Simple, powerful, flexible-pick two. You really can't have it all, at least not with version 3.0 of the popular WordPress blogging platform.
became popular by making it as
simple as possible to publish a personal blog. Along the way, the project has
become a hit not only with personal bloggers, but with publishers as well.
WordPress 3.0 comes to terms with its new audience by adding features that are
better suited to content management systems than personal Weblogs. The question
for most users is whether WordPress 3.0 can scale to handle the big dogs while
still retaining the simplicity for single-user blogs that has fueled WordPress
growth since its inception in 2003.
For a look at WordPress 3.0 in action, click here.
offers a powerful platform and the flexibility to extend the platform, but the
new features will probably take a few releases to be well-integrated with the
platform and UI (user interface). The multiuser features of WordPress 3.0 require some under-the-hood
tweaking and a bit more admin elbow grease than usual for WordPress features.
It's not rocket science, but setting up multiusers takes a bit more wrangling than WordPress users
might be expecting. Likewise, the custom post features are not trivial to
implement. The good news is that the complexity is related to features that
won't mar the experience for personal bloggers.
WordPress users won't see much of a difference in 3.0. The new default theme is
much nicer than the previous defaults, and it's nice to be able to customize
the header easily through the UI. Aside from that, most of the appeal of
WordPress 3.0 is aimed at developers and organizations that want to customize the
platform and/or scale it to handle a bunch of sites. WordPress still isn't
quite on par
with Drupal or Joomla as a CMS (content management system), but it seems to be headed in that direction quickly.
All in all,
WordPress 3.0 is a decent upgrade. The multisite features merged into the main
release justify the version bump, but for most users it's business as usual.
What should be interesting is seeing how the multisite features push the
evolution of WordPress in the long term.
Testing WordPress 3.0
3.0 is simple to install or upgrade from a previous release. The easiest way to
upgrade is to use the Updates menu from the WordPress Dashboard. I tested
WordPress 3.0 during the release candidate phase, so this option wasn't
available-though you can install a beta tester plug-in that makes it simple
to do upgrades via the Dashboard. Upgrading makes some database changes, so it's not clear
whether reverting to pre-3.0 would be supported. Of course, any good admin
would be sure to make a backup of the database before proceeding.
from scratch is also simple. It requires a MySQL database and the ability to
unzip a file and walk through a Web-based installation. It's taken seven years,
but it's finally possible to pick the admin username and password when setting
up a brand-new WordPress blog. Prior releases automatically chose the admin
username and generated a random password, which was a slight security issue
because attackers could count on every WordPress blog having an