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WordPress 3.1: Features, Tutorials, and Pure Joy

WordPress NewsWordPress 3.1 is now out. YEAH!!! It’s named after one of our personal favorite jazz musicians, Django Reinhardt.

My sneak preview of WordPress 3.1, one of the most eagerly and long awaited versions, barely did the new features justice.

The team and I gathered up all of our research and dug deep into Trac to create the WordPress 3.1 Feature Guide: The Ultimate Guide to What’s New to give you an in depth look at why you need to be excited about WordPress 3.1.

Today, upgrading is as easy as one or two clicks from the WordPress Administration Panels. Don’t wait. This release includes all the latest security updates, and a lot of features you are going to want to take advantage of soon, including some I’ll mention in a moment that have me very excited about this new update.

There have only been a few issues of conflicts with WordPress Plugins. We used to keep a long list of Plugin and Theme compatibility issues in the , the online manual for WordPress Users, but today, a quick glance at the WordPress Plugin Directory for your Plugins will tell you immediately if it is compatible with the Plugin Compatibility Widget released in 2009.

Some of the new features won’t work until you’ve upgraded or updated your WordPress Theme, which means there have been little or no issues with WordPress Themes, if they have been updated and maintained over the past few WordPress upgrades.

WordPress 3.1 New Features and Bells and Whistles

As we highlighted in our WordCast WordPress 3.1 Feature Guide, there is a lot to be excited about.

Internal links new feature in WordPress 3.1Internal linking, the ability to quickly link to a past published post from among your inventory with a few clicks, is my personal favorite. How To Use Internal Linking in WordPress 3.1 will give you a full rundown on how to use it.

Unfortunately, those of us who spend our lives in the HTML editor, not Visual, don’t have easy access to this feature, which is beyond unfortunate as those using the HTML editor tend to make more internal links as they’ve been doing this longer and understand the importance of them, than newer bloggers using the Visual Editor. Hopefully that will be rectified soon, if enough folks nag, or a WordPress Plugin is developed to fix the issue. Hint.

What is getting the most attention is the Post Formats, bringing a Tumblr-like experience to your blog to control which type of post you want to publish. On first glance, this is amazing and the WordCast team put together a tutorial, WordPress Post Formats Tutorial: Tumblr With WordPress 3.1, to show you how to incorporate Post Formats into your WordPress blog. They went a step further and created a gallery with WordPress Post Format Showcase: Tumblr Style Theme Ideas to inspire you as to the design possibilities with Post Formats.

While some people are quick to disable the new Admin Bar that is similar to the one used by members, don’t jump too fast. The Admin Bar speeds up access to different areas of my WordPress blogs easily. I love it.

While there is a ton of great features to get excited about, and I’m eager to see the WordPress Plugin and Theme community challenged by what post formats have to offer, I’m a little disappointed with the lack of attention to the Media Library and image handling. Hopefully, this will get more tender loving attention in WordPress 3.2.

In the meantime, check out File Gallery WordPress Plugin. While the interface still needs work, this powerful Plugin will get you out of the clunky Media Library and help you embed images fast into your blog posts. Simply upload the images with the WordPress Media Library, then select and embed them through the File Gallery Plugin which adds a section to the post panel. You can easily put up galleries, single images, images from other posts…I love it! We have GOT to get this on WordPress.com.

File Gallery WordPress Plugin for image handling and publishing

Troubleshooting WordPress 3.1

Are you having trouble with WordPress 3.1 or the upgrade? We’ve put together a list of fixes and help from around the WordPress Community in Bugs and Fixes: What You Need to Know About WordPress 3.1 on WordCast.

We’ve also got our WordCast Facebook page asking for your feedback on how the WordPress 3.1 upgrade is working for you? Did it go smoothly or are you having troubles?

Help us to help others share their WordPress 3.1 woes and fixes!

Honoring Django “WordPress” Reinhardt

Django ReinhardtWordPress 3.1 was named by the amazing jazz musician and composer, Django Reinhardt. He’s a personal favorite of our family, so it was with joy that I wrote up “Django Reinhardt: A Look Behind the Namesake of WordPress 3.1” on WordCast.

I hope you will take a few minutes to watch some of the videos of this master guitarist and learn about how he came to his claim to fame by sheer determination of will and passionate creativity by overcoming physical disabilities and tragic loss to turn not just the Jazz world on its ear but influenced rock and roll, hip hop, rap, and even classical music. Of the jazz musicians chosen so far to be honored as WordPress version namesakes, Django is by far the most appropriate choice. He was a rule breaker who broke the music industry in a way that will live on for centuries.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

53 Comments

  1. Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    While I would love to actually enjoy the new features, upgrading to WP 3.1 has been a complete nightmare for one of my clients. The site uses nothing special for plugins or theme but WP 3.1 has killed both the public and admin sections. At this point it looks like the only way to fix it is to roll the whole site back to 3. Thank goodness we have a backup of the database and files. Just a reminder to always make sure you have a backup!

    • Pothi
      Posted February 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I actually mock-up the upgrade using the backup on a spare server, before doing it on the live server. Saves time!

    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      I’ve upgraded a dozen sites already. I’ve only had a few issues related to outdated Plugins. Maybe something wasn’t installed properly or the upgrade glitched. Do they have a cache Plugin installed? That will need to be deactivated and the cache cleared, which could have been the issue.

      Thanks for the reminder to backup!

  2. Posted February 25, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    Good to see you out in front of the pack as usual.
    I need to check that my theme is compatible and then… it’s upgrade time.

    I’ll take a look at your “ultimate guide to what’s new”.

  3. Alan Hughes
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    They need to fix the media uploader so it doesn’t compress your images when uploading, or at least give you an option.

    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Compress your images? First I’m hearing of that. The media uploader does add multiple sizes automatically, but I’ve found no image compression. What I upload matches the quality of the original every time. Odd that. Do you have file compression enabled on your site under WordPress? Or some image handling Plugin? Not noticed anything like that.

      But you are right, a LOT needs to be fixed in the WordPress Media Library tools.

    • Alan Hughes
      Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      I don’t know what you are talking about, it has compressed every photo I’ve ever uploaded, on every installation, on any server, locally or online. I just setup a fresh 3.1 installation with all default settings and the 504kb photo I uploaded became a 383.4kb file afterward.

  4. Posted February 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been upgrading, I love the new enhancements, makes using WP all the more enjoyable.

  5. Posted February 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m just an average AmeliaJake and I used to be able to size my images. Now, it just doesn’t work; empty space follows an before any text appears.

    • Posted February 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      @Amelia: Something else must be going on. Have you tried to do images with the HTML editor? Is some odd code going in? Check there to see if something is broken. I’ve been playing with this for several days and haven’t found any issues like this, and I use a ton of images.

      @Berniesr: You’re going to love File Gallery. It has a weird interface. Just remember, the blue “heading” buttons are buttons. Click those to embed the images into the post. If you are using the Visual Editor, you can drag them into the spot.

  6. berniesr
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Great overview I have added File Gallery! :-)

  7. Posted February 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I am using a Multi site setup and have upgraded fine have not had problems with plugins.

    I installed file gallery and gave me error looks like its conflicting with buddypress.

  8. Posted February 26, 2011 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Take the advice to back up before upgrading on this one seriously. It has completely gunked up the plugin interface and the way I have to work with plugins. The only options under the plugin name on the plugin page is whether to activate or deactivate. To delete, I have to go through ftp. The plugin menu button itself no longer has the “add new” choice, so I need to add “wp-admin/network/plugin-install.php” to access the add option.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      @David: As with all upgrades, Plugins can be an issue. I recommend for those that have extensive, out-of-date, or customized WordPress Plugins they depend upon to upgrade manually, which includes turning off all Plugins before doing the upgrade, and adding them back one by one to test for conflicts and such. Something to remember in the future. :D

  9. Posted February 26, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I am not certain it would show up to you if I posted a reply to your reply, so please bear with me for this new comment.

    I posted a couple of examples on The Leaning Cow; after I enlarge a picture by pulling on the corner in visual, the code option interprets it as the picture code followed by many, many lines of &nbsp.

    If I erase the &nbsp in the code and update, the gap disappears.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I can’t reproduce this, but it looks like a job for the WordPress Support Forum so someone can dig deeper into this with you, and you don’t have to mess up your blog for your audience. Personally, I rarely work with the Visual Editor, and this is just another good example of why. If you set the size you want the image in the HTML without the stretching and pulling of the Visual Editor, it looks like it works just fine. The Support Forum crew knows their stuff and can help you pin this issue down, which could turn into a fix of the core of WordPress as you might have uncovered a bug. Thanks.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Checking the forums, I’m seeing others reporting this issue. Haven’t found a solution, but they are working on it.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      I am very impressed by your going out of your way to suggest what I should do and then following up on it yourself. Inspires me to forget my 62 years and learn a bit more about this new-fangled stuff. I went to school when we actually studied penmanship.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      So did I. :D Good to know that I’m not the only oldie moldie out there braving the new world.

      For more info: Bugs and Fixes: What You Need to Know About WordPress 3.1.

  10. Posted February 26, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    My personal favourite improvement is to the Editor. I use child themes a lot and had a habit of getting carried away and make amendments to the parent file. Now you only see the file you have in the child – perfect. Have to say I am having a nightmare with the permalinks not resolving correctly for custom taxonomies but I am almost there. Anyone know why I would end up with …/index.php/index.php/… in the url instead og just the once as defined in the custom permalink?

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      @SteveG: This is a common problem. This is one answer but not a good one as it involves changing the core. I recommend that you clear your cache (if you have it enabled), turn it off, then set your permalinks again. If it is still happening, clean out your .htaccess file and start fresh with the permalinks structure. When it is resolved, turn your cache back on.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Just found the Permalink Fix Disable Canoncial Redirects Pack WordPress Plugin was just released which might resolve your issues.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Thanks Lorelle. I tried your method with cahe etc. to no avail. The core update does seem extreme so I have opted to use a rewrite script and move away from ‘almost prety’ to ‘retyy’ permalinks. Do you happen to know what causes the problem in the first place? 3.0.5 was fine and nothing changed except the upgrade to 3.1

  11. Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I just love the evolution of wordpress. The whole Tumblr idea rocks!

  12. Posted February 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    One thing I hope 3.1 has addressed is the very common problem new users have when upgrading WordPress. Many people use the automatic upgrade and if you don’t deactivate all your plugins before doing so then it always breaks the site and can cost many hours and much frustration for new users to get their website or blog back up and running again.

    I’ve always wondered why previous releases of WordPress don’t simply automatically deactivate all plugins before the auto update runs as part of the auto update feature. Has 3.1 addressed this common problem? I don’t know but I can see it might have actually increased the likelihood of that problem occurring – now, instead of having all the plugins listed on one page, they are broken up into several pages depending on how many plugins you have.

    This means that when the next WordPress release comes it is likely that many people will forget to deactivate all the plugins on the first page of plugins and forget to look at the other pages of plugins.

    Is there any benefit to dividing the list of plugins into several pages? It seems like more of an inconvenience to me.

    Thanks to Lorelle and the WordCast team for the guides and the always enjoyable WordCast Podcast.

    • Posted February 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Actually, the upgrade of WordPress does take Plugins into consideration. However, since all Plugins are in the WordPress Plugin Directory nor taking advantage of the auto updating feature, this can be a problem for those Plugins outside of WordPress “control” so to speak. This has been an issue since the beginning. Most Plugins don’t cause any problems. There is always a chance of that one. This is why WordPress is working so hard to get WordPress Plugins in the official directory so WordPress users will have an easier time of upgrading, both the program and their Plugins and Themes.

      As for pagination on the Plugins, that’s natural. It’s considered better to load a few things into a single page instead of a hundred things into one long page. :D

  13. Posted February 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    The internal linking feature really really rocks ! After you have written a lot of posts, linking back to an old one can be a wee bit cumbersome. But with the inbuilt search feature — it really is super easy ! Nice round-up of all the features Lorelle :)

  14. Posted March 3, 2011 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    I have lost the ability to add trackbacks-or at least don’t know where it went- or don’t realize it went automatic.

    Per my recollection, the trackback control was a panel on the post page. I don’t see it there any more- for both new and old posts.

    I’m pretty new to WP, so I may be missing something. Help…

    • Posted March 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      You do manual trackbacks? Wow, I haven’t done that in years. Check screen options to see if it is hidden from view. The WordPress Support Forum had more information on screen option issues. It’s there, just you can’t see it.

  15. Roland
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    All the links you referred to in your post, that are leading to http://wordcastnet.com/ are down.
    Looks like the site itself is offline (Error establishing a database connection).

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the heads up on WordCast. All fixed. We had a major server overload of visitors – great but unexpected!

  16. Posted March 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, I for one am not happy with this upgrade. I’m having MAJOR issues and I’m not sure how to fix them.

    The main one is with “tags”. I put them in, update the sight and they are gone. Huh? Where did they go?

    Also, I’m not able to get the “comments” section off of my pages. I’ve tried clicking the box that says “discussion” and “comments”, but nothing seems to get rid of that comment box that the public can post to!

    Also, what’s up with that admin bar across the top of my webpage? Ewwwww! Who’s idea was that?

    With the HEADSPACE plugin, the title box is all screwed up.

    I haven’t tried adding pictures. After reading these posts, I’m scared to.

    At this point, there is no way I’ll be upgrading my old version of WP for my other sites. I’m too scared I’ll loose everything!

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      @andrew: The tags issue is a conflict with Plugins, specifically any AJAX Plugins that work with the Post Panel. This is a known bug from a previous version. The Plugin authors haven’t updated their Plugins. It sounds like most of your issues are Plugin and Theme related, not WordPress. 3.1 specific. Did you upgrade all your Plugins? Did you turn off all your Plugins before upgrading and turn them on one by one to ensure they all work and to find the culprit?

      The majority of people upgrading have had no problems. There will always be a few with custom setups, old Themes and Plugins, that will have problems. That’s why those particular setups are recommended to upgrade manually per the Codex instructions.

      @ade pane and Keith: As usual, those with problems are heard from the most. Those with no problems upgrading had nothing to talk about. If you are worried, use the recommended method of upgrading mentioned above. The majority of users haven’t had issues like these.

      I’d so love to live in a world where people talk all the time about the good things in life so we could get a real handle on the reality of complaints versus success. :D

  17. Posted March 5, 2011 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    from the comments and article, I get a simple conclusion
    many feature and many errors to
    I became afraid to upgrade it’s.
    can someone make step for safety upgrade?
    thanks

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      I usually wait until bugs have been sorted – won’t be long before next revision is out.

      I love WordPress to pieces but to the average blogger the constant upgrades can be a real pain.

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      I think so too
      wait for bug fix is better

  18. Mythic Tech
    Posted March 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info I am new to bloging, I have been a web designer for years now, I dont know how I did not get into blogging before now, but oh well what can you do lol. thanks for all the info your site has been very helpful for me

    Trevor Seabrook

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Designing is far different than publishing on the web, indeed. Glad to help.

  19. Posted March 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I would love nothing more than to type how much I enjoy 3.1 and such, but I’d be lying.

    I did what you said about the plugin (I’m not sure what AJAX plugin is) and still my issues are not resolved. Heck, I even deleted all the plugins and still have the same issues.

    Anything else you can think of I could do?

    • Posted March 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      If you deactivated all the Plugins and cleared the cache, then it’s the Theme. Try switching to another Theme to see if you still are having issues.

  20. Posted March 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just installed this on a clients website, and the Jetpack message totally screws up the theme dashboard. I’m using Catalyst 1.1, and when I click the core options tab the Jetpack message squeezes down and covers half the catalyst menu. WordPress is unresponsive on this issue. and it’s got me tied up in knots.

    • Posted March 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      And you came here? Did you try the WordPress Support Forum? If there is a conflict with Catalyst, consider contacting the author for an update. You don’t have to use the Jetpack and it has nothing to do with WordPress 3.1 since it is optional to install. You can install the Plugins found within it individually, too.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Lorelle, Thanks for reading. I did come here. After going to WordPress support forums, and contacting catalyst, and then I went to Facebook. I’m not using Jetpack. My issue is that the Jetpack Message is covering menu items that I need access to, and I can’t get rid of it. It’s like a pop-up that covers the middle of your page, that you can’t get rid of. So far I haven’t heard anything from WordPress or Catalyst, so I’ve dumped this theme for now.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Facebook? LOL! Interesting source for finding help. To remove any WordPress Plugin, either deactivate it through the Plugin panel or FTP to the Plugin directory on your server and delete the files/folders directly.

    • Posted March 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Lorelle, you’re brilliant, and that’s one of the reasons that I came here with this problem. Jetpack showed up pre-installed and activated when I upgraded to 3.1. I wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t think to look in the plugins pane. Deactivating this plugin removed the Jetpack message which was causing the problem. Thank you!

  21. Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    new to blogging and wordpress, how do I upgrade? is it automatic or do I need to go somewhere to download it?

    • Posted April 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      You are on WordPress.com, according to your signature link. No upgrade required as it happens automatically. If you have a self-hosted WordPress installation, an alert will appear on your WordPress Administration Panels to tell you to upgrade.

      To learn more about WordPress, dig into my sidebar for links to extensive articles on the subject, as well as how to blog. The , the online manual for WordPress Users, has extensive information on how to use WordPress at all levels. W3Schools Online Web Tutorials is the best place to get an introduction to how web design basics work, but honestly, until you get a handle on blog writing and content development, leave the design bits for later. :D

  22. Posted April 9, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you Lorelle for review! Going to upgrade to WordPress 3.1 soon.

  23. Katy
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    I have a question; when you are working on your WordPress blog site, either upgrading or updating (making changes and or enhancements) what do you do so that anyone looking at your site does not see a messy, confusing, site?

    And also when you de-activate the plugins … blank pages/sections on your site will result.

    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      There are maintenance WordPress Plugins that will put up a maintenance sign, or you can create an index.html page with a warning notice. Or set up a separate test site with test posts that is private, which is common. There are many ways. The test site is most common.

    • Katy
      Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your quick reply Lorelle. I love your site. The test site seems the way to go, and then presumably one updates the changes made by FTP the files to the live site.

    • Posted April 12, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      The only changes that need to be made from the test site are in the Theme. So you can FTP those to the site and activate the Theme when ready. By the way, Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a Post Sandbox will help you as it is a test post that features ALL of the CSS you most commonly need, helping you to design the content area, an often overlooked area in web design, even though it is the MOST important.

    • Katy
      Posted April 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Thank you very much, Lorelle. I will read through the article with pleasure!


6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] See the article here: WordPress 3.1: Features, Tutorials, and Pure Joy « Lorelle on … […]

  2. […] WordPress 3.1: Features, Tutorials, and Pure Joy Published: February 25, 2011 Source: Lorelle on WordPress WordPress 3.1 is now out. YEAH!!! It’s named after one of our personal favorite jazz musicians, Django Reinhardt. My sneak preview of WordPress 3.1, one of the most eagerly and long awaited versions, barely d… […]

  3. […] post: WordPress 3.1: Features, Tutorials, and Pure Joy « Lorelle on … […]

  4. […] also did a nice bit on her favorite […]

  5. […] WordPress 3.1: Features, Tutorials, and Pure Joy […]

  6. […] world contribute to growing the WP platform and making it more robust with each update. (The new 3.1 WordPress update is pretty slick.) The WordPress community is a tight knit community where people are eager to help […]

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