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10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of December 2005 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Aaron Brazell is from Baltimore, Maryland and leverages his influence as a blogger at various blogs to develop his (sometimes) convoluted opinions. He writes about Web 2.0 topics at Emerging Earth and keeps a personal and political blog at Technosailor.com

If you’ve been seriously blogging for any bit of time at all, you’ve heard of the juggernaut that is WordPress. WordPress, of course, is the most popular self-hosted blogging platform utilized by independent writers. The official launch of WordPress 2.0 is upon us and, no doubt, the blogosphere will be buzzing about its launch. As a tester of the product since the early days of the WordPress 2.0 alpha builds, I’ve watched, participated and even assisted in the development of this software.

While this entry might get a bit technical, it is only because thecoolest new features are under the hood. For new users who don’t feel like tinkering with code and expect a shiny new piece of software out of the box, fear not… you will not be disappointed. The software provides a much more interactive and user-friendly interface. And for those of you who love the color blue, you’re going to love the new admin panel!

However, if you want to get into the real glorious nitty gritty of what you can do, then read on!

Here are ten things you may or may not know that can be extremely beneficial to know about WordPress 2.0….

  1. Thumbnails of Downloaded Themes – In the past, whenever you’ve gone and looked for a shiny new theme for your WordPress blog, you might have had the luck of seeing the theme in action. However, I can’t be the only one who has looked at a theme created 6 months earlier and wondered what it looked like on a blog because the author had changed it since publishing. With WordPress 2.0, theme authors are being encouraged to include a screenshot, entitled screenshot.png, in the theme folder. By doing so, the thumbnail will be loaded for the blogger to see in his theme list prior to enabling!
  2. Capabilities and Roles – In previous versions of WordPress, users could be given ‘limited’ permissions by assigning user levels. User levels, in the past, have relied on a scale 0 to 10, with 10 having unlimited administrative permissions. Various levels in between allowed ‘guest’ bloggers or contributors to have appropriate rights on your blog. In WordPress 2.0, this has been completely revamped. Without going into a lot of repetitive details on the nature of the various capabilities (Ryan explains capabilities and roles in great detail), the new features open up a whole new avenue of flexibility for plugin authors.

    For instance, there is an API function called current_user_can(), which allows the plugin author to match a currently logged in user against a list of capabilities. These capabilities range from ‘moderate_comments’ to ‘publish_posts’. Ryan’s article has the entire list, but it can also be found at the bottom of the wp-admin/upgrade-schema.php file.

  3. Importing from Other Blogging Platforms – As WordPress becomes an even bigger entity with a higher profile, it’s likely more defectors will want to migrate their existing Blogger, Moveable Type or other style blog to WordPress. I certainly wouldn’t blame them. Old-style import scripts that were included with WordPress have been scrapped for a couple reasons. For one, the other platforms have changed over time and the importers no longer work or the changes to WordPress over time have required a new approach to getting user data into WordPress accurately and effectively. There’s also the little detail of shoddy or incomplete code.
  4. I, along with others, have taken to creating easy upgrade paths for folks coming from Textpattern, Blogger and Moveable Type. If you’re not on one of these platforms, but still want to come over to WordPress, the core software also permits import from an RSS feed!

    As a bonus, for readers who have been monitoring the merger of b5media and About Weblogs , you might be interested to know that the tool of choice is a custom Nucleus CMS importer that ultimately will be submitted to the WordPress core code. But that won’t make this release!

  5. Built In Caching – Caching is the idea of storing files for quicker page load time. The concept as a whole is not new. Browsers cache all the time. Internet Explorer uses Temporary Internet Files and Firefox has its own cache. These help individual users load pages faster, but does not help a site load faster across the board. With WordPress 2.0, caching is built in. Queries to the database are saved because, if a page or setting has been loaded once, it is stored on the server file system for quicker load for all users.

    This is generally beneficial but can also cause problems, particularly if you wish to move your blog from one folder to another (For instance, if you have had your blog in http://example.com/blog and wish to move it to a new folder such as http://example.com/wp). Because database options have been cached, WordPress still thinks it is at another location.

    To get around this, edit wp-config.php and add the following line before the closing '?>'.

    define('DISABLE_CACHE', true);

  6. Image Uploading – In previous version of WordPress, there was an “Upload” feature available through the admin menu. That menu item is no longer. It has been replaced with an uploader on the edit page. In theory, bloggers can upload images and then drag-and-drop the image into the post. Unfortunately, this feature has caused much heartburn for some testers. There are options to use a full-size image or a thumbnail in the entry, but either way in pre-release versions, this feature seems to be iffy at best with various platforms and browsers.  This will probably be an item that is improved upon, but for the time being, manually editing the HTML with specified dimensions is best practice.

    Also note that dragging and dropping images when not using the Rich Text Editor will only create a permalink to the image.

  7. Use WordPress for Social Networking – There are probably a thousand social networking tools out there – many of which have plugins for WordPress available to them.  Someof these are Flickr , del.icio.us or Digg.  However, WordPress has built-in integration with such a tool in that allows search engines understand your relationships with other bloggers.  It is called the XFN (XHTML Friends Network).  XFN allows bloggers to establish links in their link manager (blogroll) as “friend”, “co-worker” or “crush” among others. It even allows you to designate whether you’ve physically met the person.
  8. Hooks and Filters – Hooks and Filters are a boon for plugin developers. They are what allows plugin developers to modify the behavior of WordPRess without actually changing the core files. Of course, filters and hooks are not a new concept… there’s just more of them in WordPress 2.0. Filters are functions that do as they suggest – filter. Items like a subject header can be filtered through to create an effect or change the way an item is displayed. Hooks give the developer a way to ride the coat tails of an existing “element” (such as a header or the rendering of a post, etc) and perform an action of some sort. An example of this would be to have someone emailed whenever publish_post occurs. (Of course, this is already something that can be done so it is a poor example).
  9. Built in Anti-Spam – WordPress 2.0 now ships with Akismet, a built in spam-filter. I’ve been using Akismet spam filtering since October 25th, the day it was launched and I have had one spam comment make it through to my moderation queue. There are alot of other plugins that do spam filtering, but in the past it has often required blogs to use two or more plugins just to get a good grip on comment and trackback spam. There is one hitch though.  Akismet users will need to register for an API key in order to use it. It’s free and worth it.
  10. Don’t Use the Rich Text Editor – WordPress developers will likely scorn me when they read this, but it’s my entry, right?  WordPress 2.0 includes TinyMCE, a javascript Rich Text Editor that gives bloggers a familiar Microsoft Word-like editor complete with common shortcut keys like Ctrl-B for Bold, Ctrl-I for Italics, etc.

    There are a couple problems I see, as a web purist, with this approach. TinyMCE, though it will probably continue to be improved, creates really shoddy HTML in some cases. Empty tags, funky cut-and-paste, and the now-internally-infamous shoddy image feature makes it great for quick and dirty entries but poor for day-to-day usage. I don’t use Safari, the preferred browser for most Mac users, so I can’t be sure if it works yet for you Safari users, but last time I recall it didn’t.

  11. WordPress as a Content Management System – Suppose you like WordPress as a blogging tool and you wish to use it to run non-blog sites. This is a distinct possibility, and not necessarily WordPress 2.0 specific. In fact, I’ve been doing this for the past few years in one form or another.

    Let me give you an example of one such site. My father is a pastor at New Covenant Community Church in Audubon, New Jersey. (Feel free to visit. I’m sure he won’t mind!) This site is completely WordPress 2.0 driven and it doesn’t even resemble a blog! The question is, how did I accomplish this?

    Well, there’s a couple of things I did and I’ll bullet point them for quick reference.

    1. Because we wanted the front page to have a different layout than the rest of the site, we created a special template file called NCCC_Main_Page.php. To make it usable for our front page, we needed to add this block of code near the top (after the opening '<?php')
      /*
      Template Name: NCCC_Main_Page
      */
    2. We created a "page" with our home page content and selected the NCCC_Main_Page  template from the Page Template drop down.
    3. We then downloaded the Static Front Page plugin and followed the instructions to install it.
    4. We created the content for our home page and assigned it a page slug of "home" (Note: this is most easily done by assigning the page title of home and then changing it to something more useful after publishing)
    5. Because most non-blog sites, including NCCC’s, have a manageable number of pages, we were able to create Entries in WordPress and create a static menu using the entry permalinks. There are built-in functions and plugins to make larger amounts of content more manageable and automatic.
    6. As a bonus, we did create a non-blog blog of “Upcoming Events” by posting under a specific category. The permalink to this page was a mere category archive permalink with the specific category used in the archive call.  This provides added benefit of enabling an RSS feed of upcoming events.
About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. […] Well… during the downtime just now, I went surfing again – and I read this article on the 10 things you should know about WordPress 2.0.  Good. […]

  2. […] Well… during the downtime just now, I went surfing again – and I read this article on the 10 things you should know about WordPress 2.0. Good. […]

  3. […] I just read a post on problogger.net about some of the new features in WordPress 2.0. If you are interested you should check it out. […]

  4. More on WordPress

    I have been checking out the new version of WordPress and thought you might enjoy reading the following blog.  I agree with what he has written and particularly the bit he wrote about tinyMCE. I am really trying to like the editor, but really find it

  5. Hi there,

    Thanks for the insightful post. I,ve been contemplating giving the new WordPress a try for a while now and your article comes in very handy for someone like me.

    Thanks for sharing your insights with us all.
    Keep the information flowing! :-)

    Warm regards,

    Rishu

  6. […] 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0 (published Dec 26, 2005) […]

  7. Aaron, thanks for sharing the timely post :-) I’ve recently started using wordpress — literally a week or two before 2.0 was released. Anyway, I’ve been looking at the pros and cons of upgrading to 2.0. Your post here gave me lots of good food for thought… Thanks :-)

  8. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: Blog Tips at ProBlogger (tags: Web2.0 blogging technology WordPress) […]

  9. […] If you read 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0, you know one of my key gripes with the new software is in the area of caching. […]

  10. I agree with no. 9, bigtime. I totally disabled it within two days.

  11. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: Blog Tips at ProBlogger […]

  12. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: Blog Tips at ProBlogger […]

  13. […] … and you need to know what are it’s new features, don’t you? […]

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  15. […] Over deze nieuwe 2.0 versie van WordPress vond ik een interessant stuk (via R-win.com – die nog met MT werkt, vreemd genoeg). En al eerder konden we lezen wat er zou gebeuren. Mijn eerste indruk is dat de back-end een flinke partij verbeterd is. Er is duidelijk (nog) meer nadruk gelegd op usability en op de conversie van gebruikers van andere systemen: overzichtelijker, veel functionele (!) AJAX, een prima WYSIWYG-editor en een prominente import-functie. Ik denk dat ik nog wel een gebruiker weet, die vóór eind februari overgaat van MT naar WP! (Of niet, GJ?) […]

  16. […] I found a good link 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0 have a read. […]

  17. […] This is quite a comprehensive remark about 2.0 at The Republic of T. You should also read the 10 things you should know about 2.0 by Problogger. […]

  18. […] read more | digg story Get small business ideas for your online business! […]

  19. […] Excerpted from Problogger’s Ten Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0 There are a couple problems I see, as a web purist, with this approach. TinyMCE, though it will probably continue to be improved, creates really shoddy HTML in some cases. Empty tags, funky cut-and-paste, and the now-internally-infamous shoddy image feature makes it great for quick and dirty entries but poor for day-to-day usage. I don’t use Safari, the preferred browser for most Mac users, so I can’t be sure if it works yet for you Safari users, but last time I recall it didn’t. […]

  20. WordPress is great piece of software :)

  21. […] No doubts, you’ve read the 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0  and 5 Little Things I like About WordPress . So here are some of the plugins I found that makes WordPress even better: […]

  22. Very helpfull article and great blog resource !!!

  23. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: ProBlogger Blog Tips (tags: WordPress blogging) […]

  24. […] Aaron won’t be a stranger to many of you – he’s already written three popular posts here (10 things you should know about WordPress 2.0, Tag, You’re It! Leveraging Tagging for Your Blog and Kick Your RSS: Jumping on the Syndication Bandwagon) he’s also the blogger behind Technosailor and is one of our b5 bloggers (editing our Sports Channel). […]

  25. […] Back at the end of December, I wrote an article for ProBlogger entitled 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0. Three(ish) months and 2 security/bugfix releases laters, I think WordPress 2.x deserves another look – a follow up, if you will. […]

  26. […] To read more about word 2.0 best to read 10 Things you Should Know About WordPress 2.0 Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  27. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: ProBlogger Blog Tips […]

  28. […] However this morning, I retraced my steps a little bit and with the help of the WordPress forums and Google, I was able to piece together a hack for my wp-config.php file. I’m still not sure why this works but the hacks turn off magic_quotes_gpc and disable the WordPress cache. I hope if any WordPress gurus are reading they will comment and shed some light on what these hacks do. Nonetheless, my site is up and running again, so please visit once more. […]

  29. hi, does someone how to install properly Wp-PostRating plugin x wordpres 2.0 ?

  30. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0: ProBlogger Blog Tips (tags: wordpress) […]

  31. Great article! Darren, you need to post the top 10 plugins for wordpress now!

    -Brandon Hopkins

  32. Darren did already… in fact, 2 days ago…

    https://problogger.com/?p=1875

  33. […] I’ll go into more about why I love open-source later, but WordPress’ source code (the program itself) is open to be changed by anyone. This means that we have thousands of the best programmers around the world tweaking the software on their own dime to make it better for everyone. These modifications to security and functionality are released periodically via updates. Just a few months ago they released the big “2.0″ update which was a pretty radical change to WordPress. More recently, WordPress released 2.03 the other day which adds minor changes to the functionality. For those of you using Cpanel or some other automatic installer, these updates should be configured by your provider. This makes updates as simple as a click of the mouse. […]

  34. […] There we go! I’ve now upgraded to WordPress 2.0 (here’s a ProBlogger review of the changes). In the coming week, I’ll be doing one of my regular shows and, at week’s end, speaking at Podcasters Across Borders, which just recently sold out! I’ll make sure to let you guys know about the content of that conference as it becomes available. See you then! […]

  35. […] El contenido de este post está basado en 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0, publicado por Darrem Rowse en ProBlogger. […]

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  37. Hi,

    I’m writing to let you know of an audio WordPress widget we’ve just released. The Evoca Browser Mic lets bloggers get voice recordings from their readers right from their WP blog. With any computer mic, and by clicking on “record”, a reader can leave a voice comment. An interesting way of putting a voice behind the online community. This widget was launched this week.

    You will find some examples of the Evoca Browser Mic being used on WordPress blogs at:

    http://www.drewandbritt.org/
    http://dizzy-girl.net/

    The Evoca Browser Mic plugins for WordPress can be found at:

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugins/Audio

    More about the Evoca Browser Mic on our blog:

    http://evoca.net/blog/?p=107

    A couple of blogs talking about the plug-in:

    http://markjaquith.wordpress.com/2006/10/20/evoca-browser-mic/
    http://mashable.com/2006/11/03/evoca-launches-voice-comments-for-myspace-blogs/

    Thank you in advance for helping spread the word, please let me know if you have any questions.

    Cheers!
    drew.

  38. Jamie says: 12/24/2006 at 2:01 pm

    What about WordPress-MU? Any review of it? And what’s the difference between WordPress-MU and WordPress Manager DX2? Thanks for the articles you have here! :)

  39. […] Well… during the downtime just now, I went surfing again – and I read this article on the 10 things you should know about WordPress 2.0. Good. […]

  40. […] CSS Cheat Sheet New Years Weight Loss Hacks 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0 Rig of the year (so far) Filed under links.  | Tags: css, lifehack, osx, wordpress. var blogTool = “WordPress”; var blogURL = “http://hbrendanflynn.com&#8221;; var blogTitle = “hbrendanflynn.com”; var postURL = “http://hbrendanflynn.com/2007/01/03/links-of-the-day/&#8221;; var postTitle = “links of the day”; var commentAuthorFieldName = “author”; var commentAuthorLoggedIn = false; var commentFormID = “commentform”; var commentTextFieldName = “comment”; var commentButtonName = “submit”; […]

  41. I remember how easy to install wordpress on my web hosting server.
    Even easy to modified and add in things. What can I say:
    WordPress rocks….lots of plugin….wow…getting better and better each day.

  42. […] Back in December of 2005, I was filling in for Darren Rowse at ProBlogger and I wrote an entry that was very highly read and commented on. The topic was 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0. The occasion was the release of the much-waited for release of the current major release of WordPress (We’re up to 2.0.5 but the “dot releases” have all been security/bugfix releases). […]

  43. […] 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0 WordPress as a Content Management System – Suppose you like WordPress as a blogging tool and you wish to use it to run non-blog sites. This is a distinct possibility, and not necessarily WordPress 2.0 specific. In fact, I’ve been doing this for the past few years in one form or another. […]

  44. […] Gezien het succes van zijn artikel op Problogger.net over 10 die je moet weten over WorPress 2.0 heeft Aaron Brazell 21 januari een mooi artikel geplaatst over de 10 dingen die je moet weten over WordPress 2.1. […]

  45. […] И Этажерку и этот блог перетащил на WordPress 2.1. Изменений в новой версии много, в основном, внутри. Старые темы взлетают, а вот плагины не все. За одно, нашел хорошую статью 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.0. Из чего следует, что текущую тему теперь стоит переписать под widget-compatible, и еще много чего. […]

  46. […] post was originally written for Problogger.net and has been reproduced here by […]

  47. Although this post is almost 1.5 years old, some of the info is still applicable for WP 2.x. Thanks for your insights!

    cheers

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