After months of waiting and after a series of Beta versions and Release Candidates WP 3.0 finally came out today. I encourage all of you to upgrade your installations.
Why Should You Upgrade?
Version 3.0 is a significant release that has a lot of terrific features. Here are some:
This is arguably the most awaited feature of WordPress. This is a huge relief for developers more than users as we don’t have to code our themes to provide you with a mechanism to select pages / categories / links to build the menu. As long as the themes offer basic WP 3.0 menu support you are good to go. You can build and structure your menus as and how you want with very little restrictions.
Suffusion has supported native menus from version 3.5.0.
It has been brought to my notice that WP pulled a little trick here. In the release version they changed a call ever so slightly, thereby making it seem like menus don’t work in Suffusion 3.5.3 (and a bunch of other themes that claim to support menus). To fix this:
- Open functions.php in your theme editor
- Search for the line that says add_theme_support(‘nav-menus’);
- Change that to say add_theme_support(‘menus’);
- Integrated Multi-User Code
With WP 3.0 the two branches of code, WP-MU (multi-user) and WP have been merged. You need to tweak a few settings to convert your site from a regular WP site to a WP-MS (multi-site) installation. You can start by creating a network.
Suffusion can be used for WP-MS and can be made to work with BuddyPress too for a better experience.
- Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies
The next big feature for folks wishing to use WordPress as a full-blown CMS is the concept of Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies. This offers limitless possibilities. If you have a site where you do reviews of books, movies and music, you can create custom post types for each of those, then associate custom taxonomies to them, like authors for books, actors and directors for movies and artists for music albums. In a theme that supports child themes you can suitably create your own templates for each of these post types and make them appear very different from the regular “blog” look.
Suffusion added a plugin-like feature to let you define custom post types and taxonomies in version 3.5.3. This functionality will be enhanced in the next few releases.
- Native Support for Custom Header and Custom Background Images
Now theme developers don’t have to code up a bunch of stuff to handle custom header images and background images. Of course, if you are like me you might still want to code up things – coding definitely gives you a lot of flexibility.
Suffusion doesn’t support this feature at present, but it will, very soon. I couldn’t beat the WP 3.0 deadline, to be honest
Why Shouldn’t You Upgrade?
Simple answer – themes and plugins. Before you upgrade make sure that your theme is tested to work for the theme you are using. I am assuming that you are not necessarily a Suffusion user, so if you are using a theme that is not compatible and you upgrade, you will find yourself on a sticky wicket.
Another reason why you shouldn’t upgrade is if you have some indispensible plugin that is not tested on WP 3.0.
How Should You Upgrade?
If you don’t see an option on your admin Dashboard to upgrade, head over to Tools → Upgrade and then do the upgrade.
There is always the manual upgrade option, where you can download the zip file from WordPress, unzip it and overwrite everything apart from the wp-content folder.
What? No Suffusion News?
Come on! You cannot expect me to sign off without talking about the progress on Suffusion!
I have also been working on a ton of other stuff, small and big. Stay tuned – a new version will be submitted soon.