I upgraded this blog yesterday to the latest version, a process that was seamless, painless and very quick thanks to my 6-point upgrade plan that I’ve followed with every upgrade in recent years.
The most immediate visible change is the new default Twenty Ten theme, replacing the famous Kubrik-clone default theme used in the early days of WordPress 1.2 and before.
Twenty Ten brings a contemporary look to a WordPress blog and takes advantage of the useful features and functionality of recent versions and especially those in version 3.0.
Overall, this is a major upgrade with much new functionality and, according to the developers, 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements.
- WordPress and WordPress MU, the multi-user version, have merged, allowing the management of multiple sites from one WordPress installation. (That means you can now run, say, 10 WordPress blogs from a single installation rather than having to install 10 instances of WordPress unless you were running the MU version.)
- New default theme “Twenty Ten” takes full advantage of the current features of WordPress.
- New custom menu management feature, allows creation of custom menus combining posts, pages, categories, tags, and links for use in theme menus or widgets.
- Custom header and background APIs.
- Contextual help text accessed under the Help tab of every screen in the WordPress administration.
- Ability to set the admin username and password during installation.
- Bulk updating of themes with an automatic maintenance mode during the process.
- Support for shortlinks.
- Improved Custom post types and custom taxonomies including hierarchical (category-style) support.
- A lighter admin colour scheme to increase accessibility and put the focus more squarely on your content.
If you run WordPress, you should upgrade if only for the improved security every new version brings if new features and functionality don’t interest you.
If you’re using another blog platform and have been thinking about trying WordPress, now’s a good time: this looks to be the best version yet and can import content from seven different blog platforms – including prime competitors Movable Type, TypePad, Blogger and Live Journal – with the importer feature that comes with this new version.
Thesis is a powerful platform to underpin a WordPress blog, but is certainly not for the casual blogger. And it’s a premium theme, meaning you have to buy a license.
But if you want a theme that is eminently customizable and with a superb community support infrastructure, take a look at Thesis.