The newest and most up-to-date version of WordPress has just been released to the public today. Version 2.8 is named after notable Jazz musician Chet Baker. A quick summary of what’s new with WP 2.8 is showcased here in this video:
It’s true that the most notable improvement brought by WP 2.8 is its speed. My blog’s dashboard has taken a couple of seconds faster to load as well as the other parts of the Admin interface.
Install a theme with one click
I’ve tested this feature with my other blog and browsing themes from inside WP 2.8 is way much better than visiting the WP themes gallery because of the options to refine your theme search with the attributes you’re looking for in a theme.
The theme preview works great but lacking for heavy theme customizers like myself, because the preview lacks the customizations of your previous theme that you’d like to carry over to the new one. Perhaps this feature would come in future versions of WordPress.
Completely re-designed widgets interface
This is by far the best and most obvious improvement brought about by WP 2.8. Moving around widgets in each sidebar of your theme has never been easy, fun and intuitive. Kudos to the WP team and all the developers!
A step back with the Plugins management area
This is something that totally left me scratching my head. Why was the wonderfully more organized look of the Plugins management area in WP 2.7, wherein Active plugins are displayed on top, recently activated plugins in the middle and the inactive ones grouped at the bottom, abandoned for the old-school look?
Before in WP 2.7
Now in WP 2.8
All the plugins, be active or not, are once more displayed alphabetically in one big group. The color scheme adds more to the confusion and does little to give order to things. Basically, this sucks.
What happened?! Seriously, why the step back? What was wrong with the previous look?
With this, I’m really torn apart on whether to really cheer for WP 2.8 for all of its speed, awesome widget management and theme installation or cry foul for what has happened to the Plugins management page.
Give WordPress 2.8 a download and don’t forget to share your thoughts about it.