Version 2.9, also known as Carmen McRae, was released on December 18, 2009. Starting in January, development for WordPress 3.0 started. Since then there has been a few times where development has slipped, but for the better. The developers have been working hard to get the release out the door and into the hands of everyone. I’m very pleased with the feature set and the quality of the product they are shipping (Been using v3.0 since Beta 1). I want to publicly thank the developers for all of their hard work, the testers that have been testing the software, and everyone else that’s had a hand in the development cycle for bringing such a powerful platform to us. I started using WordPress around 1.5 and am amazed at all the changes that have been made.
Let’s take a look at the big features (I’m sure there’s already been posts like this but who cares.) and over the next few days I’ll go into greater detail of the features I’m covering in this post. Perhaps I’ll get out Camtasia:Mac and dust off my mic and make the rest of these screencasts.
1. Menu Management
This is by far the feature I’ve been looking for! There’s been tons of plugins that have tried to accomplish this, but I think with the combination of WooThemes and WordPress developers they have done this right.
2. Custom Post Types
WordPress currently has two types of content, Pages and Posts. Version 3.0 allows you to define any additional types you want! For example, if you’re running a WordPress site for a real estate company, you might have a post type for houses, another for condos, and even one for rentals.
This also allows for the ability to make WordPress more like Tumblr. You could have custom post types for Audio, Chat, Link, Photo, Quote, Text, and Video. The possibilities with custom post types with WordPress 3.0 are endless!
3. New Default Theme
Kubrick has been shipped with all versions of WordPress since 1.5, but with the release of 3.0, the new theme will be TwentyTen (What I’m using on my site). It has been a long over due. There’s so many new features in it I’m going to make a screencast post just to talk about how cool it is.
4. Get Short Link
Not a big feature, but one that was released for WordPress.com, is the Get Shortlink button. For those of us that use SEO friendly urls, you can now use the shortlink for each post. No more having to use a url shortener as you can now keep your brand intact.
5. Choose your own username
The days of having “admin” as your username are gone! During a fresh installation, you can now choose your username.
6. Custom Taxonomies
This feature is probably a little too complex for non-developers, but I think this really brings WordPress 3.0 closer to a real CMS. You could add things like Ratings, Photos, Descriptions, etc. Currently, WordPress ships with two, Categories and Tags.
7. WPMu Codebase Merge
WordPress and WPMu have merged their codebases! This makes it much easier to handle large (even multi-user) WP networks. Also this fixes any plugin and theme issues some might have when running WPMu. For the most users, this doesn’t mean much, but there’s definitely some pretty great benefits for the management of large WP networks.
8. Author Templates
We already have custom category templates, but this adds the ability to add specific author templates. Say you have an author with the name of “AJ” it would look for author-aj.php, then author-<id>.php (<id> being that author’s id), and then finally author.php to decipher which template to display.