The latest and greatest version of WordPress is out. WordPress 1.5 (the “Strayhorn” release*) has more new features than you can shake a stick at. The release has been pretty quiet so far — no announcement yet on the WordPress Development Blog or on Photomatt’s site. But several people noticed the update on the Downloads page and picked up on it.
I’ve been running this site with the new code for a while now, and it’s been pretty solid. If you’ve been using version 1.2, and haven’t kept up with the development, you’re in for some nice surprises:
- The new theme system makes it easier than ever to radically change the look of your WordPress powered site. And since themes are separate from the core files, you can upgrade your WP installation without overwriting your custom templates. Just be sure that you do your work in a new theme, and don’t directly modify the included “kubrick” or “classic” themes.
- Standalone pages allow you to set up “static” pages of content, like an “about” page. You get to use all the same formatting and plugin functionality of a standard blog post. And you can also use a customized page template in your theme to give these pages a different look from your normal posts.
- Improved comment spam controls help keep nastiness from invading your site. Links in comments use the new
rel="nofollow"standard. In addition to the old “comment moderation” keywords, there are now “blacklist” keywords which cause a comment to be automatically deleted, rather than just being sent to moderation. The system can also automatically detect if comments are submitted from an open proxy (a common spammer technique).
- The Plugin API has been expanded immensely. Plugin authors now have access to just about every nook and cranny of the system that you could think of. Plugins can now add themselves to the admin menus and create their own configuration pages. Also there have been tremendous cleanups to the underlying core functions.
- The new “Dashboard” admin page gives you an overview of your site, along with links to the latest news from the world of WordPress.
Did I mention that it’s available for download? What are you waiting for?!?
(* I’m still pushing for a release named after Bix Beiderbecke…)