The WordPress team announced the availability of WordPress 2.7 beta 1, and I was pretty excited to give it a whirl, so I installed it on my local PC and was more than amazed at what is in store for users with WordPress 2.7.
Here are my impressions on WordPress 2.7, remember this is just a beta version, so do not install it on your main blog yet.
The first thing I noticed after logging in was a improvised dashboard which was way much better than any earlier versions of WordPress.
The new dashboard has easy navigation links in the left hand side, which is a change from the regular top menu navigation the earlier versions had. The dashboard widgets have been rearranged and look pretty in WordPress 2.7.
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The dashboard also includes Quick Press a easy way to write short posts from the dashboard without having to invoke the full write panel. This is definitely useful when you want to write quick announcement posts, and can be compared to the micro blogging service Tumblr.
The write panel can now be accessed through any page from the top menu, and you can easily add a new post or page without having to go to the manage menu first.
Show On Screen Options
WordPress 2.7 now has a easy configuration menu to allow users to only see items they want on any admin page. This can be easily controlled by clicking on the Screen Options link in the top of the page.
Once you click on the link, a menu will be shown where you can choose the items you want to display on the page, this can be controlled for every admin page, including the write page etc.
Enhanced Comments Management and Reply To Comments From Dashboard
WordPress 2.7 has a pretty good comments manager, and now you can edit the comments without having to leave the page, and also reply to them from the admin dashboard, this feature is similar to what I did with the Better Comments Manager plugin.
In addition to that you can also filter comments based on posts, there are also keyboard shortcuts using which you can approve, edit, delete the comments.
Automatic Upgrading of WordPress
WordPress 2.7 has a in-built function to automatically upgrade your version of WordPress, this feature is definitely a must have and I had tried to tackle this issue with the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin.
With the in-built upgrader you will have to backup the files and database yourself.
Threaded Comments and Auto Close of Comments
WordPress 2.7 now allows the ability to have threaded comments where users can reply to any other comment, in addition to that you can also automatically close the comments after a certain period has elapsed, this option is available under Settings > Discussion.
You can also display comments in a paginated format, so that the page load time increases if there are a lot of comments on a post.
Install New Plugins From The Admin Panel
Installing plugins was always a pain with WordPress as you had to download the files to your local machine, unzip the files, open your FTP software and upload the files, before finally going to the admin panel to activate the plugins.
With WordPress 2.7 you can breathe some relief since can now search for the plugins in WordPress extend gallery and directly install them without having to download it to your local PC.
If you want to install a plugin that does not exist in WordPress extend you can upload the zipped archive from your local PC to be installed as a plugin.
Enhanced Write Panel
WordPress 2.7 has a enhanced write panel which loads much faster and is more cleaner than the earlier versions, you also have the option to create a sticky post which will always show on the home page by ticking the Stick to front page check box.
I use Windows Live Writer to post content to the blog, so cannot elaborate much about granular changes made in this section.
Overall WordPress 2.7 looks like a good upgrade and it should be available to users by end of this month after the initial beta bugs are reported and fixed.
What do you think of WordPress 2.7, let us know through your comments.