If you haven’t seen it in the WordPress dashboard yet version 2.8 has been released and is now available. I strongly suggest keeping your version of WordPress up to date at all times.
If you have the proper setting on your hosting account the automatic upgrade for version 2.7 to 2.8 should be a breeze. The automatic upgrade of this site did have one minor issue with the Google Analytics plugin. You see I don’t really practice what I preach because I will tell you to deactivate all plugins and backup your files and database before an upgrade. But I didn’t in this case and did the automatic upgrade on the fly with all plugins still active. That is where the issue came from and I needed to delete the offending plugin to access the dashboard. Of course, I have a database backup from a few days ago so I wasn’t completely unprotected. And I might have a little more knowledge than most when it comes to troubleshooting a bad upgrade.
So remember to be safe and backup your wp-content folder and database, and you really should deactivate all plugins prior to an upgrade. Then activate all plugins one at a time to make sure they work well with the new version. If a plugin screws things up just delete that plugins file to deactivate it.
Here are the major new improvements in 2.8 as stated from the official WordPress site:
Major New Improvements
- First and foremost, 2.8 is way faster to use. We’ve changed the way WordPress does style and scripting.
- The core and plugin updates in previous versions of WordPress have been such a success we decided to bring the same to themes. You can now browse the entire theme directory and install a theme with one click from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard.
- If you make edits or tweaks to themes or plugins from your dashboard, you’ll appreciate the new CodePress editor which gives syntax highlighting to the previously-plain editor. Also, there is now contextual documentation for the functions in the file you’re editing linked right below the editor.
- If you were ever frustrated with widgets before, this release should be your savior. We’ve completely redesigned the widgets interface (which we didn’t have time to in 2.7) to allow you to do things like edit widgets on the fly, have multiple copies of the same widget, drag and drop widgets between sidebars, and save inactive widgets so you don’t lose all their settings. Developers now have access to a much cleaner and robust API for creating widgets as well.
- Finally, you should explore the new Screen Options on every page. It’s the tab in the top right. Now, for example, if you have a wide monitor you could set up your dashboard to have four columns of widgets instead of the two it has by default. On other pages, you can change how many items show per page.