So I am redesigning my sister’s outdated website (Tayoland.com) that I designed and developed a couple of years back. I’m converting it from a static website into a blog. I thought what better opportunity to play with WordPress 2.5 since my sister is in no hurry for the blog to be done. Using the Simpleton WordPress theme as my framework to layout the new blog website, I was able to also play with the widgets as well since it’s widget ready. I added a couple of extra “sidebars” to the bottom of the theme as well so I can add rss widgets to the bottom of the home page for SEO and practical purposes since the right sidebars are too small for title length text.
My assessments so far is that the new administration area for WordPress 2.5 itself is great. It makes sense and is very user and “newbie” friendly. It’s similar to the Wordpress.com administration area but of course with more admin features.
Some observations about WordPress 2.5:
- Now on the dashboard, you have the option of subscribing to feeds other than WordPress. Though the default feeds displayed are WordPress news, plugins and development blog. And, I also like the incoming links and recent comments boxes that show you a list of of other blogs that link to your website and a list of the most recent comments on your blog, respectively.
- I love how they’ve rearranged and condensed the admin tabs at the top. Now you have “write”, “manage”, “design” and “comments” on one row on the left and “settings”, “plugins” and “users” on the same row on the right. Less clutter and more semantic.
- I like very much how they have the “Add media” tool bar at the top of the “write > post” page. Just click on a image button and you can add an image, video, audio or other media. They fixed that annoying bug that made embedding video frustrating without a plugin. The “add tags” option is great and simpler.
- I love how the widgets are displayed now. Rather than dragging you click on and “add” and “remove” button to add and remove the widgets from sidebars. Also, the sidebars (if there are any) are listed in a drop down menu, so you select the sidebar you wish to add first before you add the widget you want. Now, the other way with drag and drop and having the sidebar widgets already displayed in boxes (not as drop down menus) was simpler, but this new way with WP 2.5 seems cleaner.
- And I just love how the template files are now separated from the stylesheets on the “theme editor” page.
- The only negative in this new WP 2.5 is the fact that the page, category and post IDs are no longer displayed. I’d consider myself a WordPress power user and find using the IDS much simpler than using titles of the pages and categories, and certainly the posts. Of course Just hovering over the title of the post, page or category you can view the ID number in the bottom URL of your Firefox browser. It’s a small annoyance, but seems a bit too impractical to get rid of. I don’t get it.
I think WordPress is trying to simplify their software for more people to use. That’s fine. Some have accused WP of dumbing down their software for the masses. Perhaps this is a little true. But, at the same time, WordPress has always been THE blog software for people, not machines as opposed to other self-hosted blog publishing software that are not at all people friendly, unless you’re a computer programmer.
Well, if there are any glaring issues or fabulous bonuses in this new WordPress 2.5, I’ll post them here. Otherwise, and for now, I give WordPress 2.5 two thumbs up!