Yesterday, Nov. 25, 2010, WordPress 3.1 Beta 1 was released for testing purposes. There’s a feature stop, which means that the beta testing period will be used to collect and squash any bugs that are found.

I had a quick look at what I thought were the most interesting “front-end” features, while the most promising backend feature without doubt it the new post-formats.

I will however need more time to dive deeper into that, WordPress Lead developer Mark Jaquith has already published an excellent article on the new feature.

A quick browse and some visuals on the new features.

The Admin Bar

A new feature for WordPress.org selfhosted blogs, yet users of WordPress.com will be used to it, the Admin Bar. The admin bar sits at the top of your site, and depending on your user Role, a number of options will be available. For admin users, by default, it will display your avatar, a dropdown for your user settings, a link to add a new post or page, the number of comments, and a link to edit these comments, and an Appearance menu with links to widgets and menus (if enabled for your theme).

wp-admin-bar

Theme and plugin developers will be able to easily add their own menu’s to the Admin Bar, I can only hope the will do so in such a way that it will be optional, to avoid the Admin Bar becoming cluttered and messy (much like the current sidebar in the WordPress admin dashboard, with themes and plugins using either existing menu’s for their options and settings, e.g. Appearance or Tools, or just create new menu’s at will).

Functions for the Admin Bar (for theme and plugin developers)

Remove the admin bar using the following function.

remove_action( 'init', 'wp_admin_bar_init' );

Add a link to the “plugins” menu as a child menu item in the “Appearance” menu.

add_action( 'wp_before_admin_bar_render', 'custom_add_plugins_to_admin_bar' );
function custom_add_plugins_to_admin_bar() {
	global $wp_admin_bar;

	if ( !current_user_can('edit_plugins') )
		return;

		$wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array( 'parent' => 'appearance', 'id' => 'plugins', 'title' => __('Plugins'), 'href' => admin_url('plugins.php') ) );

}

Add a link to your own plugin(s) as a child menu item in the “Plugins” menu.

add_action( 'wp_before_admin_bar_render', 'custom_add_to_admin_bar' );
function custom_add_to_admin_bar() {
	global $wp_admin_bar;

	if ( !current_user_can('edit_plugins') )
		return;

	$wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array( 'parent' => 'plugins', 'id' => 'displaybuddy', 'title' => __('DisplayBuddy'), 'href' => admin_url('admin.php?page=pluginbuddy-displaybuddy') ) );

	$wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array( 'parent' => 'displaybuddy', 'id' => 'pb_rotatingimages', 'title' => __('Rotating Images'), 'href' => admin_url('admin.php?page=pluginbuddy-rotating-images-settings') ) );

	$wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array( 'parent' => 'displaybuddy', 'id' => 'pb_featuredposts', 'title' => __('Featured Posts'), 'href' => admin_url('admin.php?page=pluginbuddy-featured-posts-settings') ) );
}

Will result in:

plugins admin bar

Search and Filter Themes

This feature appeals to me very much, since I tend to have usually 30 or 40 themes installed (for which I provide support, and have to activate every now and then), and the existing navigation through the installed themes was extremely annoying. A new Search field allows you to enter any text and related themes will be displayed, or there is an option to filter all themes by their features (much like the WordPress themes directory).

Search themes

Search Themes

Also note the links to the active theme’s Widgets and Menus.

Filter themes

Filter themes

Internal linking simplified

A long requested feature, which will show a popup when inserting a link using the visual editor. You can select pages from your own site from a list of pages or posts, making it a much less time consuming task to insert internal links.

Insert Link

There’s more

Other notable enhancements include:

  • Improved and simplified Password Reset functionality
  • All lists in the WordPress dashboard (list of posts, pages, categories etc.) can now be sorted on any of the heading values
  • The TinyMCE Wysiwyg editor is updated

I think that these new features will make it easier to use and manage your site(s), for both end-users as well as theme developers.

WordPress 3.1 is scheduled for final release end of this year.

2 comments

  1. Karen

    Great post Ronald VanWerdPress! Will the internal linking feature replace the plugin: “Page Links To?” (I hope I got the name right!) And as for the new post-formats – I look forward to hearing your take on it.

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