It’s official, it’s on time- and it may confuse a lot of people.
It’s WordPress 2.1 and we’ve already launched one site using the new “static front page” system. Although this was possible with some hacks- it’s now an official feature- and a sort of nod back to a Web 1.5 world. The idea of a “static” front page is based on the idea that people will actually come to your URL based on something other than search- and are too stupid to look around a bit.
80% of your hits will come from search- and 40% of the people who know your URL will still type it into a search bar- so, the likelihood of them actually seeing your front page is very low.
Before you jump into the 2.1 world, make sure you do a complete backup of your site, theme and database- it does some things very different than 2.0. Some plugins will break- research each one that you consider key before taking the plunge. And even thought the developers are now announcing the next version will be released on April 23rd- be aware, the 2.0 codebase will be maintained until 2010.
The biggest changes (besides the static front page option) are the built in spell check, the new image handling tools (which have been seen on WordPress.com for quite a while), and the easy ability to switch between code and WYSIWG in the edit window.
How the new page configuration will work with RSS- and Google visibility will have to be looked at. For now, we’re moving slowly at switching sites over. We will have more info as time goes by. Here are the official users side changes from the DevBlog:
Development Blog â€º WordPress 2.1 Ella
- Autosave makes sure you never lose a post again.
- Our new tabbed editor allows you to switch between WYSIWYG and code editing instantly while writing a post.
- The lossless XML import and export makes it easy for you to move your content between WordPress blogs.
- Our completely redone visual editor also now includes spell checking.
- New search engine privacy option allows you take you to indicate your blog shouldnâ€™t ping or be indexed by search engines like Google.
- You can set any â€œpageâ€ to be the front page of your site, and put the latest posts somewhere else, making it much easier to use WordPress as a content management system.
- Much more efficient database code, faster than previous versions. Domas Mituzas from MySQL went over all our queries with a fine-toothed comb.
- Links in your blogroll now support sub-categories and you can add categories on the fly.
- Redesigned login screen from the Shuttle project.
- More AJAX to make custom fields, moderation, deletions, and more all faster. My favorite is the comments page, which new lets you approve or unapprove things instantly.
- Pages can now be drafts, or private.
- Our admin has been refreshed to load faster and be more visually consistent.
- The dashboard now instantly and brings RSS feeds asynchronously in the background.
- Comment feeds now include all the comments, not just the last 10.
- Better internationalization and support for right-to-left languages.
- The upload manager lets you easily manage all your uploads pictures, video, and audio.
- A new version of the Akismet plugin is bundled.
Feel free to share your 2.1 experiences in the comments on this post.