by Kevin on March 18, 2008
WordPress 2.5 is a huge upgrade over the previous version, thus it requires much more time on the client side and backend than originally thought. The new admin theme appears to be coming along well, with many other people’s opinion changing in the favor of liking the format, layout, and color scheme(s).
While the Release Candidate 1 is available for testing and feedback, and the WordPress development team needs your feedback. This release signifies that the final version will be available within the upcoming weeks (or days), in my guess, less than two weeks, but as much as three.
A sneak peak of WordPress 2.5 was posted on the WordPress Development Blog. Each area of the new admin area is discussed, and the reasons for implementing the changes, also discussed below.
New Admin Area – Layout, Features, Customization
The new layout is definitely a step-up from the old version, with the ability to change the color scheme (Classic and Fresh available by default), with the option of installing plugins or changing the stylesheet to suit your needs.
With the new ability and newfound layout, many theme authors may get into the market for creating high quality layouts and color schemes for maximizing the potential of the WordPress publishing area online.
WordPress 2.5 Layout and Theme
Images used courtesy of WordPress.org.
Main Features of the release include:
- A customizable dashboard
- Redesigned from the ground up
- Goal: to remain familiar to seasoned users while improving the experience for everyone
- Entire look changed and organized differently
- Multi-file upload
- Built-in galleries
- One-click plugin upgrades
- Tag management
- Built-in Gravatars
- Full text feeds
- Faster load times
The Dashboard contains more relevant information, once again, on a redundant note, reorganized. It now features a quick summary of what’s published and scheduled for publication, the latest comments and incoming links, blog stats, and WordPress updates and news for a snapshot view whenever signing into your blog. You can also add your own RSS feeds and edit the way information is presented.
Finding the area where you need to add or edit information will be easier with the new navigation options – there are 50% less navigation options. Writing, managing posts/pages, the theme area, and comment management has been divided into four main categories.
Only information that is used most often is displayed, making posting more easy. A huge advancement over the previous admin theme is that when you edit the appearance, it will save it for a preferred writing environment. It also has a full-screen mode for almost distraction-free writing.
Write Post Area
Write Post Options
Within these areas, the pages, posts, media, and comments are listed on pages that utilize a similar appearance, making it a more consistent experience.
Manage Posts – Categories/Tags/Status
Fluency Admin Theme
Dean Robinson began a new project, in which he tried to spruce up the admin theme due to the fact that he enjoyed the Tiger Admin theme and wanted to do something different.
Release page for Fluency Admin theme is here.
The Fluency Admin theme consists of the following features:
- Super easy installation.
- Smooth gray color scheme (no more blue)
- Menus rearranged, main menus down left, sub-menus across top
- Compatible only with WordPress 2.5+
To install, it’s as easy as installing and activating a plugin.
Overall, the theme is very clean and will please many people who would rather have a very minimalist, white/clean layout, and poses as a good alternative to those looking for a reorganized layout.
Screenshots Images courtesy of Dean Robinson.
Create New Post
There are various reports of usability and compatibility issues in the admin theme as well as in the Fluency theme, where Firefox and other browsers have problems displaying the links/menus correctly.
Lorelle VanFossen [via Darren of Unfolding Neurons] is reporting that the Automatic Plugin Upgrade feature of the new release will expose several major problems for WordPress users upgrading their plugins.
Whenever anything is “automatic”, it results in some potential conflicts between the end user and the developer. The new admin theme will still need to contain links to the download page, reminding users that they need to check the new features and instructions for downloading the upgraded plugin.
Lorelle analyzes the problem for each group of users – testers, users, and plugin authors in order to help avoid any crisis.
Issues and Ways to Avoid Conflicts
- First of all, the automatic upgrade does not deactivate your plugin first, then reactivate it after upgrading.
- Causes the plugin not to work as expected.
- Can be fixed by remembering to deactivate/reactivate it after the upgrade is complete.
- Secondly, instructions for upgrading in order to keep existing data safe will not be available to blog users.
- Again, you must remember to check the download/release page before installing/upgrading a plugin.
- Thirdly, the plugin may be installed in the plugins root directory, instead of its own directory, and the Automatic Upgrade will change its location.
- Example: A plugin installed in the
.../plugins/plugin-name.phpdirectory would then be located at
- Example: A plugin installed in the
- Lastly, other situations must be analyzed by the team working on this release, such as upgrading plugins with major changes – file renames, directory changes, or errors in the extraction process from the user. Possibly a “Errors” section should be added, whether in the current release, or future releases, to notify of any problems with upgrades, as in the theme area.
My Closing Thoughts
I sincerely hope that the release is within the next week or two and am looking forward to the new theme and features, specifically the ability to upload multiple files at once, the ability to save the layout, full screen post writing mode, and automatic plugin upgrades.
What are you looking forward to most in the release of WordPress 2.5? Are there features you wish were included but happened to be left out?
Other Bloggers’ Thoughts on the Release
- HongKiat – WordPress 2.5 RC-1 Is Available For Download and Tryout
- Blogging Pro – WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1 Released
- WPCandy – WordPress 2.5 RC1 Release – It Will Change Our Lives
- Weblog Tools Collection – Colorful Feature for WP 2.5 Admin
- Design Adaptations – The WordPress Admin… Beautified
- Daily Blog Tips – WordPress 2.5 RC 1 Released
- Geek Ramblings – WordPress 2.5 RC1
- Easy WordPress – WordPress 2.5 Has Opened The Doors