinion of the new version changes, I will be sure to write up a full review of the software.