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WordPress 2.5 – new version released. Should I upgrade?

Wordpress 2.5 Dashboard preview

Blogging was never my specialty… until I used WordPress to develop a blog for a client.

WordPress is a Blog Tool and Weblog Platform.

Nowadays I love it! I wish I had more time to blog. I have a lot to say! :)

Back to the point… the new very much expected version of WordPress 2.5!

I have just downloaded and installed my first version… I am so excited! Love to learn about new technologies and its updates.

What’s in it?

  • multi-file uploading
  • one-click plugin upgrades
  • built-in galleries
  • customizable dashboard
  • alted passwords
  • cookie encryption
  • media library
  • a WYSIWYG that doesn’t mess with your code (as a developer particularly like this one)
  • concurrent post editing protection
  • full-screen writing, and search that covers posts and pages

What’s in it for you, blog administrator?

  • Better look and feel of the admin area
  • Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard
  • Widget-based Dashboard
  • Multi-file upload with progress (with EXIF extraction)
  • Search for both posts and pages
  • Tag management
  • Password strength meter
  • Concurrent editing protection
  • Few-click plugin upgrade
  • Friendlier visual post editor
  • Built-in galleries

What’s in it for your blog readers?

  • Growing community around WordPress means enhancements to your blog will be frequent and available earlier.
  • More frequent posts (you will have more time to blog and less time to qorry about your blog updates)
  • As the WYSIWYG does not mess with your code, you can be more creative writing your posts.

Feel good Social Media projects

We specialize in Social Media, so keeping track of WordPress 2.5 and future releases is part of our daily lives.

As a developer, WordPress is a “feel good” application. I can easily “get in the code” and understand its flow and how to adapt it to a particular project needs.

WordPress rocks!

Installing the new version

I hesitate to install the first new “dot” something version of any software, particular open source.

WordPress plugins will take some time to be compatible with the new version, so I will wait a few months until the plugin we up to date with the code and database from WordPress 2.5.


Go for it! Upgrade as soon as possible!

But make sure the plugins you use are compatible.

If you have any questions about it give me shout. And if you have a discontinued incompatible plugin I’ll be glad to give it a look and see what I can do.

This post was filed under Social media, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comments are currently closed.


  1. I love WordPress and I was very enthusiastic about upgrading too — until I started actually using it in earnest.

    There are a lot of great new features in it but the new Write page is actually worse than before, and this is a very big surprise since the IA was done by Happy Cog, the very well respected agency helmed by Jeffrey Zeldman. The Write page is the core functionality of WordPress and if this doesn’t work well, it makes the rest of the program suffer by association, however good the new features might be. And the default WYSIWYG editor still messes with your code. Bah!

    To save me repeating all that again, here’s my feedback I posted over there the other day:

    I would have to say to anyone thinking of upgrading: DON’T — especially not to any of your heavily used blogs until you’ve roadtested 2.5 thoroughly on a test setup. A lot has changed and you might not like the changes.

    WP 2.3.3, the last version, is perfectly stable, so if you don’t need the new features, or don’t like the new way some things are done, you have no reason to upgrade.

    I haven’t got around to posting an depth review on my own blog, but I will do this week.

    I think this is a real shame. I was so looking forward to upgrading to 2.5 but I really think they’ve dropped the ball this time around.

    Posted 7th April 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
  2. I have to say, I really like the changes that have been made, although this may be because I rarely dig in to the more advanced options and prefer to use my own markup over the Rich-text editor.

    I feel the interface is generally much more streamlined — it puts the advanced options out of the way so you are not distracted while writing or organising your posts. The dashboard also seems a lot more organised and useful.

    I think the media management is the best thing I have encountered so far. I used to FTP media to the site and link directly to it, but the facilities now available in WordPress are very easy to use so I’ll now be making use of those instead.

    Posted 8th April 2008 at 9:16 am | Permalink
  3. It seems that Technorati will stop indexing WordPress blogs that are older than 2.3.3 for security reasons.

    That’s a pretty good reason to upgrade right there…

    Posted 8th April 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  4. @Matt: do you mean that WordPress Write page is bad or it did not match your expectations?

    There is no WYSIWYG that does not mess your code a bit… or else it would not be a WYSIWYG! :)

    @Alex: another good reason in did.

    @Barry: Thanks for your insight. I look forward to look deep into the advanced features and the code.

    @all: Me and Matt disagree on whether you should upgrade, but as I stated: I hesitate to install the first new “dot” something.

    I guess what he is feeling is just that. Not stable enough.

    On the other hand, the more people install and feed that back to WordPress, the quicker 2.5.1 comes out with more improvements.

    Posted 8th April 2008 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  5. My expectation for the Write page was that it should work the same as, or better than, the previous version. In my opinion it doesn’t, for the reasons specified on my post over on Zeldman’s blog. Some of the changes made simply don’t make a lot of sense and the design of the screen now means you end up scrolling up and down to find what you need, instead of having it all there in the sidebar. I also now can’t drag and drop the various options like I used to — that feature has been removed. Why? It worked perfectly well!

    In addition, other useful things, such as the column of IDs, have been removed. Why?

    My clarification about the WYSIWYG editor was because you said that it doesn’t mess with your code. If I put code in the Code view and then switch to the visual view, I expect to see the visual result of that code, not some approximation by WordPress because it’s trying to “protect” me or because it thinks it knows best.

    The media management is definitely much improved and the multi file uploader is great. The thing that still baffles me though is that you can ONLY upload stuff while composing a post. This is a bit daft — I think the uploader should also be available in the Media Library to upload things directly there which are then available to any post you choose. It’s rather counter-intuitive as it stands.

    The Technorati story is interesting: have other aggregators set this policy before? There are thousands of blogs out there that haven’t been upgraded and use much earlier versions of the software. It’s good that they won’t stop indexing you straightaway but will only do so if your blog contains tons of comment spam. This is great for keeping the quality of content high.

    Anyway, please don’t get me wrong about WordPress — I still really like it: it’s a great tool, easy to learn and use. I just think this time something went seriously wrong with the IA. Either no-one really noticed or they simply decided to focus on making improvements for the ‘casual blogger’ and left the hard-core WordPress tweakers out of the equation. As I said on my Zeldman reply, I’d love to see results of the user/usage analysis to understand why they made some of their design decisions.

    I’ve put feedback in lots of places on their forum, along with many other people, so hopefully a 2.5.1 will address those concerns — but given it’s taken 6 months to get this version, I doubt the Write page will be reverted. I might have to make my own plugin to get it how I want — and isn’t that the beauty of open source? :-)

    Posted 8th April 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  6. By the way there’s some funky stuff going on with bold tags on the Knowledge page! I think a tag in your post is not closed.

    Posted 8th April 2008 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  7. Thanks Matt. Yeah, there was a WP “more” tag inside a “strong” tag which caused the internets to implode. Now fixed.

    As for WP 2.5: I haven’t used it enough yet to offer a concise opinion but have just discovered the new rather convoluted 20-step process for adding an image to a blog post. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to it but it all seemed rather backwards and unnecessarily complicated.

    Posted 9th April 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink
  8. I assume WP focused its new styles on less advanced users. I can relate to that.

    I understand these users would find a lot of “clutter” they would not use.

    On the other hand the options were available so they could experiment and enhance their blogging techniques.

    WP must have a lot of ‘casual bloggers’.

    Too bad about the Media Manager.
    Overall I am happier that clients, if they never seen WordPress before, will have a better user experience in the admin area.

    What is your opinion?

    Posted 9th April 2008 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  9. It doesn’t matter whether someone has used WP before or not: sure, a new user has nothing to compare against, but it’s empirically verifiable that it takes LONGER to use the new Write screen than before. That can’t be good in anyone’s book.

    (In fact, if anyone needs convincing, I’m happy to undertake that exercise!)

    I didn’t really touch on the Add Image fiunctionality in my complaint, because othger things buggeed me more, but yes — It was more streamlined before. I’m not entirely sure why we now need an inline popup to do this.

    I just noticed that Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware, has also backed up my complaint on Zeldman’s blog — and they know each other personally. If friends can be big enough to tell each other publicly on the interweb that their work sucks, I think that’s pretty telling.

    Posted 9th April 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  10. Why do my comments keep going back into the moderation queue? Don’t you trust me or something? ;-)

    Posted 9th April 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  11. LOL! Maybe WordPress is cleverer than you think Matthew ;)

    Posted 9th April 2008 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  12. @Matt: For users that never used WordPress before, I think overall is easier to understand WordPress menus because of the cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard.

    I agree it takes longer to write a post for regular bloggers (not for me tough as I use a lot of the advanced options like meta tags custom fields).

    The Add media buttons using an inline pop-up is questionable – to prevent pop-up blockers, maybe?

    But if you look away from the Write page, are you saying people should not upgrade to the latest version?

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  13. LOL! @Will :)

    @Matt: I’ll look into it.

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  14. Anyone in business knows that if you don’t keep your exisitng customers happy, they will leave. Making WordPress easier to use for new users is a good thing, but alienating the hundreds of thousands of existing bloggers by downgrading WPs workflow is just stupid.

    Some feedback I’ve read on other blogs suggests that it’s just a question of “getting used to it”. My view is that I don’t want to be forced to get used to a system that is flawed and less usable than before.

    If I set the Write page aside, and objectively look at the other things in 2.5, I would still have doubts about upgrading. I’ll be listing all the reasons why on my blog later this week/weekend.

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  15. I bit the bullet and upgraded yesterday.

    It was a bit of work, because my WP 2.1 database had to be converted to UTF-8 and I had to modify the Google Analytics tags around my site for the new ga.js tracking code.

    Other than that it was pretty painless.

    My jury is out on the interface. It looks friendlier, but I have to agree that it’s clunkier in some respects. I’m already missing the links to my draft posts at the top of the “Write” page…

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
  16. Telmo, I don’t think it makes a great deal of sense to ask if, Write page aside, one would recommend the upgrade–the Write page is the core of the whole application! If it doesn’t function in a favorable fashion, the whole process becomes a clunky one. If people are using WordPress for widgets and other add-ons instead of for writing, *maybe* they could get around the issue, but it seems to me that most people using WordPress are using it to actually write something.

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  17. I have to agree there: As I noted on my original complaint to Zeldman (which is still un-answered), the poor functionality of the Write page automatically casts the rest of the upgrade in a poor light, regardless of how nice the other features are.

    Posted 10th April 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  18. I’ve been playing with 2.5 quite extensively today and it turns out there are quite a few serious bugs in there. These are mainly to do with custom fields and issues with the new permalink editing.

    2.5.1 isn’t due until May 6th which leaves a month or so until any changes will be released. Knowing what I now know, I will not be upgrading my regular blogs until well after this date; I am happy as they are. In fact, if there’s no feedback on the issues with the Write screen any time soon, I won’t be upgrading those blogs at all.

    Unfortunately I’m now committed to using 2.5 on a different project, so I’ll just have to remember to do things a certain way to avoid inducing the above mentioned bugs.

    I also learned today that the WordPress forum entitled “Requests and Feedback” isn’t actually for feedback at all (accoridng to one of the moderators) and that none of the developers look at it. Frustrating is NOT the word…

    Posted 11th April 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  19. Matthew, have you thought of gradually learning to program your own? I know a lot of people love to use WP as a CMS, but doing so often adds a lot of features that the clients will never use while omitting the level of customizability that you get from being able to build it from scratch.

    I once did some design work (in name only, I’m not a designer) for a woman who owned a goat farm (I’m not making this up), and I used WordPress as the CMS. She only uses two of the core features (post and page writing/editing), and adding pictures is more difficult for her than it should be. If I had known then what I know now (and if her budget wasn’t so tiny), I could have built her a much more simple, appropriate application. I wouldn’t have suffered the aggravation of trying to find the best way to shoe-horn WordPress into her necessary function, and she would have ended up with an application that fit her perfectly.

    Posted 11th April 2008 at 1:53 am | Permalink
  20. Hi Brian. I’m afraid I am not a programmer type. While I can hack PHP around enough to do what I need, if you asked me to build a robust application it would just say “Hello World”. I’m much happier in Photoshop and doing CSS builds.

    Posted 11th April 2008 at 3:01 am | Permalink
  21. @Matt: I’ll have a look at your review

    @Alex: Great stuff! Glad it was painless. I’m sure there is (or there will be soon) a plugin for displaying your draft posts.

    Give me a shout if you cannot find one.

    @Brian: I agree. What I meant was that if you consider the write page still functional, just not as functional as before, would you recommend the upgrade?

    I assume you would not, based on the arguments you presented. I respect your opinion.

    @All: I think it depends on the blog. And depends on the blogger.

    In our instance, for our clients, I would make sure:
    1. all plugins are compatible
    2. I would provide a quick “” training session
    3. they are happy with the new admin interface (install a demo version with their data)

    Posted 11th April 2008 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  22. @Matt: I read your review. I hope WordPress hears our voices and improves the Write page soon.

    Posted 11th April 2008 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  23. Ah, that was my rant, not my review. :-) I simply can’t bring myself to review it properly after a few more fruitless days of trying to work with it and uncovering lots more bugs and problems. Any review would be utterly negative at this point and not at all objective.

    In addition, after bad experiences on the so called “Feedback” forum (it isn’t for feedback, that’s for sure!) and complete lack of official word reassuring disgruntled users, I’m left feeling very put out by the whole experience.

    For a company that prides itself on creating software that gives people a voice, it’s ironic and sad that WordPress seem to be more interested in hiding and defending themselves than being open and listening to those voices.

    I’m deeply unimpressed. Still, I guess you get what you pay for.

    Expression Engine is looking very attractive, especially after being recommended to me by many different people.

    Posted 17th April 2008 at 3:50 am | Permalink
  24. Unsatisfied with the lack of public response to the very real criticisms of 2.5 that are appearing on lots of blogs, I emailed Matt Mullenweg, Mr.Wordpress himself and was pleased that I got a response to one of my points:

    “There has been plenty of discussion on the public developer mailing lists. Every release of WP generates polar reactions, to be honest 2.5 hasn’t really had any more than we have in the past. We collate the feedback and will be trying a few different approaches to things like categories that people seem to be having the most trouble with.”

    He completely ignored all my other questions though.

    Posted 22nd April 2008 at 12:38 am | Permalink
  25. Good one Matt.

    Sounds like that is a textbook reply to me.

    Glad to see WordPress 2.5 has not been more criticised than the other releases.

    And I do hope they keep their word and try a better approach on the next release.

    Posted 22nd April 2008 at 9:37 am | Permalink
  26. If you’re interested, there are some fixes for the layout issues with the Write screen, to make it more like earlier versions.

    You can install the hack from Judy at Persistent Illusion. This will move the various fields from below the Write panel to the sidebar. It’s not pretty but it works and is more usable in my opinion. Note that this is a hack overwriting core files, not a plugin.

    If you then add the Fluency admin theme and the Admin Drop Down menus plugin, it’s even better.

    Note that you’ll need to make some tweaks after installing these bits and bobs. They’re not perfect, but work much better for me.

    Posted 24th April 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink
  27. It’s good to know there are workarounds to the Write page issues.

    That will make the upgrade more attractive.

    Posted 24th April 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  28. I finally found someone who worked on the IA for WP 2.5 and asked some questions about the changes to the Write screen. You might be interested in the responses.

    Posted 1st May 2008 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  29. Glad you are having some response. Lets hope things improve soon.

    Posted 6th May 2008 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
  30. And WordPress 2.5.1 is out. Has anyone upgraded?

    Posted 6th May 2008 at 5:15 pm | Permalink
  31. Tim

    The post text editor in 2.5 sucks compared to 2.3, which is not saying much. I need to find another alternative.

    Posted 6th May 2008 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  32. Telmo, I’m curious if you’ve had much experience with 2.5 yet? If so, what are your experiences with it?

    Posted 9th May 2008 at 8:42 am | Permalink
  33. And nope, I’m not bothering with 2.5.1 — any real improvements won’t be coming for at least another 3 months, so in the mean time I’m looking at alternatives.

    It’s not just the problems with the software that have put me off, it’s the overall attitude coming out of the WordPress camp that has left me dismayed.

    See, this is the problem when open source ends up with million dollar backing… the users, as always, get shafted.

    Posted 9th May 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  34. Jenie Wyne Aranas

    it would b better

    Posted 13th May 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  35. Hi Nixon McInnes! It’s been a while.

    I’m just wondering if you guys are still using WordPress to deploy sites and if you’ve given 2.6 a spin at all?

    Posted 17th July 2008 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
  36. You can’t all still be on holiday, shurely? Where is everybody?

    Posted 6th August 2008 at 12:22 am | Permalink
  37. Hi Matt,

    We are working on a couple of 2.6 blogs. Clients are populating them at the moment.

    They are “under construction” and will be released in the next few weeks.

    Watch this space!

    Posted 6th August 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  38. Cool — did you find any problems? There seem to be some annoying bugs in 2.6. I’ve stuck with 2.5.1 for now and just yesterday released my new portfolio site powered using it:

    Pretty happy with how it turned out. :-)

    Posted 6th August 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  39. RaiulBaztepo

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    Posted 28th March 2009 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
  40. PiterKokoniz

    Hi !! ^_^
    I am Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you:)
    Your Piter

    Posted 8th April 2009 at 12:22 am | Permalink

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