Sabahan.com Upgraded to WordPress 2.5.1
Last modified on 15th July, 2008
After putting this off for so long, I finally made the move and upgraded Sabahan.com WordPress installation to v2.5.1 from the pre-historic v2.2.1. (OK it’s not that bad).
The upgrade went without a glitch, apart from the Popularity Contest plugin which refuse to work with the latest WordPress version. A fix has been found and the develper is working on the new release.
What may seem like old news to those early adopters, I’ve just found out several nifty features in WordPress 2.5.1 that could make my blogging activity easier and more fun.
The new interface is a welcome update which gives WordPress a fresher and current feel to it. It’s both pretty and more user-friendly. Although, there are a few changes that require some getting used to at least initially.
The main navigation menu has been split up into two separate groups. Frequently access items are placed on the left, while items such as the Settings, Plugins and Users are placed to the right.
Personally I prefer the previous arrangement where all items are grouped together and fortunately, one of my favourite plugins, the Admin Drop Down Menu let me do that.
Several functions that used to be on the sidebar are now moved below the post. This includes the Categories which forces you to scroll down when selecting categories if you have a smaller screen. Also, I still prefer the “Save” and “Publish” button below the post instead of on the sidebar.
I expect I’ll encounter more changes as I continue using the new version. While everyone has his/her personal preference as far as the interface is concern, it would be nice if WordPress allows users to rearrange any elements on the page to suit their personal needs with AJAX drag and drop support in the future.
Another cool feature in WordPress 2.5.1 (included since v2.5 I think) is the ability to update your WordPress plugins automatically. No more searching, downloading, unzipping, uploading via FTP as all these steps can be done automatically by clicking a link on your dashboard which is visible when a new version of a plugin is available.
Talking about auto-updating, there’s a plugin that automatically upgrade your WordPress installation to the latest version with a click of a button. The plugin is called WordPress Automatic Upgrade and is compatible with WordPress 1.5 and above.
It basically follows the 5 steps upgrade route suggested by WordPress upgrade instructions
The plugin will perform the following steps during an upgrade:
- Backs up the files and makes available a link to download it.
- Backs up the database and makes available a link to download it.
- Downloads the latest files from http://wordpress.org/latest.zip and unzips it.
- Puts the site in maintenance mode.
- De-activates all active plugins and remembers it.
- Upgrades WordPress files.
- Gives you a link that will open in a new window to upgrade installation.
- Re-activates the plugins.
The plugin can also be run in an automated mode where all the above steps will be executed quietly without your intervention.
This can be a definite time saver for everyone running WordPress especially for those who manage multiple blogs. I’ll give it a test drive on several of my blogs. But for important blogs like Sabahan.com, I prefer doing manual upgrade as a precaution until I’m convince the plugin works flawlessly (or officially recommended by WordPress) after several upgrade exercises.