What you need to know about WordPress 3.1

WordPress 3.0 RC2 was released recently and final release is just around the corner. After getting some awesome new features in WordPress 3.1, its time to brace yourself for WordPress 3.1 which will enhance those features and give you some more power. Here I am listing all important new features of the upcoming WordPress 3.1 and what all you need to know about it.

Admin Bar

This release of WordPress enables a WordPress.com style Administration bar for your site’s frontend from where you can access the important administration menus easily. (Ticket #14772) You can set admin bar for either frontend/backend or both from your user profile page. To know more about Admin Bar check the following links:

Post Formats

Post formats allow theme developers to style each post differently according to the type of content they represent by assigning them to different formats. (Ticket #14746) WordPress currently allows the following set of standard post formats:

  • aside
  • gallery
  • chat
  • link
  • image
  • quote
  • status
  • video
  • audio

You can’t add your own post format at the moment. And its upto the Theme developers how to style the content of these formats and which formats to support. To add support for post format in your theme, add the following code in your theme’s functions.php file:

[php]add_theme_support( ‘post-formats’, array( ‘aside’, ‘gallery’ ) );[/php]

To know more about post formats, go through the following links:

Network Admin

WordPress 3.0 merged WordPress and WordPress Mu into one. But this release takes it step ahead by introducing a new network administrator dashboard for managing multiple blogs. (#Ticket 14435) You can find the link for Network Dashboard on top right hand side of your Admin dashboard menu. Clicking on this link will take you to a new dashboard from where you can manage different blogs easily. Point to be noted is that this menu is visible only to users who have been designated as Super Admins. Network Admin replaces the Super Admin menu of WordPress 3.0.

Internal Linking

Adding external links in your posts is easy. But what about when you have to add links to your own site’s posts and pages. You have to go through the tedious task of performing search on your own blog and then paste those links. Well no more because WordPress 3.1 will allow you to easily link to posts and pages of your own blog right from within Write posts page by just a few clicks. (Ticket #11420) To insert an internal link, just click the normal link button as you usually do for inserting an external link and click on “Link to an existing link” and you see a similar menu as shown:

You can link to page, post and even custom post types from this menu.

Custom Post Type Archive Pages

Similar to category, tag and date archive pages now Custom Post types also get their own index/archive pages. (Ticket #13818) To implement a custom post type archive page for your theme, just create an archive-{$post_type}.php file. And drop it into your theme folder and it should start showing custom post type archives. But to enable support for custom post type archive pages, you need to add the following code while registering custom post types first:

[php]’has_archive’ => true[/php]

For more on Custom Post type archive pages, refer to this post by Marc McWilliams.

Streamlined Interface for Posting

WordPress now by default hides unused boxes from the Post editor and shows only Post editor, Categories, Tags, Featured Image, Publish and Excerpt box by default. Rest of the boxes need to be manually selected from the Screen options menu at the top. This makes posting look much neater and easier for a newbie user.

There were several other changes

New Admin Blue Theme

Wordpress Admin Blue Theme

WordPress 3.1 features a new blue colored administration panel theme. (Ticket #15207)

Advanced Taxonomy Queries

WordPress 3.1 introduced some advanced taxonomy queries making operations on taxonomies much easier and giving you more control over them. (Ticket #12891)

Exporter/Importer Overhaul

WordPress 3.1 made many under the hood changes including adding author information, better handling for taxonomies and terms, and proper support for navigation menus.

Ajaxified Admin Screens

WordPress 3.1 improved admin list type screens, including making most columns sortable, introduction of a new pagination style, improved API, improved search, and filterable bulk actions. (Ticket #14579)