WordPress 3.0 Hits the Street

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When it comes to WordPress, I’d have to say that over time its become one of the most influential tools of my career. In the beginning it was software that was open source (free) so therefore worth messing around with. This I did… but back in the beginning it was primarily a straight up blogging platform… and as I wasn’t that much into blogging at that point, I strayed away from it for a while. But then I got a new client where the best solution for what they were looking to accomplish caused me to check out WordPress anew… and what I learned from messing around with professionally developed themes, was that WordPress was a mighty powerful CMS as well, giving the designer the capability to easily build entire sites using WordPress as the foundation.

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That was about two years ago now, back around WordPress 2.5. Between then and now, significant upgrades have been introduced both in functionality as well as user-interface improvements to the admin area. This morning, WordPress 3.0 Thelonious was released… the culmination of 6 months of work by 218 dedicated contributors that resulted in 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements. Primary among these enhancements are an even simpler installer, a minor overhaul of the admin area to incorporate new features and the long talked about “multi-user”” mode which allows multiple WordPress blogs to be run off a single WordPress installation. Not sure how this can help those of us who already have multiple installs up-and-running… but I’m on the lookout for the tutorials that will most certainly emerge now that the release has hit the streets.

Also of interest is that the default theme “Kubrick” that has shipped with WordPress for so long and has been seen on so many blogs… has now been retired in favor of “Twenty Ten”, a new default theme that has been taylored to some of the new functionality such as built in menu-creation utilities. I can’t say I’ll really miss Kubrick, but worth noting all the same.

I’m also not able to recommend the update at this point as I still have to study deeply what effect, if any, the upgrade would have on my existing suite of custom themes. That said, this site is a much simpler theme and I’ve already updated to 3.0 without a single problem… so my guess would be that everything would be fine as customized themes never alter any of the WordPress base code which would be the only code affected by the update… but we’ll see.

The easiest way by far to update your existing WordPress installations is with the Automatic Upgrade plug-in, you can find that here… and if you’d be installing WordPress for the first time… then get started here.

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