WordPress 3.0 Preview: A Quick Peek At New Features And Functionality

For long time WordPress fans, good news for you: WordPress 3.0 is coming.

WP 3.0 is scheduled to release in May 2010, which is just round the corner. We have grabbed a beta version of it and gave it a test run. I must say, it is darn impressive. This latest release comes packed with plenty of new features and functionality. It fixes some of the concern that we have voiced recently and added more useful features.

What’s new in WordPress 3.0

1. Support for multi-site

In the past, the WordPress software only allows you to install one blog. For those who wanted to create a series of blogs, or start a blog network, the only option is to install WordPress MU. With WP 3.0, you can now install multi-site with just the main core files (In short, WPMU is now merged into the WP core).

To install multi-site, simply add in the field in the wp-config.php file

define ('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

You will then be able to access the Network menu under Tools section.

wp3-network-setting

Unknown: What is unknown at this point is how easy is it to migrate from an existing WPMU site to WP 3.0?

2. WP Installation: create your own username

Unless you specifically change it, everyone will know that your WP administrative account is of the username “admin“. Not anymore in WP 3.0. You can now choose your own username and set your own password for the administrative account. Personally, I feel that this should be the way right from the start, but it is better late than never.

wp3-installaion1

3. New default theme: Twenty Ten (2010)

Getting bored of the ugly default WordPress classic theme? Wp 3.0 now comes with a new default theme called Twenty Ten (aka 2010).

wp3-default-theme

This may look like a simple theme, but it is fully customizable in the backend:

Widgets

This theme is mainly built with widgets and you can place content on almost every part of the theme.

wp3-theme-widgets

Background

If you don’t like the default white, you can also change the background color, or upload your own background image.

wp3-theme-background

Custom header image

Choose your favorite header image

wp3-theme-header

4. Creation of custom menu

This is still in experimental stage, but I think this is the best feature in the theme section. You can create multiple menus, categories, and even custom external or internal links! The menu feature even comes with a default widget to add to any widget ready area. I love it the instance I saw it.

wp3-theme-menu

Once you have created the menu, you can add it to your theme via the widgets section. Cool, isn’t it!

5. Define custom post type

A blog post nowadays is no longer just text and images. It can also be a video, podcast or any other stuffs. In WP 3.0, you can now define your own custom post type. Instead of just “Posts” and “Pages“, you can now create a custom post type like “Movies“, “Resume“, “Album” etc.

To do this, simply add the following code to your functions.php. (Code adapted from Wp-Engineer)

function post_type_movies() {
	register_post_type( 'movies',
                array( 'label' => __('Movies'), 'public' => true, 'show_ui' => true ) );
	register_taxonomy_for_object_type('post_tag', 'movies');
}
add_action('init', 'post_type_movies');

wp3-custom-post-type

6. Support for Child theme

If you want to change a part of your theme, but do not wish to modify any bit of the original theme files, you can now create a child theme. This child theme will inherit the functionality and looks and feels of its parent theme, but at the same time allows you to make modification to the theme.

7. Other small stuffs

Most used category in post/page section

A new “most used category” section is now available when creating new Post/Page.

Get short link

With the rising popularity of shorturl, Wp 3.0 now enables you to grab short link for your content.

Category cloud in the category section

A category cloud is now displayed in the category section to highlight the most frequently used category.

Plugin upgrade feature now available in the dropdown bar

You can now go to the Plugins section, check the plugins and select the Upgrade feature from the dropdown bar.

More options when exporting posts

When exporting posts, you can specify posts from certain authors, date or time.

Removal of Miscellaneous section

There won’t be anymore Miscellaneous section in Wp 3.0. It is now merged with the Media section.

Specific author themes

You can now create specific themes for each and every authors of your blog.

Conclusion

WordPress 3.0 is currently in beta 1. It is not suitable for production use yet. Interested testers can download it from the release archive.

Are you excited about the new features in WordPress 3.0? Tell us about it in the comments.

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