A Quick Look at WordPress 3.0 Beta 1

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WordPress 3.0, Beta 1 has been released today. WordPress 3.0 will bring many new features to the blogging platform that I'm sure we are all waiting for. You can read the official announcement at the WordPress blog. There are many new features included in this release, but keep in mind that this is only a beta, and will probably have some problems.

This is an early beta. This means there are a few things we’re still finishing. We wanted to get people testing it this weekend, so we’re releasing it now rather than waiting another week until everything is finalized and polished. There’s a ton of stuff going on in 3.0, so this time we’re giving you a list of things to check out, so that we can make sure people are testing all the things that need it.

You can download WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 here.

A Quick Overview

Well, I decided to quickly install it on my server, to see what it would be like. So far, I must say I am fairly happy with what I see.

Installation

When I first installed WordPress 3.0 Beta 1, I didn't bother to set the correct permissions to create a wp-config.php file. But it let me continue with the setup anyway, still generating a wp-config.php file for me! All I needed to do was to create the file and paste in what it gave me.

I was also pleased to see that now, the user can choose their own username and password for the administrator account. Before, the installer automatically created an account called "admin", with a randomly generated password. This was a security risk, because an attacker will already know the username, and will only have to find out the password to gain access to your site.

Of course, you can still use a randomly generated password if you want. Just leave the password fields blank.

The New Theme

The new theme included in WordPress 3.0, Twenty Ten, is a refreshing change from the previous theme. It is a mostly simple design, using mostly black and white colours, with a good amount of whitespace between sections and elements of the page. It looks like the main body text is also a larger font size, making it more readable for users.

I think the most noticeable part of the new theme is the large header image. And it even comes with an easy-to-use custom header image uploader, with several header images included to choose from. The ones included are very nice, and a great selection to pick from.

Menus

Yet another new feature included in WordPress 3.0 is customizable menus. This feature allows you to easily create navigation menus containing links to pages, categories, and even external links. To top it all off is the ability to drag and drop menu items to change the order.

Currently the feature is a little buggy, as there are still some problems in the beta. Right away I noticed that it was a bit difficult to drag a link to the bottom of the list. I also found that the "Save Menu" link is off to the side of the page, and I ended up forgetting to save the menu! But, as mentioned in the announcement, it is an experimental feature still under construction, and will be improved before the final release.

The custom menus system (Appearance > Menus) is not quite finished. In Beta 2, the layout will be different and a bunch of the functionality will be improved, but we didn’t want to hold things up for this one screen. You can play with making custom menus, and report bugs if you find them, but this is not how the final screen will look/work, so don’t get attached to it.

Conclusion

Be sure to download WordPress 3.0 Beta 1, and give it a try for yourself. If you have already installed it and played around with it a bit, please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

And be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates, as I plan to take a more in-depth look at WordPress 3.0. Not a fan of RSS? Don't worry, you can also get updates via email.

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One Comment

  1. April 4, 2010

    Thanks for this! Really looking forward to trying it out. Going to play around with it via XAMPP tomorrow :)