After various setbacks and a postponed release date, the WordPress (news, site) team finally bestowed version 3.1 (a.k.a. “Reinhardt”) on Wednesday this week. Named in honor of the jazz guitarist Django Reinhard, the update focuses on content management, workflow and admin features.
Content Management Goodies
Plenty of users were excited when WordPress added the "Custom Post Types" feature, which allows the creation of any kind of content type and definition of its attributes. For instance, you might want to create a content type tailored specifically to deliver photos if your publication is photography-heavy. Same goes for videos. This comes in especially handy if multiple users with varying levels of technical expertise are posting from the same account.
This time around, the focus is on the visual side. The Post Formats feature operates like Tumblr in that users can customize the way a WordPress post is presented on the page. This allows them to better show off specific content types:
"The custom formats are really no more than taxonomies that get a special seat under the “publish” meta box of the post editor," wrote Brian Krogsgard of WPCandy. "Originally the post format selection was going to be made within the publish meta box. The big question to me is what features, or lack of, will each format be boxed with?"
Other CMS-y capabilities include archive pages for custom content types, a new Network Admin, an overhaul of the import and export system, and advanced taxonomy and custom fields queries.
In order to further systematize the writing process, WordPress 3.1 adds internal linking. For example, if the post you're writing references an earlier post, what do you do? Normally, probably search the site for it and then insert the hyper link. The new internal linking feature gives you the option to search terms from within the dashboard, like so:
The Admin Bar
The equally loved and hated admin bar from WordPress.com is transferring over to WordPress.org. Enabled by default, the menu lends quick access to a variety of tools and features, such as creating a new blog posts or accessing the back-end.The bar comes standard with 5 parent menu items and a search box on the right hand side, and can be disabled via the dashboard's "Users" panel.
All in all, the changes are fairly cool (check them all out in the 3.1 codex), and certainly more CMS friendly, but do they make the platform "more of a CMS than ever before," as WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg claims? That's a can of worms we'll let you open in the comments below.
Update your personal version or download 3.1 here and let us know what you think.