WordPress 2.5 and Crazyhorse admin panel usability report

October 29, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Jane Wells has posted a report on the usability testing of two WordPress admin panels: the one found in version 2.5 and the newer, rapidly-prototyped Crazyhorse (demo-ed in WordCamps worldwide).

Take note that this Crazyhorse is different from the WP 2.7 interface designs we’ve seen lately, which are a lot more polished. Still, you’ll see from the PDF that the redesign was a welcome change to the users, compared to the 2.5 interface.

I’m impressed at how transparent Automattic is about these things. For the casual WordPress user it may be a bit too much, but for the hardcore fans, it’s great seeing the whole story!

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Early preview of WordPress 2.7

September 4, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Although WordPress is still a long way from being released, Weblog Tools Collection has posted several screenshots of WordPress 2.7 that reveal changes that improve upon the last major interface upgrade from WordPress 2.5. Here are some quotes from the blog post:

  • “There is now a left hand side navigational column.”
  • “The Write Panel in WordPress 2.7 has gone through an overhaul as well. I think you’ll really enjoy the fact that drag and drop elements are back.”
  • “Browsing and installing plugins from the respository looks to become even more convenient now that you can do both from the WordPress back end.”
  • “You can now configure a large image size, default image size, default image alignment, and default image links. Very nice, time saving options.”

Looks like another exciting release in the history of WordPress. Watch out for more developments at the WordPress Codex page dedicated to WordPress 2.7.

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WordPress Admin Dashboard to be updated in 2.7

August 26, 2008 | No Comments Yet

CrazyHorse

The admin dashboard is an essential part of what makes WordPress really work, which is why the Automattic team continues to tweak it to ultimate user interface perfection. In the upcoming version 2.7 (nicknamed “Crazyhorse”), WP FUN shares a glimpse of what the new dashboard will look like:

Each of the menu items on the left open and close as needed. Templates contains everything that is in the design tab now. Utilities features the new inbox (which seems to include notifications about WordPress and maybe new comments, but it doesn’t do anything yet) and some of the contents of the manage menu.

The recently-concluded WordCamp also demo-ed Crazyhorse. You can find more pictures here. See the “Riding the Crazyhorse” talk by Liz Danzico of Happy Cog, the company who redesigned the admin interface in WordPress 2.5.

A video courtesy of socialTNT is also embedded below:

Finally, CalinSoft has also posted an in-depth walkthrough of Crazyhorse, though unfortunately it’s in Spanish. (Try Google’s translation here.)

The dashboard is just a critical part of a blogger’s workflow, so it’s a good thing that WordPress is really working hard to continuously improve it.

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Be sure to add these CSS declarations to your WordPress 2.5/2.6 stylesheets

August 20, 2008 | 1 Comment

Versions of WordPress 2.5 and 2.6 have added arbitrary new CSS classes for styling uploaded images (WP 2.5) and their captions (WP 2.6). The WordPress Codex has a page that provides CSS declarations you can add to your custom theme if you’re not too familiar with tweaking your stylesheets.


.aligncenter,
div.aligncenter {
   display: block;
   margin-left: auto;
   margin-right: auto;
}

.alignleft {
   float: left;
}

.alignright {
   float: right;
}

.wp-caption {
   border: 1px solid #ddd;
   text-align: center;
   background-color: #f3f3f3;
   padding-top: 4px;
   margin: 10px;
   /* optional rounded corners for browsers that support it */
   -moz-border-radius: 3px;
   -khtml-border-radius: 3px;
   -webkit-border-radius: 3px;
   border-radius: 3px;
}

.wp-caption img {
   margin: 0;
   padding: 0;
   border: 0 none;
}

.wp-caption p.wp-caption-text {
   font-size: 11px;
   line-height: 17px;
   padding: 0 4px 5px;
   margin: 0;
}

Also check out the links posted for more help on CSS, HTML, and WordPress blog design in general.

(Via)

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WordPress.com redesigned

August 13, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com redesigned

Hosted platform WordPress.com just got a design refresh, as announced by Matt Mullenweg via Twitter last August 11.

You’ll notice that while WordPress.com and WordPress.org sport similar design elements now (since version 2.5), the content of their homepages differ greatly. The former features posts from the users’ blogs, while the latter boasts of the blog software’s excellent features.

Which one do you prefer? It’s like comparing apples to oranges. I do, however, would like to see WordPress.org aggregate content from self-hosted blogs too. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

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Tip: Write in Fullscreen Mode in WordPress 2.5

April 10, 2008 | 1 Comment

Still not convinced about switching to WordPress 2.5? Here’s another great feature that might change your mind. While writing a post, you can now block out all the distractions by shifting to fullscreen mode!

Note: you have to use the Visual Editor for this to work. Just click on the icon that looks like a computer screen or hit ALT+SHIFT+G and you have a screenful of writing space instantly! Gone are the days when you have to grab a specialized text editor like WriteRoom or Dark Room just to remove all the unnecessary elements hindering you from writing that million-dollar blog post.

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WordPress Theme: FreshPress

April 9, 2008 | 3 Comments

FreshPress Theme

FreshPress is a light, 3-column WordPress theme inspired by the new WordPress 2.5 administration interface.

The theme features a “Featured” article on the main blog homepage, along with showing more featured articles next to it. You can customize the theme to your delight and use it on as many blogs as you desire.

While this theme is completely free, the makers (FreshPress Themes/Weborithm) would like the footer credit link to stay intact, or have it removed for a donation of $5.00.

Download FreshPress

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Technorati’s Ultimatum: Upgrade WordPress to 2.5 Now or Your Blog Will NOT Be Indexed

April 8, 2008 | 7 Comments

Now this comes as a surprise. Technorati has actually given an ultimatum to vulnerable WordPress blogs, saying that unless they upgrade to the latest, most secure version, 2.5, they will not be indexed.

Blogs that have been compromised by this security vulnerability are typified by having links to spam destinations inserted onto the blog page. These link insertions may be invisible to casual observations; the links are often obscured by style attributes that render them invisible. These links are still seen by crawlers such as Technorati’s, Google’s and Yahoo’s.

Technorati also mentions that blogs hosted on WordPress.com should not have this vulnerability.

I know Filipino bloggers are big fans of Technorati, so here’s yet another reason for you to upgrade to WordPress 2.5. Don’t worry, it’s not scary at all!

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Latest Version of bbPress Integrates with WordPress 2.5

April 3, 2008 | 1 Comment

Aside from WordPress, the creators of Automattic have several other software products you might be interested in. I mentioned social network platform BuddyPress a few days ago; now let’s talk about bbPress.

bbPress is forum software (like phpBB, SMF, et cetera). It’s still relatively younger and less popular than its blogging counterpart, WordPress, so it’s a good idea to finally develop compatibility between the two. Blogging may be a community in itself, but some people just can’t help hanging out in the forums, and would seem like a great feature for blog-based websites. And if I may be even bolder, the Internet was practically built on bulletin boards!

But I personally don’t like that forums tend to look completely different from their parent websites. It sort of alienates your visitors. An even more important issue is that if you require your users to register on the main site, chances are they have to register again in the forums. With bbPress, you can:

  • Use your WordPress user data in the forum
  • Customize the look and feel of the forum practically the same you would with WordPress themes
  • Pretty permalinks! (Need I say more?)
  • Spam protection from Akismet, pretty much the most effective spam fighting system out there

And knowing Automattic, the future of bbPress should be looking bright, so expect even more droolworthy features along the road.

Now my question is, since we’re not using bbPress here at the WordPress Philippines Forum, do you think we should make the switch? Since WordPress 2.5 is out, there’s not really an excuse left, right? What do you think?

Check out some of the newest features of bbPress, download the software, and read how you can integrate bbPress with WordPress.

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WordPress 2.5 FAQ

April 2, 2008 | No Comments Yet

The latest version of WordPress may be a little confusing to some users since it moved several things around, so this FAQ posted at Weblog Tools Collection might be of some help. There’s always the Codex and the Forums for everything else.

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WordPress 2.5 Released

March 31, 2008 | 3 Comments

The long-awaited version of WordPress is finally here! WordPress 2.5 “Brecker” was released last March 29, and just about the same time the official WordPress website got a makeover to match the new administration panel.

2.5 is a major milestone for WordPress not because it added dozens of user-requested features, but because it reaffirms that we’re as passionate about blogging as the day we started. Our community is too fierce to rest on its laurels — contrary to what pundits claim, blogging is far from “finished” and every improvement just whets our appetite for more. And more is coming.

Version 2.5 had two release candidates before the final version and tons of discussions about its upcoming features, so those who have been keeping up-to-date probably already know what to expect. For those who don’t, better read it straight from the horse’s mouth. Here’s a shortlist:

User Features

  • Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard
  • Dashboard Widgets
  • Multi-file upload with progress bar
  • EXIF extraction
  • Search posts and pages
  • Tag management
  • Password strength meter
  • Concurrent editing protection
  • Few-click plugin upgrades
  • Friendlier visual post editor
  • Built-in galleries

Developer Features

  • Salted passwords
  • Secure cookies
  • Easy taxonomy and URL creation
  • Inline documentation
  • Database optimization
  • $wpdb->prepare()
  • Media buttons
  • Shortcode API

Theme and plugin issues shouldn’t be too major, but to be sure just check out the Codex for that.

Download WordPress 2.5 now!

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WordPress 2.5’s New Password Hashing Scheme

March 28, 2008 | 1 Comment

Ryan Boren tells us there’s a new password hashing scheme in WordPress 2.5 (along with a new format for cookie authentication). Why is this important for WordPress users with little knowledge about security?

If you share your users table with other applications or with other WordPress blogs that won’t be upgrading to 2.5 all at once, you’ll probably want to continue using MD5 hashes rather than the new hashes.

Thankfully there’s a WordPress plugin that allows us to continue using MD5 hashes. He strongly recommends us to install and run it once we upgrade to 2.5.

Users that login prior to installation of the plugin will get the new hashes, but after the plugin is active those users will be moved back to MD5 upon their next log in. If you ever want to move to the new hashes, just deactivate the plugin.

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WordPress 2.5 RC2 Released, along with a Screencast

March 26, 2008 | 1 Comment

Just as the WordPress community is starting to get comfortable with the first release candidate of WP 2.5, WordPress RC2 has arrived.

Another great treat is the video walkthrough of what you can do with the latest WordPress version, which focuses on the dashboard, the write post page, and the gallery feature. See the screencast for yourself: flash movie or AVI.

The post also touches briefly on theme and plugin compatibility: no known problems for existing themes, though you might want to update them for cool new features like Gravatars. Expectedly, several plugins will need updating. Visit the 2.5 Plugin Compatibility page for more information.

Finally with regards to theme and plugin compatibility, we’ve had no reports of any broken themes in this upgrade, which makes sense because we didn’t really change anything core about themes, just added new optional capabilities like Gravatars. Plugins that work with the admin may require updating to take advantage of the new, cleaner UI in WordPress 2.5.

Read the complete announcement here.

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WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1!

March 18, 2008 | No Comments Yet

The WordPress development blog finally announces that there’s a new version of WordPress, but it’s only a release candidate. Why? He says the software is practically good to go at this point, but the team wants everybody’s feedback first before they release the final version.

The software is basically done and stable, and could be released today, but we’d like to incorporate feedback from a wider audience before making it available to the general public. After a few days of your feedback we’ll set a final release date. Personally, I can’t wait. 😀

What can we expect from WordPress 2.5?

A customizable dashboard, multi-file upload, built-in galleries, one-click plugin upgrades, tag management, built-in Gravatars, full text feeds, and faster load times sound interesting to you? Then WordPress 2.5 might be the release for you.

WordPress 2.5 Dashboard

The “sneak peek” focuses on the most important change made—the administration panel. Apparently they had help from the design gurus at Happy Cog (Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, Liz Danzico) to rethink and restructure the interface us WordPress geeks rely on the most. For the longest time I’ve hesitated to like the new look, particularly the colors, but that can now be modified easily.

Read the blog post and share your thoughts about WP 2.5 by sending an email to 2.5-feedback@wordpress.org. I can’t wait for the final release of WordPress 2.5!

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WordPress 2.5 Delayed!

March 12, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Weblog Tools Collection reports that the much-awaited release of WordPress 2.5 has been delayed by a week. People have written countless posts about preparing for taking this major leap (especially since it skipped 2.4), while some are still hesitating.

According to the WordPress Trac, the WordPress team has reached only 58%, or closed 560 out of 966 tickets, so far. Here’s hoping there will be no more delays—or not, since you might be breathing a sigh of relief as you won’t have to scramble to update your site just yet.

WordPress 2.5 is now due on March 17, 2008.

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