WordPress 3.0: A User’s Experience

Last week WordPress 3.0 was announced, and as someone who uses the popular blogging software exclusively, I jumped for joy when I heard about all the new bells and whistles it was coming with. Since it was the thirteenth major release for WordPress I was expecting a lot, so I downloaded it, installed it, and proceeded to play around with it. I even went so far as to change the layout of my own personal website, just so I could check out the new Thelonius theme, which is now the default theme for WP. I was not disappointed.

Some of the major changes in WordPress 3.0 that I was really happy to see were the addition of a bulk updater, a more sleek look, custom post types, and yes, the new default theme called Twenty Ten.

The bulk updater is fantastic. For anyone who uses a lot of plugins like me, you’ll find that it’s now easier to update them. Before 3.0, you had to do it one at a time, which was a bit of a pain. Now you can go into your dashboard and find updates for not only your plugins, but also themes and software, and with the click of a button do them all in one shot. This is a huge time saver, and probably one of the best upgrades to the software.

WordPress 3.0 is also lighter than previous versions. The interface looks more sleek, it’s more user friendly, and gives you more control over you menus. So if you want to organize things a little better, feel free to do so, as you now have the control over what appears when you log in. Should you ever need help with something, there is also the added feature of help menus on every screen, so it’s less intimidating for beginners.

As far as custom post types goes, it’s awesome. While WordPress let’s you publish two types of content by default, posts and pages, you can now add additional content types with their own attributes. This allows you to customize things to suit whatever type of website you are running on the software. You can add things like portfolios, or a section for employees, and if you’re running a business, you can add a custom post for customer testimonials. It’s genius, and easy to figure out.

Lastly, there’s Twenty Ten, the new default theme. I was a little apprehensive about trying this out, as the old theme was so limited in what it could do. I was afraid that if I started changing things, I wouldn’t be able to customize them the way I could with my old theme. Boy, was I wrong. Twenty Ten gives you the ability to upload your own header without playing around with the CSS, you can generate your own custom background, and the widget placement is fantastic, with two at the side and four at the bottom, with the ability to add whatever you’d like to them. Twenty Ten truly is a great theme, and one I will be sticking with for a while I think.

There you have it. WordPress 3.0 in a tiny nutshell. It’s great, easy to use, and more user friendly than ever. Don’t sit around waiting for 3.1 either, because the developers are skipping the next cycle to focus on things other than the core product, which will give you plenty of time to play around with the new software and get used to it.