WordPress 3.1 beta 1 available!

Just in time for thanksgiving, WordPress makes version 3.1 available for download. The new version has some awesome enhancements such as Post Formats, a new dialog for link creation, Admin Bar, faster password reset, multi-taxonomy queries in the core and index pages for custom post types.

Post Formats

One of the most interesting enhancements are the new Post Formats, that were explained extensively by Mark Jaquith, including how they are different from custom post types. Basically, post formats are a feature that helps when formatting a post, and thus you can have formats for a gallery, a chat transcript, a video, a quotation. It’s all about formatting and displaying, rather than changing the structure or properties of the content (which is what custom post types are for). This feature will certainly be helpful for WordPress powered Tumblr-like blogs.

Post formats must be enabled by themes so the new TwentyTen 1.3 features the Aside and Gallery post formats (in addition to the Default) as shown on the image above.

Internal linking: new panel for link creation

This feature will save a lot of time when linking to other pages or posts in a site. The default button to create a link now loads this cool panel where you can not only link to external website pages, but you can also quickly select a post or page and create a link to it. A search field is also included and it works in real time. One minor issue is that if you have two pages with the same name, it will be difficult to know which one is the right one.

Is not secret that internal linking is a good SEO practice and this tool will definitely speed up the process.

Ajaxified Admin

While this might be one of those features that go silently, it’s definitely a time saver on many aspects and improves the user experience significantly. The pagination, for instance, is the most noticeably change. Instead of the old pagination bar with a list of numbers, where you had to click on [3] to display the [5] and so on, you can now enter a page number and quickly jump to it without reloading the page, thanks to the ajaxified interface.

Now posts are sortable. Notice the highlighted Date in the image above. Clicking on it will sort posts by date (default behaviour) but now you can also sort by title and author. All other areas such as Pages, Comments, Categories, Users and the Media Library are now sortable as well. Even plugins can be sorted by name, which is the default behaviour, but you can invert the sorting.

Another improvement can be found when searching for a particular post. If you search in the new ajaxified interface, the results are displayed instantaneously.

Admin Bar

The Admin Bar is found in the front-end. You can use it to jump to most used pages such as Add New Post, comments management or edit the current post, tag or category.

Faster, friendlier and instantaneous

Other improvements in the user interface include the themes management, now featuring a field to search through your themes in case you have many. Themes supporting features such as Widgets, Menus, Custom Background and Custom Header will display a series of links to jump to the corresponding areas. The password resetting process has been improved to be less confusing.

Under the hood, multi-taxonomy queries of custom taxonomies are now in the core and custom post types now have index pages for their type, which is a very welcome addition.

The project schedule for 3.1 points that WordPress 3.1 is set to be released in Dec 15, but it’s subject to change.

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