The first thing you’ll notice about 2.7 is its new interface. From the top down, we’ve listened to your feedback and thought deeply about the design and the result is a WordPress that’s just plain faster. Nearly every task you do on your blog will take fewer clicks and be faster in 2.7 than it did in a previous version. (Download it now, or read on for more.)
Next you’ll begin to notice the new features subtly sprinkled through the new interface: the new dashboard that you can arrange with drag and drop to put the things most important to you on top, QuickPress, comment threading, paging, and the ability to reply to comments from your dashboard, the ability to install any plugin directly from WordPress.org with a single click, and sticky posts.
Digging in further you might notice that every screen is customizable. Let’s say you never care about author on your post listings — just click “Screen Options” and uncheck it and it’s instantly gone from the page. The same for any module on the dashboard or write screen. If your screen is narrow and the menu is taking up too much horizontal room, click the arrow to minimize it to be icon-only, and then go to the write page and drag and drop everything from the right column into the main one, so your posting area is full-screen. (For example I like hiding everything except categories, tags, and publish. I put categories and tags on the right, and publish under the post box.)
For a visual introduction to what 2.7 is, check out this video (available in HD, and full screen):
Last, but certainly not least, this may be the last time you ever have to manually upgrade WordPress again. We heard how tired you were of doing upgrades for yourself and your friends, so now WordPress includes a built-in upgrade that will automatically notify you of new releases, and when you’re ready it will download them, install them, and upgrade your blog with a single click.
(As with any interface change it may take a little bit of time to acclimate yourself but soon you’ll find yourself whizzing through the screens. Even people who have hated it at first tell us after a few days they wonder how they got by before.)
The Story Behind 2.7
The real reason Coltrane is such a huge leap forward is because the community was so involved with every step of the process. Over 150 people contributed code directly to the release, our highest ever, with many tens of thousands more participating in the polls, surveys, tests, mailing lists, and other feedback mechanisms the WordPress dev team used in putting this release together.
For some of the back story in the development of 2.7, check out these blog posts (thanks to WeblogToolsCollection for the list):
- Usability Testing Report: 2.5 and CrazyHorse
- The New 2.7 Dashboard
- The Visual Design of 2.7
- WordPress 2.7 wireframes
- Comprehensive Codex Article on WordPress 2.7
- WordPress Development Updates from Jane Wells
- WordPress Usability Testing in New York
- WordPress 2.7 UI Configurability from Ryan Boren
- Customizable Post Editing Screen from Mark Jaquith
- WordPress 2.7 Navigation Survey from Jane Wells
- Shortcuts/Favorites Menu from Jane Wells
- CrazyHorse Presentation at WordCamp SF
- WordPress 2.7 Walkthrough by Matt
- WordPress 2.7 and beyond from Matt at WordCamp Utah
This was interesting to us, a blogging software release we actually blogged about, but the process was hugely informative. Prior to its release today Crazyhorse and 2.7 had been tested by tens of thousands of people on their blogs, hundreds of thousands of you count .com. The volume of feedback was so high that we decided to push back the release date a month to take time to incorporate it all and do more revisions based on what you guys said.
For those of you wondering why we didn’t call this release 3.0, it’s because we abhor version number inflation. 3.0 will just be the next release after 2.9. The major features in new point releases approach also works well for products like OS X, with huge changes between a 10.3 and 10.4.
Those of you following along at home might have noticed this was our second major redesign of WordPress this year. Whoa nelly! While that wasn’t ideal, and I especially sympathize with those of you creating books or tutorials around WordPress, there’s good news. The changes to WordPress in 2.5 and 2.7 were necessary for us to break free of much of the legacy cruft and interface bloat that had built up over the years (gradually) and more importantly provide us with a UI framework and interface language we can use at the foundation to build tomorrow’s WordPress on, to express ideas we haven’t been able to before. So at the end of 2009 I expect, interface-wise, WordPress to look largely the same as it does now.
That said, we couldn’t be more excited about the future with regards to features. Now that we’ve cleared out more basic things, we are looking forward in the coming year to really tackling media handling including audio and video, better tools for plugin and theme developers, widgets, theme updates, more integrated and contextual help, and easier integration with projects like BuddyPress and bbPress.
In no particular order, I wanted to take a moment to thank the following WordPress.org users for being a part of 2.7: demetris, vladimir_kolesnikov, azaozz, iammattthomas, filosofo, ryan, jacobsantos, AaronCampbell, corischlegel, noel, codestyling, janbrasna, DD32, Viper007Bond, mdawaffe, Matt, sambauers, jeremyclarke, alexrabe, nbachiyski, josephscott, FFEMTcJ, roganty, Ozh, yoavf, johnconners, thinlight, markjaquith, tott, mrmist, st_falcon, johnbillion, mattyrob, scohoust, yonosoytu, apeatling, ydekproductions, bobrik, janewells, simonwheatley, sivel, abackstrom, sekundek, hailin, strider72, byrnereese, tai, jick, kpdesign, mcs_trekkie, dtsn, g30rg3x, wfrantz, andr, Simek, johnhennmacc, fitztrev, stefano, regulatethis, jhodgdon, rboren, zedlander, tellyworth, misterbisson, Jean-LucfromBrussels, Speedboxer, kashani, Speedbozxer, aaron_guitar, Joe Taiabjee, mani_monaj, 112502, yoshi, thee17, filosoof, Malaiac, ShaneF, RanYanivHartstein, MtDewVirus, anderswc, Viper007Bind, betsyk, jamierumbelow, reinkim, jmini, MichaelH, dwc, rdworth, x11tech, bubel, caesarsgrunt, Otto42, BjornW, technosailor, capripot, rnt, raychampagne, ionfish, Sam_a, dougal, paddya, jdevalk, msw0418, Aaron Harp, rickoman, Mike Schinkel, matthewh84, andy, lloydbudd, _ck_, hansengel, donncha, mictasm, pishmishy, rmmccue, Txanny, pedrop, bendalton, Terragg, Latz, sandbox theme, takayukister, techcookies, wet, docwhat, mtekk, count_0, xorax, dsader, noael, zamoose, Po0ky, guillep2k, xknown, JohnLamansky, error, dbuser123, brianwhite, wasp, msi08, axelseaa, tschai, schiller, robertaccettura, redsweater, rm53, 082net, paul.