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 did the new features justice.
The WordCast 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 WordPress Codex, 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 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 WordPress.com 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.
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
WordPress 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.