11 Dec 2008
My initial impression is that the majority of changes in WordPress 2.7 address the dashboard and admin panels. Users will be able to access significantly more information from the dashboard as well as perform many more tasks directly from the dashboard without having to navigate through the administrative section.
It also appears that the additional functionality will eliminate the need for a few plugins like the Dashboard Widget Manager plugin that I added made a practice of adding to every WordPress site that I built to simplify the sometimes overwhelming dashboard for the content publishers of the site.
My one concern is how it will beÂ receivedÂ by the non power users, the authors and editors. They’ll get over the initial shock of the interface change over time, but will they eventually find the changes to be improvements. The Happy Cog group did such an amazing job with the 2.5 release that it really has become the gold standard for WordPress updates.
If this update is half as well-received as the 2.5 update it will be a huge success. But if I can make one suggestion, I would like to request a different narrator for the release introduction video.
Update: As I suspected, WordPress 2.7 has incorporated the functionality of other plugins that I regularly used including DBD Login Style (Appearance > Login Style) and Page Link Manager (Tools > Page Links). I hope Matt Mullenweg and Automattic know where to draw the line on adding built-in features.
Update 2: I was mistaken, apparently the Login Style and Page Link Manager still require the plugins, to be installed, they’ve just are better integrated into the sidebar administration menu instead of piling the customization are for all plugins under the “Settings” tab.