Hot off the presses is the latest feature release of our favorite blogware: WordPress 2.1 “Ella”. You can find a bore-you-to-tears detailed list of bugfixes and feature changes in the Milestone report over on Trac. But here’s my version of the short list of changes:
- Tabbed WYSIWYG/Code editing: You can now easily switch back and forth between the WYSIWIG (AKA: RTE, or “Rich Text Editor”) and the old-style editor with quicktags.
- Autosave: When editing posts, your changes are automatically saved every two minutes, as long as you’ve set a title.
- Spellcheck: The RTE now includes a spelling checker. I just tried it out, and it works pretty nicely! Click on a flagged word to see possible corrections.
- Blogroll categories have been completely redone in a way that integrates them with regular post categories.
- “Home” page: You can now use a WordPress Page (sometimes called “static pages”, though that’s a misnomer) as your front page, instead of the usual list of latest blog posts. This makes it easier to treat WordPress as a Content Management System and less like a system specifically for blogging, for sites where it makes more sense to arrange things like that.
- Import/Export: There is now a native WordPress Import/Export tool included. This will make it easy to migrate a site from one server to another, or even set up environments where you could have “test”, “staging”, and “production” servers. In fact, I think that’s a ripe idea for a new plugin…
- Comment Management Improvements: Mucho improvement to comment management. Comments are now a top-level menu item, rather than a sub-menu of “Manage”. Paging is improved, you can now easily flag comments as moderated or as spam. And make sure you also take advantage of the new Akismet 2.0 plugin, which has some great improvements of its own.
- Database Optimizations: An expert from MySQL helped optimize the database queries, which should help improve page building speed and reduce server load.
- And much, much, more… There are lots of little user interface improvements, optimizations, better error handling, extended features, and under-the-hood goodies for plugin and theme creators.
I’ve upgraded two of my blogs, plus Susan’s blog from WordPress 2.0.7 to version 2.1, and both upgrades went off without a hitch. I haven’t upgraded this site yet, because I’ve still got some old, ugly hacks that I’d like to update into proper plugins. I had also hoped to launch a redesign when I upgraded, but I haven’t made as much progress on that as I wanted to, so I’ll probably do the redesign after-the-fact.