Looking Forward To WordPress 3.0

3-0-menu-manger

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Despite the date, this is a genuinely serious post.

I don’t want to join most other blogs in publishing a useless list of features that will be coming to WordPress 3.o. Instead, I thought I’d do it a bit differently. Recently I interviewed Adii, Nathan Rice, Alex Cragg, Cory Miller and Ian Stewart. In that post I asked “what in 3.0 are you looking forward to working with?” today’s post will have a look at what 3.0 is going to do for themes.

Menu Manager

Adii, Ian, Nathan and Cory all said they were most looking forward to working with the new custom navigation in 3.0. Nathan said:

“It’s going to be one of the 3.0 killer features, for sure.”

And he’s not wrong. The developers have been struggling of late to find an easy to use alternative to list IDs of categories you don’t want to show and this seems to be the perfect solution.

Using it seems to be really easy too, making use of the template tag wp_page_menu() which was introduced back in 2.7.

Custom post types

This is certainly my favourite feature. Custom post types will allow you to create types of post other than Posts and Pages. Adii agreed with me, adding:

“That will be game-changing for WP themes in the longer run.”

That could be quite literally anything. I’ll be using them on Nometet so I’ve got a separate post type for reviews, editorials and news. This means I can then add custom taxonomies to each type of post; ratings for reviews and bits of info like developer for news.

I do see these being used extensively for tumblogs which even though possible to make at the moment with WordPress could really use the new post types. I’m fairly confident we’re going to see a lot more tumblr style blogs soon.

Making your own custom post types is actually really easy. For example, to add my review post type, I’d use:

function post_type_reviews() {
	register_post_type( 'reviews',
                array( 'label' => __('Review'), 'public' => true, 'show_ui' => true ) );
	register_taxonomy_for_object_type('post_tag', 'review');
}
add_action('init', 'post_type_reviews');

Of course, you can take this further as WPEngineer explains — custom taxonomies I mentioned earlier are really easy to do.

Custom background and header images

Something I’m not particularly bothered about but I’m sure many newer bloggers will find useful is the background uploader and the header uploader.

I do fear this will cause an increase in background images that:

  1. Aren’t big enough to fill a screen larger than 1280.
  2. Really shouldn’t be tiled.
  3. Are pointless.
  4. Are badly made.
  5. Are badly compressed.
  6. Etc.

But hey, it’s a learning curve, right?

They’re both easy to add to themes, so you might as well; backgrounds can be added with add_custom_background(); and headers with add_custom_image_header();.

Multisite

WordPressMU and WordPress are merging into the new multisite feature.

In practice, this just means it’s easier to create a WPMU site. I’m not aware of anything that changes for themes.

New default theme

WordPress’ new default theme, 2010 is going to be awesome. I really love the look, feel and readability of 2010 and Alex agreed with me:

I think we’re going to see a lot of new bloggers just sticking with that theme when they first install WordPress.

And he’s right; as a theme for ‘just a blog’, I think it’s nigh on perfect. Hopefully we’ll see more themes inheriting its awesomeness if they’re starting off with it as a base.

Coming soon

3.0 should be out next month. What are you looking forward to?

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Hello, I'm Alex! I started WPShout in 2009, just before my 16th birthday. Get in touch with me, I'd love to chat. You should also follow me on Twitter :)

8 Comments

  • Awesome. The first two are what I’m really looking forward to. It’s going to be super awesome!

  • Im looking forward to the menu manager the most I guess. The custom background images will be handy for my wpmu users for their blogs I guess although I guess theres alot fo room for them messing up a theme :S It can only improve though

  • Hey Alex,

    I tested the 2nd feature today as wp 3.0 beta 1 came out today. But I also feel bad about those plugins which did a great job like Flutter and Magic Fields. They will be definitely dead as their main feature will come bundled with wp.

  • Looking forward to 3.0 especially custom posts looks very exciting.

    The new 2010 theme reminds me of the standard theme you get with concrete5

  • Aren’t big enough to fill a screen larger than 1280

    I’m not entirely sure that this is even a mild concern outwith the design community itself.

    I would say that over 95% of the people I know have a screen resolution of 1280 or lower. Plenty of everyday people are still plugging along with 15″ screens at 1024 for their desktop environment at work and home. And that doesn’t even begin to address the increasing use of notebooks with 10″ – 13″ screens and smart phones, all making designs of 1280+ unnecessary and, in fact, extremely unheplful unless they degrade nicely at lower resolutions.

    • Alex Denning

      I think you’ve missed the point. Even if lots of people you know have >1024 screens, doesn’t mean that lots of people don’t.

      In some cases 1280+ makes a lot of sense; WPShout, for example has an audience where c90% of readers use 1280+ screens so I can justify having a massive sidebar and a wide layout.