Advertisement
WordPress

10 WordPress 2.8 Features To Look Out For

by

It's a great achievement for WordPress 2.8 to be released so soon after 2.7. Named 'Baker', 2.8 adds plenty of new features, including syntax highlighting for theme/plugin editing, a theme installer, and a great revamped widgets interface and API.

1. Dashboard Columns

You can now sort your dashboard into columns, which is a great feature for those who are small or large on screen space. You can set up to 4 columns and drag and drop different widgets. I found it to be a good feature as I like re-arrange my dashboard and management pages to suit my workspace. This will surely appeal to many users.

2. Password Reminder

Just installed WordPress? This is the feature for those that forget to change their admin account password after a fresh install. It displays a big notice across the top of the admin area until you change it.

3. Theme Installer

In WordPress 2.7, you could install plugins directly through your installation. Now, the same feature has been ported to themes, allowing you to install any theme directory into your WordPress site. Installing is as easy as installing plugins -- through the click of a button.

4. Theme/Plugin Editor - Syntax Highlighter & Function Reference

This is a feature that I've been looking forward to, along with many other developers. WordPress now has syntax highlighting thanks to CodePress. This means you can find functions and browse through code much easier, as you would with your code editor.

You'll also find a Documentation lookup, as so you can quickly reference WordPress functions through the Codex. These new features will speed up development of WordPress themes even further by having the tools right in front of you for quick & easy access.

5. Widgets Interface

WordPress' widgets management interface was a bit plain and simple. That's no longer true with the brand new widgets interface allowing you to sort and manage your theme's widgets more efficiently. It still uses the drag and drop method of adding/removing widgets, but takes the active/inactive widgets one step further separating them from each other.

6. Widgets API

Creating widgets is now easier than ever before with the new widgets API. All you have to do is extend the basic class and functions, and you can easily create a widget with options and more. Here's an example widget using the new API; it's been coded to allow the user to set the title, but display predefined content.

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Example Widget
Plugin URI: 
Description: An example widget using the WordPress 2.8 Widget API.
Version: 1.0.0
Author: Andrew Turner
Author URI: http://andrew-turner.com
*/
class exWidget extends WP_Widget {
    /* Constructs Widget */
    function exWidget() {
        parent::WP_Widget(false, $name = 'exWidget');	
    }

    /* Widget Base */
    function widget($args, $instance) {		
        extract( $args );
        ?>
              <?php echo $before_widget; ?>
                  <?php echo $before_title
                      . $instance['title']
                      . $after_title; ?>
                  <?php echo 'Hello There!' ?>
              <?php echo $after_widget; ?>
        <?php
    }

    function update($new_instance, $old_instance) {				
        return $new_instance;
    }

    /* Options Form */
    function form($instance) {				
        $title = esc_attr($instance['title']);
        ?>
            <p><label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('title'); ?>"><?php _e('Title:'); ?> <input class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('title'); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name('title'); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo $title; ?>" /></label></p>
        <?php 
    }
}
/* Register Widget */
add_action('widgets_init', create_function('', 'return register_widget("exWidget");'));
?>

7. Timezones and DST

WordPress now supports timezones, and the ability to automatically update when it comes around to daylight savings. This is a new feature, and was not found in previous versions.

8. Custom Taxonomies

A Taxonomy is essentially a way that things are grouped or divided. WordPress 2.8 improves upon its Taxonomies by allowing you to develop your own. By default, WordPress includes three of its own.

  • category
  • post_tag
  • link_category

Uses for custom taxonomies might include making post series or more. Here's an example of creating a custom taxonomy, the code is placed in your theme's functions.php file.

<?php
add_action( 'init', 'custom_taxonomies', 0 );
function custom_taxonomies() {
	register_taxonomy( 'version', 'post', array( 'hierarchical' => false, 'label' => 'Version', 'query_var' => true, 'rewrite' => true ) );
	register_taxonomy( 'released', 'post', array( 'hierarchical' => true, 'label' => 'Released', 'query_var' => true, 'rewrite' => true ) );
	register_taxonomy( 'downloads', 'post', array( 'hierarchical' => false, 'label' => 'Downloads', 'query_var' => true, 'rewrite' => true ) );
}
?>

To understand how to create your own taxonomy, you need to understand what's behind the code. Here's a breakdown of the following example:

	register_taxonomy( 'version', 'post', array( 'hierarchical' => false, 'label' => 'Version', 'query_var' => true, 'rewrite' => true ) );
  • version : Tells WordPress the name of your taxonomy.
  • post : Tells WordPress what type of content this applies to; you could apply your taxonomy to pages or even links if you wanted too. Though WordPress handles custom taxonomies with posts best.
  • hierarchical : Asks whether the taxonomy's terms can be shown in a hierarchy (A hierarchy is setup like a tree of items, eg: categories.). You can set this to true for the terms to be organized like categories, or false for them to behave like tags.
  • label : The name of your taxonomy that will be seen in the WordPress admin for posts, pages or links.
  • query_var : A parameter that lets WordPress know if you want to retrieve your posts through a query -- for example showing all posts which relate to the product released in 2008. If you've set your taxonomy so you can query it, remember the variable for the query will be the name of your taxonomy.
  • rewrite : Whether you'd like to allow WordPress to use your permalink structure when viewing the archives or taxonomy page. Eg, instead of yourproduct.net/?released=2008 it could become yourproduct.com/released/2008.

9. Faster Administration Pages

The WordPress team have sped up the administration pages (E.g: Posts, Comments, Settings, etc) through script compression and concatenation. Now, you can perform tasks quicker and easier. Take note of the fact that this feature doesn't apply to the front end of your WordPress website.

10. Plugin Management Updated

The plugin management interface that allows you to activate and deactivate plugins has been updated with a new layout - it still heralds the same features as in WordPress 2.7, but with a different layout. You'll find that they've been put together in a list on the single page, but there's an option to view different statuses such as:

  • Active
  • Inactive
  • Recently Active
  • Upgrade Available

WordPress 2.8 brings some great new features to the table - some major and others minor - but they're changes that make using WordPress more efficient, convenient and reliable. Keep an eye out for WordPress 2.9 and beyond as it evolves into what could be one of the best Content-Management-Systems available!


Related Posts
  • Code
    Creative Coding
    Advanced Use of Attachments in WordPress: Creating Custom Queries for AttachmentsAdvanced use of attachments in wordpress 400
    This tutorial is the second in a four part series in which you'll learn some techniques for working with images in attachments in WordPress which give you advanced options.Read More…
  • Code
    Creative Coding
    Advanced Use of Attachments in WordPress: Assigning Categories and Taxonomy Terms to AttachmentsAdvanced use of attachments in wordpress 400
    This tutorial is the first in a four part series in which you'll learn some techniques for working with images in attachments in WordPress which give you advanced options. Read More…
  • Code
    WordPress
    Quick Tip: Post Types, Taxonomies and PermalinksPost types taxonomies urls
    Custom Post Types and taxonomies are two powerful features of WordPress. Unfortunately, they can have a tendency to cause problems if developers aren't familiar with how permalinks, URLs, and rewriting works within WordPress. In this quick tip, we aim to cover the topic very briefly to make sure you know all you need to know about WordPress URLs, custom post types, taxonomies, and how they all relate.Read More…
  • Code
    Creative Coding
    Using a Custom Post Type to Create a Home Page BannerUsing a custom post type to create a home page banner
    Sometimes it's useful to have a nice obvious banner on your site's home page—for announcements, snippets that aren't long enough to merit a blog post, or links to new content within the site. But you don't want to be editing your homepage content every time you add a new piece of content, nor do you want to be delving into the code to add content.Read More…
  • Code
    Theme Development
    Creating a WordPress Theme from Static HTML - Adding WidgetsCreating wordpress theme from html 400
    In this series, you've learned how to convert a static HTML file to a WordPress theme and edit the header file. So far you've: prepared your markup for WordPress converted your HTML to PHP and split your file into template files edited the stylesheet and uploaded your theme to WordPress added a loop to your index file added meta tags, the wp_head hook and the site title and description to your header file added a navigation menu. Read More…
  • Code
    Creative Coding
    Applying Categories, Tags and Custom Taxonomies to Media AttachmentsAttachment taxonomies image 400
    Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that WordPress doesn't let you assign categories or tags to your images or uploaded media? Imagine how useful it could be: you could create dynamic galleries of images from specific places or of specific types (landscapes, abstracts etc.), or you could create listings pages for sites with a large number of PDF attachments. The great news is that this is surprisingly easy to achieve. You can add categories and tags to your attachments with the addition of some simple code to your theme functions file or to a plugin, and you can also create a custom taxonomy that applies to attachments. In this tutorial I'll show you how to do this, and, even better, in 10 minutes or less!Read More…