Over the weekend, WordPress launched version 2.5. We have been playing with a beta copy and have been very impressed. If you check out WordPress.org, you’ll even see new site design that aligns with what the software looks like. According to WordPress (and a bit of commentary by ContentRobot), here are the goodies you can expect:

User Features

Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard — WP determined what’s most important in the dashboard and rearranged it elements to allow you to focus on your blogging efforts. Curious to see if it will be easy to get used to the new “admin” – but it looks great.

Dashboard widgets — These (customizable!) widgets can show you stats about your posts, latest comments, people linking to you, new and popular plugins, and WordPress news.

Multi-file upload with progress bar — Select a whole of folder images or music or videos at once and it’ll show you the progress of each upload.

Search posts and pages — Search now includes pages too, a great boon for those with blog-powered websites.

Tag management — Add, rename, delete, and do whatever else you like to do with tags from inside WordPress without plugins.

Password strength meter — Helps you to pick a strong profile password. A great feature for us lazy password creators!

Concurrent editing protection — For those of you on multi-author blogs, WordPress will lock and prevent you from overwriting changes if others have the same post opened at the same time. This is a mature step for the software.

Few-click plugin upgrades — For some of the latest plugins in their stable, WordPress can download and install an upgrade for you. However, this is still dependent a little bit on your host setup, so let ContentRobot continue to help you with all your of plugins.

Friendlier visual post editor
— WordPress claims that the new WYSIWYG, which uses version 3.0 of TinyMCE,  “doesn’t mess with your code anymore.” This could be the best feature of them all.

Built-in galleries — The new shortcode will allow you to display all your thumbnails and captions; each can link to a page where people can comment on the individual photos.

Cool Developer Features

Salted passwords — By using the phpass library to stretch and salt all passwords stored in the database, it makes brute-forcing them impractical.

Secure cookies — Cookies are now encrypted.

Inline documentation — The vast majority of the new code displays inline documentation that explains the functions and documents their arguments.

Shortcode API — Shortcodes are little bracket-delineated strings that can be magically expanded at runtime to something more interesting. They give users a short, easy to type and copy/paste string they can move around their post without worrying about messing up complex HTML or embed codes.

Ready to Upgrade?

Upgrading is similar to versions past, but of course you have to worry about plugins that have been left behind. We’ll be letting the bugs shake out and then offering an upgrade path to existing and new clients alike.