WordPress has just updated to 2.5 and despite having reservations the test blog worked fine so I upgraded this site just a few minute ago. Functionality wise there isn’t a tremendous amount changed on first inspection. However digging deeper reveals some major changes that make running a blog easier and have also meant a reduction on plugin dependency which is always a good thing.

Wordpress DashboardYou’ll first notice the changed admin and dashboard screens. I still feel pretty mixed about the changes. I think the dashboard is a lot better and now allows you to control what feeds to display without hacking the back end. Plugins, options and management screen layouts are also improved. One nice little add-on is that the dahsboard can now be skinned too and no doubt we’ll see some great colour scheme’s over the coming weeks.

Write Page

I’m not sold on the write page though. Previously you could drag and drop panes to show/hide the options you needed. This meant I could have tags and categories where I couldn’t miss them. Now they are pushed down the page and I know I will miss setting them from time to time. I guess in the grand scheme it’s not a major issue but it feels like a backward step. Another nice add-on is better tag management so I’ve disabled the plugin I was using to help with tags. Feeds should also no longer break at the more tag, reversing an unpopular change…and again removing a plugin I was using.

Another step in making things easier is plugin installs. Instead of just informing you when a new plugin is available you can now install the updated plugin from the dashboard. This only works for WordPress hosted plugins but is a really nice feature. Gravatar support is also built in so no need for separate plugins although some changes to themes are required to support this.

Although there are many more changes the final ones that may affect you are to the visual post editor. It now doesn’t break your HTML code anymore and it also has a declutter mode which allows you to focus on the writing.

Overall there are more +ve’s than -ve’s and I’m sure plugins will help to tidy up the write screen so I can get it just the way I like it. Get 2.5 here. Note the WordPress site has also had a lick of paint too. Nice.