The Ultimate Guide to WordPress 3.0

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WordPress 3.0 has arrived! The codename this time is “Thelonius” and it comes packed-in with a host of features that is going to make your blogging life a lot easier. There is a lot of information to pack in here so let’s skip the formalities and get started. Wait, are there formalities usually?

New Default Theme “Twenty Ten”

There is a new default theme in town. “Twenty Ten” has replaced the “Kubrick” theme as default and even though we can shed a tear for Kubrick, the new one is a much nicer experience. It features built-in support for child themes and header customization. It also comes with the ability to complete a host of background alterations. It truly does offer users a fresh look when they boot up their WordPress. Below is a photo of it in action.

2010

Let’s talk a bit about the header customization. You can upload your own headers right into the admin panel. One step. No hassles. Also, there are eight pre-installed header options to choose from. They are pretty cool, actually. Here is a photo.

headers

Now let’s talk about the background customization options. “Thelonius” allows you to change the background of posts and pages from the back-end administration panel. There are a gad of options here. You can change the color. You can upload your own images. The sky is just about the limit. It just requires a simple line of code or two in your themes function.php file. Below is an image of the custom background panel.

background

Shortlink

Shortlink is WordPress 3.0′s micro-blogging and Twitter integration. This functionality also gives you the ability to generate branded short links. Think Tinyurl etc.

Menu modifications

WordPress 3.0 offers a supremely intuitive menu system. Simply drag and drop stuff when you want to change anything. No coding experience is necessary, even when you want to add an entirely new menu option. The system is the same for outgoing links, categories, pages and whatever else you can think of. It truly is a simple and functional marvel to behold.

Custom Post Types

This is something users have been clamoring for a while. WordPress 3.0 makes content management a lot easier thank to this feature. This will allow WordPress theme developers to create custom content types outside pages and posts. Custom post types finally catches WordPress up to similar services offered by Drupal and the like.

Improved Custom Taxonomies

Custom taxonomies in WordPress is another neat feature. This reduces the effort put in by developers in the creation of large websites greatly. This was available in WordPress 2.8 but in 3.0 the system gets a welcome revamping. They now allow for hierarchical relationships and are much easier to string together to make usable lines of code. This feature may go unused by the laymen but it is a boon to experienced developers.

Multi-Site

WordPress 3.0 allows you to manage as many blogs as you want, hundreds even, with just one install. 3.0 has merged with WordPress MU to enable this feature. Say you are designing for a client who is an umbrella company with tons of subdivisions, brands and companies. Imagine the work this new feature will save you as you go about creating websites for every facet of their business model. Word of advice though:  The feature is not enabled automatically and must be turned on via wp-config.php by adding “define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);”

Final thoughts

Hello fully functional publishing platform. WordPress 3.0 has finally inched us ever so closer to getting there. The new features represent a sea change of sorts of the program and it’s massive userbase. It’s evident the masterminds behind WordPress are dedicated to simplifying the user experience while, at the same time, making it more feature rich and adaptable. This is an important balancing act and one that the company can be proud of. What features are you most excited by? Drop them in an email or the comment box.

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