Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress 2.1 Released

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.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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21 Responses to WordPress 2.1 Released

  1. Well, Ella is not going together with Firefox. The WYSIWYG-Editor does not work properly… some kind of Java/Ajax thing. You better should not upgrade if you’re writing your articles via WP. The upgrade went fine… yeah, but writing articles is not possible under Firefox right now. I can do it via IE7 or Opera without a problem, but in Firefox the Ajax-windows that replaced the former Javascript pop-ups do not work.

  2. ketsugi says:

    Alex: not sure what you’re talking about, cos 2.1 is working perfectly for me in Firefox on Windows XP as well as Mac OS X.

  3. Just watch this article:

    Of course it’s in german, but look at the screenshots I made. First one IE7, second one Firefox. It’s the “insert URL” window. Dunno why Ajax/Java is behaving that strange in Firefox.

  4. ekowanz says:

    heyy….can u guys give how to upgrade wp 2.0 to wp 2.1??
    it’s same as upgrade for 2.0.5 to 2.0.7??or there’s another step??

    thx before 😀

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  6. Jim says:

    That’s part of why I don’t use the Rich Text Editor – it’s too problematic for me, and I like a more hands-on feel where it comes to formatting my content. I use a couple of great plugins (i.e. TextControl and Footnotes) to get everything looking just the way I want it.

  7. Graeme says:

    Well, I’m using WP2.1 and FF2.0.0.1 and it works perfectly for me. In fact, I get exactly the same box you show for IE7, no sign of the extra “class” pull-down and both insert and cancel buttons are there.

    Could it be a plugin clash? Perhaps something in your WP or FF installations is stopping this working right?

  8. Jesper says:

    I don’t get a wysiwyg-editor at all… in any browser. What’s going on?

  9. I upgraded to the newest Java runtime environment 1.5.10 at and of course I change the Javascript options like mentioned in this wordpress support-forum:

    That worked for me. Dunno if it will help others.

  10. Marco says:

    To get the new feature to have a front page static instead of posts (like CMS) , check “options” then “Reading”

  11. Dougal says:

    Alexander: The JRE doesn’t have anything to do with it. But your Javascript settings do.

    Jesper: Make sure you have Javascript enabled. Also, check in your user profile and be sure that you haven’t turned off the RTE in your personal settings.

    Jim: I don’t use the RTE either. In fact, I turn off a lot of the auto-formatting that’s built in to WP. But it’s been getting better and better. I’m going to start playing with it, because it seems a lot more usable these days. And the ability to easily switch back to the code view for tweaking makes it much more usable for us power-users.

    ekowanz: The upgrade process is the same as it’s always been:

    1. Backup(!)
    2. (optional) Delete your old WordPress files, except for the wp-content directory.
    3. Copy the new WordPress files onto your web hosting area
    4. (or just login to your site — it will tell you that you need to upgrade and give you a link)
    5. Click where instructed

    That’s it!

  12. Doug Smith says:

    Nice summary. I think one other feature that you didn’t mention is a pretty big deal: pages can now be marked as draft instead of always being publicly available.

  13. Billy Dennis says:

    A surprisingly gentle upgrade. I’m only experiencing a few glitches, all of which I’ll probably be able to fix. For one thing, none of the quicktage I created through the WP-AddQuicktags plugin are appearing in wp-admin/post-new.php (I’m NOT using WYSIWYG).

  14. BHowdy says:

    Well, I can’t get my links (now called blogrolls — sheesh) to show up in the sidebar on the front page.

    I’ve tried clicking the blogroll box on all my latest posts.

  15. Pingback: eremetic » Blog Archive » ‘Ella’ rises

  16. Pingback: Wordpress 2.1 - Ella released at BlogThe.Net

  17. Robert says:

    I did finally get the WordPress 2.1 Rich Text Editor to work with Firefox (Windows XP). The problem in my case was an issue with the Gallery2 plugin WPG2.

    I discovered the error in Javascript (using the Firefox plugin Firebug)…a call “TinyMCE.switchClassSticky is not a function”. When I disabled the plugin, the WYSIWYG editor worked just fine.

    See if the behavior is correct by disabling the WPG2 plugin in your case – if that fixes it, then here’s how to get it to work enabled:

    Replace the files:

    with the version contained in:

    This fixed my problem.


  18. Shalini says:

    I’ve just set up my blog on WordPress, so it was really great to read your summary about all the features and options that will help make it faster and easier to use.

  19. Jimisola says:

    @Robert (comment #15): your post made my as it saved me a lot of headache and time. thanks!

  20. Pingback: Switching… » Wordpress release 2.1.0

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