[March 29 Update: The Final 2.5 Release is now available for download here]
So far I’m impressed!
There has been some controversy over the new design. They’ve moved some commands/menus around, removed some superfluous options, updated the dashboard and a few other odds and sods. So far I think it is intuitive, elegant, attractive and easy to use. Heck, its downright purdy! Installation was easy. All of my plugins and themes but one (see below) work fine. In the five days I’ve used it I haven’t experienced a single glitch.
The performance of The Daleisphere using WordPress 2.5 is noticeably faster than my video game law and imedia law blogs using v. 2.3.3 on the same server. I reserve judgment however because those blogs contain much more content and the data provided on each page (and the underlying MySQL queries) are more fulsome.
As I navigated around the v. 2.5 settings tabs, adjusting them to my preferences, I was contemporaneously navigating through my WordPress 2.3.3 settings tabs to ensure the settings are the same across my three blogs. WordPress 2.5’s settings/admin panels were significantly snappier than the corresponding 2.3.3 settings / admin panel tabs.
Since recently switched to Windows Live Writer, I probably won’t be using this feature very often, but the Media Library functionality in WP 2.5 is a terrific improvement. To add a previously uploaded image, click on the “Add an image” icon in the editor:
The image manager window (below) appears. Click on the “Media Library” tab and your media (pictures, videos, music) becomes available.
Select, for example, the image you want in your post, the image manager disappears and the image appears in the editor. It’s that simple.
Media Library Folders Setup: Under the Settings/Miscellaneous tab there is an option to “Organize my uploads into month-and year-based folders. My suggestion is to not check that option. Initially I thought this might be a good idea but thought better of it. When I am searching through my images for inclusion in a blog post, the last thing I want/need to do is navigate around myriad directories. No, I want my images all in one large directory so I can easily find them.
The new ajaxy widget manager is fast, intuitive and easy to use.
Plugins & Themes:
So far, these plugins work just fine:
- FeedBurner FeedSmith (2.3.1) Detects and redirects all RSS feed requests to Feedburner.
- Google Analyticator (2.1) Adds your Google Analytics tags into each post without having to mess with template code.
- Google Sitemaps (3.0): Maintains a constantly updated sitemap.xml file for Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask.com to crawl. It also pings each of these search engines every time a new post is published.
- WP-DB Backup (2.1.5) Used to backup the blog’s underlying MySQL databases.
- WP 2.3 Related Posts (0.51) – Uses WordPress’s new ‘tag’ function to automatically generate the “Related Posts:” sections of my blogs (see for example).
This one didn’t:
- WordPress Spam Blocker (0.1) Blocks ALL comment spam without the need for captchas. This worked flawlessly in 2.3.3. but unfortunately blocks even legitimate comments in 2.5 rc 1. I’m looking forward to an updated version of this one because when it worked, it cut comment spam down to none.
WordPress 2.5 Resources:
I’m very happy with WordPress 2.5. I expect to roll out the final release to my other blogs in the near future.
I joined the wp-testers distribution list. I enjoy participating with the other testers. It’s quite the open-source learning experience.