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WordPress 2.8 is out – bugs fixed and features added, sweet!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that WordPress 2.8 is now available.

As a reminder, I always advise readers to wait just a few days before upgrading, as sometimes WP has a habit of releasing an update that breaks things and requires you to install yet another update shortly after that to fix everything…in other words, sometimes some big bugs slip through (not always, though). So just waiting a few extra days before upgrading and finding out whether this is, in fact, a stable release is usually a good idea. I will keep you posted on word from the wordpress community and when I think it’s safe to do the upgrade. If you’re using WordPress 2.7.1, the fantastic news is that you can actually upgrade WP from your dashboard automatically when you’re ready — just don’t forget to backup your database beforehand 🙂

While I did say to wait a few days, once it’s clear WordPress 2.8 is stable then, like other updates, it is crucial that you upgrade all of your WordPress installations (but first check to make sure that any of your “MUST HAVE” plugins are compatible with the new version and then weigh the pros and cons. These updates are critical – they generally not only FIX existing bugs (this release fixes 790 bugs!), but they almost always include security enhancements — these are something you need as it is never okay to go around with an old version of WordPress that it turns out can be hacked. Major updates often have new features that you will want, as well.

Here’s a rundown of what you get with WordPress 2.8 (the new stuff, that is):

  • 2.8 is way faster to use
  • 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.
  • completely redesigned the widgets interface 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.
  • 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.
  • Check out the full list of over 180 new features, changes, upgrades, and improvements on the Codex

Good stuff. I’m going to upgrade to WordPress 2.8 on a test blog I have and let you know how that goes. I’ll also let you know when I’ve decided to upgrade How to Blog

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