4 New Features in WordPress 3.0

I have been an active user of WordPress for two years on Aboutrestore.com and just recently converted this site to the system.  WordPress is a fantastic blogging engine, but there are some areas that need improvement.  Version 3.0 is a major release and is currently in beta.  It will provide many meaningful enhancements; here are four that I think are particularly important.

Multiple blogs:

This is a major addition.  One of the limitations of WordPress is that it only supports one blog and multiple blogs requires separate installations.  Other blog engines (like b2evolution which this blog previously used) can transparently host multiple blogs in one installation.  WordPress previously addressed this with a separate product called WordPress MU which relied a different code base.  The biggest change in 3.0 is that it combines base WordPress and WordPress MU thus allowing for native support of multiple blogs.  This is the most exciting addition in my opinion.

New menu system:

The new release incorporates a new AJAX menu system which allows for easy creation and modification of menus.  The functionality was originally created by Woothemes and I have been very impressed with the power of Woothemes and 3.0’s upcoming implementation.  It is a dramatic improvement in menu creation and ease of use.

A new default theme:

Thankfully WordPress has replaced their previous default them (Kubrick) with a new one called 2010.  The new theme is much more modern and you can see it in action here.  It is a dramatic improvement and is good enough that I may consider using it here after the 3.0 upgrade.

Replace of admin user

Previously WordPress required an admin user account for site administration.  This created a security risk since every blog has an “admin” user and hackers can use this knowledge for brute force attacks.  In 3.0, admin is no longer a required user and you can easily modify the username to something else.  This creates an additional level of security and also improves blog personalization.

I am excited about the upcoming 3.0 release.  The new features are impressive and will provide instant benefits to bloggers.  However, I wonder how the new release will impact existing themes.  Will I need to re-design my sites to use the technology?  The answer is likely no, but further research is required  to confirm.  Additionally, the answer may vary by theme.  Clearly the more template work required for 3.0, the more difficult it will be to implement.  However, even with potential template changes, I think that the 3.0 release is a major milestone for the WordPress team and congratulations are in order.

Note: if you are interested in playing with 3.0, you can download a beta version here.

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