Loving WordPress 2.5
Plugins screen in WordPress 2.5
WordPress 2.5 was released yesterday, along with a nice new web site. This version contains a lot of new features (many geared towards extensibility), most of which I haven’t looked at yet. This post is just about the admin interface, which for a lot of people will be reason enough to upgrade.
I’ve been using the 2.5 release candidate for about a week, and although the admin interface has changed substantially there was almost no learning curve involved. The admin application is now more hierarchical, presenting fewer primary choices. (This is a good thing.) There’s also a nice distinction between primary task options on the left, and primary configuration options on the right. The dashboard produces better summaries than earlier versions of 2.x, such as the number of posts, comments, drafts you have, and the version that you’re using, and whether that version is out of date. Version feedback is obviously helpful, but the database summary helps to remind of of the last thing you did, which is really useful if you have both test and production instances.
Lists, such as posts, pages and comments are much easier to read in this version. The designers have removed a lot of the table junk, so the table data (individual posts, comments, etc.) stands out much more. Two differences really appeal to me. The first is that when listing posts (Manage → Posts) there’s no more “Edit” button. Instead the title of the post is a link. Simple. The second is that there’s a big fat search box and button for looking through your stuff. I have to admit that I’ve never paid attention to this feature before but now it’s obvious.
Since Release Candidate 1 the plugins screen has been refined to make active plugins stand out more (their state wasn’t easy to distinguish before). Actually, the updated list display has a Tiger Admin-ish feel, which was a nice surprise since Tiger Admin for earlier versions of WordPress was so, so good. I haven’t noticed any obvious problems with the few plugins that I’m running, although the WordPress 2.5 compatibility list reports issues with Bad Behavior and the Flash media uploader, along with a workaround. (I am using Bad Behavior, but I haven’t used the media uploader.) Remember to deactivate your plugins when you upgrade.
Overall, version 2.5 makes moving around in the admin space a much better experience. It’s a very thoughtful design realignment that brings WordPress up where it needed a boost.