WordPress 3.1: What’s New?

WordPress pushed out version 3.1 today. What’s new?

Interface

  • From an interface perspective, WordPress 3.1 shares the same look as WordPress 3.0.
  • A few minor changes have been made to give the WordPress dashboard a cleaner look
  • The blue theme colors and style have been refined and improved across the board.

The Admin Bar

  • I upgraded to version 3.1 today and I was quite surprised to see an admin bar, similar to what you see at WordPress.com at the top of my website.
  • WordPress.com users are probably familiar with the admin bar that appears atop every WordPress.com-hosted site when they are logged into their accounts. The menu provides quick access to various tools and lets users quickly create new blog posts or access back-end features.
  • The WordPress.org admin bar will only work when users are logged into their own sites. When they are, visiting the site will display an admin bar that will then provide easy access to comments, the dashboard and other assorted tools.
  • I don’t like the bar for EllsworthMedia.com, but I think it will be a big convenience for many of my clients who are on WordPress.org sites.
  • The WordPress team added an option to turn the bar on or off in the dashboard’s “Users” panel. For anyone who wants to disable the admin bar, Joost de Valk will walk you through this simple process.

Internal Linking

  • Internal linking makes it easier for publishers to find and link back to previously published content on their site.
  • Simply click on the link button in the writing panel and enter in a word or phrase. Related entries will show up and clicking on an entry will fill the link field with the correct URL.
  • I prefer to use plugins like LinkWithin that automate this process by refering to articles automatically based on similarity… but this is a nice addition.

Post Formats

  • Post Formats can be used by theme authors to customize the way a WordPress post is presented on the web.
  • Post Formats aren’t a required feature, but it is something that theme designers can implement to better show off certain content types.
  • Post Formats are especially useful for users who want to designate a post as an aside, link, video, image, quote, status, audio, chat or gallery. That designation can then help a theme determine how content should be displayed.

Overall, I am amazed at how often WordPress is updated. I will look forward to WordPress adding even more features in the future for 3.2.