WordPress 2.3: first impressions
written by craig, 28 September 2007
WordPress 2.3 has been around for a few days, so I thought I’d share my first impressions of it.
I generally keep my WP installation up-to-date, so I’m used to upgrading every few months. Subversion’s not installed on my server, so it’s FTP slogging for me. I usually just upload the changed files, but went for a completely clean upgrade this time (as recommended).
Testing on my Windows PC went fine so I uploaded everything, and loaded the upgrade page: Internal Server Error. My initial suspicions were a rouge plugin, possibly WP-Cache, but that did not appear to be the cause. I also tried re-installing using a new database, but it still failed. The problem was eventually fixed by switching from PHP4 to PHP5.
It’s possible that my server’s PHP4 configuration was to blame, or perhaps running on Windows (using PHP5) had changed a file somewhere. However, it’s not something I’ve experienced with a WordPress upgrade before?
At first, it’s difficult to see what’s changed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the changes are bug fixes and minor enhancements.
The biggest reason to upgrade is tag support. A blog post can have any number of tag words assigned. That article can then link to other articles with the same tag (using the_tags() in your temple). It’s also possible to show a tag cloud as I’ve implemented here (using wp_tag_cloud() in the tempate) .
Tagging is easy to use, easy to add to existing templates, and a good alternative method of navigation for the reader. The only downsides:
- Why can’t pages have tags too?
- It would be great to have better control over the tag cloud. The text sizing is done by embedded style attributes, but it could have been better to generate class names depending on the importance of that tag, e.g. taguse0, taguse1, … , taguse5. That way, the font size or any other styling could be applied, e.g. colour, weight, etc.
- Finally, if you’re using WP-Cache (which I’d recommend), adding or changing a tagged blog post means that every tag cloud needs to be updated. However, WP-Cache will not do this until the cache expires or you manually delete the cached pages. It’s a minor problem though, and I’d prefer to delete the cache manually anyway.
With the exception of my scary installation problem, WP2.3 is working fine. Tags are definitely a useful addition, but the tag-entry system needs a little more work.