WordPress 2.5
Remember when WordPress fans held fast to 2.0.x after the release of 2.1.x? Was it just an reluctance to change? Well, hopefully this is not the case with the newest version of the prolific publishing platform. WordPress v2.5 offers better functionality and continues the ease of use tradition -- all in a more aesthetically pleasing packaging that works better for you…at least that’s the idea. Read on for the details. WordPress 2.5 was released at the end of March after much anticipation from the blogging world. Originally, the release date was set for March 10, 2008, but due to some bugs that needed further fixing, the release date was pushed to the end of March.

Administration Gets Overhauled in WordPress 2.5

Many of the changes that have occurred in the newest version of WordPress have occurred on the admin side of things. Changes that have been made include (but are not limited to) dashboard layout, post editing layout and capabilities, post management and image uploading (soon to include flickr and YouTube direct searching). Tag Management One of the coolest additions to this version is the tag management section. With 2.5, when you are in the Manage section there will be a new tab labeled "Tags". This gives you the ability to manage all your tags without having to use a plugin that may conflict with your theme or other plugins. It seems much of the idea with 2.5 is to eliminate the need for a lot of plugins which, being that they are frequently third-party developed, can cause functionality and display issues with a site. Here is a great video illustrating some of the changes with WordPress 2.5:

New Features for WordPress 2.5

# Dashboard Widgets - The dashboard home page is now a series of widgets, including ones to show you fun stats about your posting, latest comments, people linking to you, new and popular plugins and of course WordPress news.

You can customize any of the dashboard widgets to show, for example, news from your local paper instead of WP news. Plugins can also hook in. For example, the WordPress.com stats widget adds a handy double-wide stats box. # Concurrent Editing Protection - For those of you on multi-author blogs, have you ever opened a post while someone was already editing it, and your auto-saves kept overwriting each other, irrecoverably losing hours of work? Bet that added a few words to your vocabulary.

Now if you open a post that someone else is editing, WordPress magically locks it and prevents you from saving until the other person is done. # Built-in Galleries - When you take advantage of multi-file upload (another new feature) to upload a bunch of photos, WP now has a new shortcode that lets you to easily embed galleries by just putting [ gallery] (without the space) in your post. It will display all your thumbnails and captions and each thumbnail links to a page where people can comment on the individual photos. # Database optimization - The table layout has not been changed in this release, which is one of the reasons so many plugins work fine with 2.5. A few new indices have been made and a few default fields are more flexible based on some bottlenecks that were found on WordPress.com, which now hosts 2.7 million WordPress blogs. It should be invisible to the application, just a bit faster on the database side. # Media buttons - The add media buttons above the post are expandable, so you could have an “Add Google Map” button if you like. They can be overridden, so if you think you can do the video or audio tab better than you can replace the default. # Shortcode API - The new gallery functionality is powered by the new shortcode API. Shortcodes are little bracket-delineated strings that can be magically expanded at runtime to something more interesting. They give users a short, easy to type and copy/paste string they can move around their post without worrying about messing up complex HTML or embed codes.

What’s Next for WordPress

According to the WordPress Blog: “2.5 is a major milestone for WordPress not because it added dozens of user-requested features, but because it reaffirms that we’re as passionate about blogging as the day we started. Our community is too fierce to rest on its laurels — contrary to what pundits claim, blogging is far from “finished” and every improvement just whets our appetite for more. And more is coming.” So get out there, blog your little heart out and let us know what you think about v2.5.