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First look at WordPress 2.7 beta 2

WordPress 2.7 beta 2
Automattic plans to release the next major version of its popular blogging client, WordPress, later this month. But if you're OK with running your web site on beta software, you can download WordPress 2.7 beta 2 today. It's relatively stable, and features a whole slew of improvements over WordPress 2.6.

Some of the most visible changes for your readers will be support for threaded comments and sticky posts. In other words, they'll be able to reply to individual comments without resorting to a silly @ symbol, and you'll be able to make an important post hang out at the top of your page even after you've written more recent articles.

But the really big changes are all in the administration area. WordPress 2.7 has a completely new interface that both saves space (by grouping a number of items together in a collapsable sidebar), and allowing you to customize the interface by dragging and dropping widgets.

But the new interface is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few of my favorite new features in WordPress 2.7:
  • You can search for and install plugins directly from your blog's administration page. No need to find and download a plugin, upload it to your FTP server and then enable it. You can take care of the whole thing in just a few clicks.
  • WordPress 2.7 includes an automatic upgrade script that will download the latest version of WordPress and install it for you.
Overall, WordPress 2.7 replaces at least two plugins I had come to rely on, Ozh' Admin Drop Down Menu, and WordPress Automatic Upgrade. I'll be curious to see if the automatic upgrade plugin continues to work with future versions of WordPress though, as it does include a few features that the WordPress auto-upgrade utility lacks, like an integrated database backup tool.

Tags: wordpress, wordpress-2.7, wordpress-2.7-beta2