Thanks to Donncha’s ever amazing work, I’ve finally upgraded my site from WordPress MU 2.6.5 to WordPress MU (WPMU) 2.7. There were some hiccups during the initial WPMU 2.7 beta upgrade, so I ended up wiping all the WordPress files except for my config file (wp-config.php) and the contents of blogs.dir inside the wp-content folder and re-uploading all the files from the stable release WPMU 2.7. So for those who are having a problem with their WPMU installation after an upgrade, you could always delete everything but the wp-config.php file and blogs.dir folder and re-upload all the files fresh. I’ve found doing a drag-and-drop via FTP of new files on top of old files has never failed to produce errors. Another good option might be Subversion.
So how is the new WordPress MU 2.7, the new user interface, and functionality? Well so far, it’s excellent. Read on to hear more about my thoughts on the new WPMU 2.7.
Completely new user interface back-end. With the introduction of WordPress 2.5/WPMU 2.5, the administration user interface was quite different. It was the “prettiest” to date, easier to use, designed in some part by Happy Cog Studios (more background here), but cumbersome to navigate when trying close comments, change the post date/time, or change authors. Now with the new WP/WPMU 2.7, the admin back-end has changed yet again; for the better this time. What the 2.5 admin back-end did was to refocus on people who write rather than developers as a majority of WordPress users are not always developers. The 2.7 admin back-end does a very good job of organizing all the important “writing” tools within reach and in sensible locations. I find people who use the new 2.7 back-end spend less time looking for things such as how to change a published post back to a draft, future posting, and so forth. Things are much easier to find and use now, although it will take a bit of time getting use to Design is now Appearance and a few other things have been moved around.
Viper007Bond’s Admin Bar Plugin. I’ve used Viper007Bond’s Admin Bar plugin (download from WordPress Plugin Directory) for quite a while now and have it deployed on my office’s WPMU intranet to much rave reviews. I’m particularly excited to find that as of WPMU 2.7, it is now included into the WP core! Congrats Viper! The Admin Bar is great because it gives users a single point of access through drop down menus on the front-end to all of the back-end admin tasks such as posting, comment moderation, and so forth. User of WP 2.7 will still have to download and activate the Admin Bar as a plugin, whereas WPMU 2.7 users will have it built-in, but disabled on the front page by default. To turn it on for the front-end, login and go to Settings > Admin Bar and under Show the admin menu bar, check the box for On the site. If it doesn’t appear on your front page, most likely the theme you are using is missing wp_head() and wp_footer() template tags (directions here and here). Also if you are running WPMU pre-2.7, I highly suggest removing the Admin Bar plugin before upgrading or you will get the dreaded “already defined” php error.
Comments: Reply, Threading, and Pagination. WP/WPMU 2.7 also opens up a host of new template tags, one of which is really exciting is the new functionality for comments. No longer is there a need to use plugins (you still could I guess) such as WP Comment Remix (a great plugin BTW), Brian’s Threaded Comments, and/or WordPress Paged Comments as WP/WPMU 2.7 has all that functionality built-in. Although it’s worth noting that built-in WP/WPMU features such as these tend to be conversative and not have as many customization options so be expecting more plugins like Lester Chan’s WP-CommentNavi that take the existing and expands it with more options. To take full advantage of the new comment system, you will have to make some changes to your theme(s). Directions on how to do that can be found at the WordPress Codex. I look forward to incorporating these new features into my theme, just not sure when I’ll be able to do so.
Automatic Plugin Upgrades, kind of. Another cool new feature of WP/WPMU 2.7 is the inclusion of searching for new plugins from the WP/WPMU back-end as opposed to visiting the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can also install or upgrade plugins found in the Plugin Directory directly to your WordPress install with the new One-click plugin install feature. I haven’t been able to get it properly working for reasons unknown at the moment, and continue to rely on an FTP program to install and upgrade my plugins. I do have it working on my office’s WPMU intranet though.
Media Uploader Works With Flash 10. It was quite annoying when Adobe released Flash 10 and made some security changes that affected SWFUpload (read more here) because it rendered the WordPress media flash uploader unusable in that when you pressed the Select Files, nothing would happen. Fortunately WordPress 2.7 fixes that issue and now we’re back in business!
There are a host of other features that I won’t spend time discussing, but if you are interested, you can read the entire WP/WPMU 2.7 feature list to see other new included features such as the Sticky Post feature.
WordPress MU 2.7 represents how far WPMU and WordPress have come. WordPress usage is growing and is being used by major outlets such as CNN, Time, Ford, and so forth for their blogging software (read the USAToday interview of WordPress co-creator and Automattic co-founder Matt Mullenweg here).
With the new 2.7 administration panel and features, WordPress is demonstrating how Open Source can be a workable and thriving model.
As an aside, for those who are using Donncha’s wonderful Domain Mapping plugin, there is a new update that addresses one of the biggest flaws (link to the updated files in the comments). It’s worth noting that the problem still exist, but only affects those using the Flash Uploader. So the good news is that you can now finally upload images to a domain mapped subdomain, but the bad news is that it only works with the file browser uploader.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.