WordPress 2.5 First Impressions

Wordpress upgraded to 2.5It’s finally out, and I’m running on it – WordPress 2.5. This is first major overhaul to the WordPress blog software in recent memory, and so far it looks great. I’m liking the more simplified interface, and it seems snappier too. For the complete rundown, take a look at the official WordPress blog post.

Some first impressions:

  • The new write tab is good – cleaner visual style, and the “add media” links are nifty for quickly getting stuff up, novices, etc.
  • Editable permalink right at the top of the Write Post tab is great for tuning – both for SEO and usability.
  • Timed publish option welcomed.
  • I’m not as enthusiastic about having the categories list under the post. My categories list is somewhat long, and scrolling vertically in a horizontally oriented box is a pain. Put the long list back in its vertical box on the sidebar.
  • Tagger is good, but I wish the input box was longer.
  • Media Library browser is good and much more accessible – although iIm a little confused why they put a post count for individual media items.
  • Theme chooser is still missing a theme preview function.
  • One-click upgrades for plugins – finally! With plugins being updated so frequently, this is a huge help. Even nicer would be a “check and update all plugins” button.
  • Post via Email support is still flimsy. Yes, it works if you set it up correctly. However to invoke WordPress to check the designated email account, the user still has to manually visit the special mail page in a browser, set up a more techy cron job, or install a cron plugin. If WordPress is going to offer a post via email feature, I think they should do it right and build in a lightweight cron functionality. It could be as simple as a “check this email account every hour/week/month for new email posts” checkbox next to the settings.
  • New pre-made URL structure option is great.
  • I’d like to see selectable “skins” for the admin interface. Ideally, in the write tab, to make the write box highlighted, with perhaps a toggle-able grey mask over the rest, to allow for easier focus on writing.

So far, I’m happy with WordPress 2.5. It’s updated look is pleasing, and the new functionality is welcomed.