My Top Five Favorite New Features in WordPress 2.8

Chet Baker, the jazz musician whose silky smooth voice was matched by his seemingly effortless trumpet playing was the inspiration for the name of the latest update to WordPress.  The new version 2.8, titled “Baker” is the follow up to “Coltrane”, and this new version, with much simplified and yet more powerful admin pages, advanced customization options and a whole lot of slick changes to the interface does indeed live up to its name.

Performing the update to your site should be as simple as click the new link that will appear at the top of your admin pages reading: “WordPress 2.8 is available”.  Before you do, be sure, as always, to backup you database.  There are many articles here at that teach you how to do this correctly.

While there are literally hundreds of updates and fixes in this revision, here are my top five favorite new features and changes in WordPress 2.8:

1. Smarter Widgets

At long last, Automattic did indeed answer my prayers with the new drag-and-drop widgets admin interface!  The best aspect of this update (and arguably my favorite overall in all of WP 2.8) is that you can store widget settings when you deactivate them.  For anyone who has ever entered a wall of code into one general text widget (like I do with all the blog directory buttons that I am linked from – for example bloggernity, blogcatalog, technorati etc.) or adsense or other affiliate code – this is a huge time saver. It also allows much easier testing – sometimes you may want to see whether more or less ads are more or less effective.

2. Plug and Play Themes

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Browse the theme directory and install themes from the admin – being able to install themes right from within WordPress rather than having to download, decompress and upload via ftp is another small but significant wonder of this release.

3. Option for Case-Insensitve Logins Tequila Sunrise trailer

Allow case-insensitive logins – this makes the process far more semantic. Sure it’s slightly less secure, but in terms of convenience, a smart move as you always want to make the user’s experience as simple and unobtrusive as possible.

4. Multiple Galleries per Page

Support more than one gallery on the same page

5. Per Page option for plugins

The option to choose what plugins manifest on what page is the sort of customization that makes a WordPress portal feel less like a sandbox and more like a dynamic destination.

All of these seemingly small distinctions, can collectively result in a much more customized and accurate representation of the experience you want to bring to your readers.

To see the extensive and complete list of additions, fixes and changes go the official WordPress Baker page at:

About the Author:
Keram is a new media consultant, music producer, actor and writer who opines on SEO at and society at America’s Sweethearts full movie . Listen to Keram’s podcast at Inferno

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