WordPress 2.5: first impressions
written by craig, 31 March 2008
I’m a fan of WordPress. It’s known for being one of the best blogging tools around, but many people use it as a generic Content Management System. That includes me – this site is WordPress based. I’ve also supplied it to several clients since it’s far easier to manage and more reliable than many other CMSs.
Version 2.5 has been released with a big fanfare. The whole system has been overhauled and I’m pleased to say that my initial impressions are good.
Installation and upgrade
WordPress prides itself on having a 5-minute installation/upgrade process. I can certainly vouch for that – once the files are in place and your database is set up that is. This is a big release so I was concerned that something would break, but it went smoothly in both my local and live versions (unlike my experiences with version 2.3). I only use a few plug-ins, but they all worked without problems.
My only gripe is that it’s a 5MB upload and that can take some time. I usually just upload the changed files, but that wasn’t worth the hassle this time because nearly everything has changed. It’s possible to use svn if your ISP supports it, but mine doesn’t so FTP is the only option.
I’m not really sure how they could improve the situation. It’d be great to have a changed-files-only package, but I suspect that could lead to user confusion and support issues.
The interface has received a radical update. WordPress 2.5 is far easier, cleaner, and more attractive than 2.3 – and that wasn’t exactly ugly. In general, the layout has improved and options you’re unlikely to use every day or on every post are positioned so they don’t get in the way.
v2.5 doesn’t introduce many new features – but it’s getting to the stage where every feature you want is supported out of the box or with a plug-in. There is a new ‘add media’ option that allows you to upload images, video, audio or other media when creating posts: it’s well implemented well, but you could probably achieve the same thing with v2.3.
I’m pleased to say that tag entry has been greatly improved with an auto-suggest drop-down and better management facilities.
…WordPress 2.5 is a great. The system could easily have been released as v3.0 since the interface is significantly better and I’m sure that both experienced and novice WP users will approve. If you’re evaluating a CMS for your website, then give WordPress a try – you won’t be disappointed.