If you are still not aware, WordPress 3.1 was (finally) released on 22nd Feb 2011. The planned release was supposed to be Dec 2010, but apparently there were too many bugs to be fixed and the actual release was delayed by two months. Fortunately WordPress 3.1 is full of goodies and is definitely worth the waiting. Let’s take a look at what’s in store in WP 3.1.
One common practice for most bloggers is to internal link to other article in their blog. The usual way is to open a new tab, search for the article, manually copy the URL and link it in the WordPress text editor. As of WordPress 3.1, you can now internal link right within the text editor.
Highlight the text you want to link, and click the Link button.
Post formats is a new way for you to classify your blog post. In the past, the only way to classify your posts is via Category and tags. WordPress 3.0 came with a custom post type for you to classify various post type. However, there could be different post formats (eg. images, videos, audio etc) within the same category or post type. This is where Post Formats come in handy. You can now specify which format the particular post belongs to.
This feature is not added by default. To activate it, place the following code in your
The above code adds all the available formats. You can remove those formats that you have no need for. The functionality of each format is as below:
- aside – Typically styled without a title. Similar to a Facebook note update.
- gallery – A gallery of images. Post will likely contain a gallery shortcode and will have image attachments.
- link – A link to another site.
- image – A single image.
- quote – A quotation. Probably will contain a blockquote holding the quote content. Alternatively, the quote may be just the content, with the source/author being the title.
- status – A short status update, similar to a Twitter status update.
- video – A single video.
- audio – An audio file. Could be used for Podcasting.
- chat – A chat transcript, like so:
As can be seen, it is now easy to convert your WordPress into a microblogging platform, a social networking site, image gallery or a podcasting site.
If you are a user of WordPress.com, you will be familiar with the admin toolbar at the top of the page. This toolbar has arrived in WordPress 3.1, and is only available if you have setup WordPress Network on your site.
List-type Admin Screens
The list-type admin screen is just a simple user interface overhaul, and it is a good one. In the previous version of WordPress, when navigating through your posts archive, you have to click the page number link. If the posts you are looking for is at the end of the archive, you have to manually scroll to the last page.
In WordPress 3.2, the pagination has been improved, allowing you to enter the page number of the archive that you want to go to.
If you are not me who dislike the import/export feature of WordPress, then this is time for you to take another look at it. The new Exporter/Importer feature in WordPress 3.1 now includes author information, better handling for taxonomies and terms, and proper support for navigation menus.
Seriously, for backing up or migrating to another server, I would still prefer backing up the whole database than to use the Import/Exporter feature.
Custom Content Type Improvements
Custom Post Type was introduced in WordPress 3.0 and it was poorly implemented. Many of the theme features or APIs were not available and developers have to hack their way to make things work. In this version, there are now better support for generating archive page (for custom post type) and better menu and capability controls. It is still not as good as the default post/page structure, but it is improving.
Developers can now perform a query on multiple taxonomies and custom fields. This allows more flexibility when developing a plugin or a theme. For example, if you have posts with “dog” tag under the “Pets” category, you can now query all the posts with the function:
query_posts( array( 'pets' => 'dog' ) );
For more info, refer to WordPress Codex
Refreshed blue admin scheme
The blue admin theme has been refreshed and it is a welcome change. The whole theme brings more focus to the content and give the overall look a more distinct feel.
There are many many more improvement that were not mentioned above. There were over two thousands commits to the codebase for WordPress 3.1 and is currently the best WordPress version ever released. Don’t wait, upgrade it now!