WordPress 3.0 Draws Near, New Features Abound
Big things are happening in the world of WordPress (news, site): the platform turned 7 last month, the dev team kicked out two release candidates in rapid succession, and is now readying the highly anticipated version 3.0. Enterprise clients are in their sites. Let's take a look at just how.

Installation Evolved

Seasoned WordPress users will immediately notice the ability to customize their administrator user name upon installation. It may seem like a small adjustment, but by doing away with the generic "admin" user name, Web trolls will feel less inclined to hack accounts: 

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Look and Feel Improved (again)

Goodbye Kubrick, hello TwentyTen. WordPress 3.0's new default theme supports user-driven styling areas such as custom background and header images. Full control is offered within both areas (repetition, position, alignment, etc.)

Here's a look at the header options that come with 2010 (you can upload your own as well): 

 

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2010 is the beginning of a new practice. The development team plans to release a new default theme every year, which will come bundled with the platform. 

Navigation and Custom Menus

Most WordPress end-users have menu management on the brain. This feature will make it easier to add new navigation menus to WordPress-powered sites in a simple drag-and-drop fashion:

This new navigation system includes different menus with full integration into the WordPress system, and its coding style and development cycle.Support for custom content types as well as custom taxonomies is also included.

Custom content types enables exactly what it sounds like: users can create new and customized types of content. For example, let's say you post a lot of podcasts on your site. Now you can create a content type labeled Podcasts, and fill it with its own menus and settings. Anyone posting a podcast can then do so using that specific template, and it's completely separate from the blog posts in the system. 

As we noted in our last review, this feature will come in handy for organizations with users unfamiliar with WordPress, in that a content type closely tailored to a specific purpose is easier to understand than a do-it-all-yourself interface.

Users will also be able to create custom templates for each author — including signatures or pictures:

Architecture Love for the Enterprise

Speaking of custom content types and taxonomies, it's obvious that WordPress 3.0 is more than just a pretty face--there's lots of stuff going on in the depths as well. And this is the stuff the enterprise customers will most enjoy.

The merging of  core WordPress and  the multi-user WordPress MU, for example, means users will be able to create a number of websites using only one installation of the platform.This will certainly make it easier for admins on a mission to many blogs--like hundreds or thousands of 'em. 

Note that this feature is not on by default, but it can be enabled via the WordPress configuration file.
Once you’ve plugged in the single line of code needed, the entire “Network” feature is enabled, allowing for the creation of multi-site systems. 

Developers and Users Rejoice

It’s evident that the WordPress team is dedicated to making the platform more fun to tinker around with, more appropriate for enterprise scenarios and at the same time, even easier for non-techies to utilize. Whether or not these new features will double as qualifiers for the Web CMS title is debatable, but they're exciting additions nonetheless.  

WordPress 3.0 is due out later this month, but if you can't wait to get your hands on the new perks, you can always download the most recent release candidate