Get ready for WordPress 2.7

Version 2.7 of WordPress, containing a wide range of new features and improvements, is almost upon us.

The new version of the popular blogging platform was slated for release on November 10 but has been extended until at least the end of November according to Lorelle VanFossen (although the WordPress Codex feature list still says November 10).

This new version looks like it will make WordPress even easier to use than it already is with major improvements and enhancements to the administration interface: a new dashboard.

[Later:] After first publishing this post, I saw this excellent screencast that tours the new dashboard – If WordPress 2.7 Was A Movie…

That may be all you need to get keen about 2.7.

What I’m looking forward to in this area are things like the menus on the left of the screen rather than at the top and the ability to customize how your dashboard looks.

Among the new features in 2.7 – and here’s a terrific top 10 new features list to whet your appetite – one that I think will appeal to bloggers will be the many new things you’ll be able to do regarding comments, including comments threading and pagination, moderate comments from the dashboard and take advantage of the new comment API.

Some of these functions – threaded comments, for instance – will require the theme you use to support that new WordPress function.

The new version of WordPress will also support a feature integrated into the software – that of automated upgrading to future versions, something that you can do now, sort of, with the automatic update plug-in (one I don’t have much confidence in).

So if you’re looking forward to the new WordPress, I’d say there are three critical things to do between now and when it’s finally released, in order of importance (most important first):

  1. Check that plugins you regard as essential will work with WordPress 2.7. The time to do that is now, not when you’re preparing to actually upgrade. Keep an eye on Plugins/Plugin Compatibility/2.7 on the WordPress Codex.
  2. If you want to enjoy newly-native functions and features like threaded commenting that will work only if your theme supports them, now is the time to check whether your theme does and, if not, what the theme developer’s plans are in that regard. Or look for another theme. (My theme, Thesis, won’t support threaded commenting at the start, which I’m disappointed to learn.) Keep an eye on Themes/Theme Compatibility/2.7 on the Codex.
  3. If you want to take advantage of the automated upgrade feature new to version 2.7, check with your hosting service to be sure they support that. (DreamHost, my hosting service, does.)

And if you feel adventurous, you can try WordPress 2.7 now via the public beta.

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