I’ve been a big fan of the WordPress platform since the moment I started blogging on wordpress.com (I had one of the early invites and managed to snag “geoff.wordpress.com” – it now seems a shame that I’m not really using it), and I would love one day to put the tedium of Oracle Database Administration behind me and just spend my days modifying WordPress as a CMS for small to medium enterprises. So in short, I’m a big wordpress fan.
So once I saw that the latest beta was out (version 2.7), I went ahead and installed pretty much straight away. There are a whole bunch of niggling little issues that this version is fixing beautifully. For starters, the entire UI has received a complete overhaul – which seems a little premature seeing as it was less than a year ago that they revamped for 2.6, but I really doubt that anyone could be complaining. After 2.6 came out, the wordpress team copped some flak with regard to the usability aspect, so they got experts in. And now, everything has just started making sense.
One of the biggest frustrations I had previously, was that in order to schedule a post to publish in the future, you would set the date that the post should appear, and then press publish. But when you press publish, you always had that fear that the publish button was going to override your scheduled date, and that you should be pressing “save” instead. But now, the geniuses have made everything make sense: the words on the button change when you alter the publish date. So as soon as the date gets set, the button text changes from saying “Publish” to saying “Schedule”. It’s a tiny little thing, but the mindset means that you could feel confident in trying to teach less advanced users to use the really cool features, because the User Interface just works.
The screen real estate in the back end is much more efficient, and reduces the likelihood that you’ll actually need to scroll down the page – a common niggle with the previous setup. The dashboard has been changed again, and I think they’ve finally nailed a setup that really encompasses the things you want to know when you first log in. They’ve made pretty much all of the backend pages available through drop-down menus, which makes life a bunch easier when you’re trying to find that obscure option you’ve changed once before.
Basically, while I wouldn’t want to be the person saying you should upgrade to a beta version, you should definitely be looking forward to the next release of WordPress. 2.7 is a great step forward in the evolution of the world’s best blogging system.