WordPress 3.0: Changing The Way We Manage Content

By / Jun 1, 2010 / Tools

As most of you already know, WordPress 3.0 has been released. Although it’s still in a beta release stage, you can take it for a test drive and check out the many new features that are available. Many people already use WordPress for many things other than just blogging but this release will certainly create opportunities for managing content even more effortlessly than before and using WordPress as more than just a blog.

WordPress was first released in 2003 as a content management system intended for bloggers, and today is regarded as the most popular blogging software available. WordPress is constantly being upgraded with great new features that make it possible to use it as a full website CMS instead of just a blogging platform. Many blogs and even large business sites are using WordPress as their CMS: CNN, Wall Street Journal, Nikon, Pepsi, etc. No question about it, WordPress 3.0 has extended the possibilities for creating a full website with a user-friendly CMS for clients.

The full release was set for May 2010, but as of the end of May it hasn’t come out yet and it’s looking like it will be early June before it’s fully released. For this post, WordPress 3.0 Beta 2 was used, and you can download that by going here.

New Menu Management Feature

In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting new features with WordPress 3.0, and it’s included in the default installation. Before this, it was possible to create a dynamic menu with some plugins and/or WordPress ninja skills. But it was never very easy to accomplish and now they’ve made it super simple.

You can add pages, categories, and even custom website links. With the custom website links option, you could link straight to a post, another website, whatever you want. It’s very user-friendly and setup similar to the current sidebar widget area where you can easily drag and drop to customize it just the way you like.

Custom Post Types

Currently, you can only create pages and posts with WordPress. In 3.0, you can create your own custom post types, and set up the appropriate fields to go along with each. When a user chooses a new post type, something like a Podcast, they will just add a podcast, simple as that. You don’t need to walk your clients through a complicated process and explain why they need to add a new post for a podcast and then click on a certain category and fill in a certain custom field. It’s one step now, and clients will love the simplicity. It does require the use of a plugin, but before it required much more work to setup.

Multi-User

WordPress MU has been around as a separate entity for a while but will now be integrated in WordPress 3.0. MU allows you to maintain multiple sites from a single admin panel. It’s great for anyone that runs more than one site or blog and would like the simplicity of logging in once and maintaining them all from one place. This is especially helpful if these sites share content, templates, or plugins. One installation means less work and less time to create the same thing.

This isn’t completely setup in the default installation, but it’s fairly easy to get it up and going. First add this line to wp-config.php.

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

Now “Network” will appear under Tools in the main menu. Once there, fill in the Network Title, Admin Email Address and press Install. WordPress gives you the option to set these sites up under sub domains or sub directories. If you’ve installed this version of WordPress in a sub directory or you’re using localhost, WordPress requires that you use sub directories.

Other Noteworthy Features

You can now choose your own username and password in the installation process, no more auto generated passwords using the admin username.

The new default theme, Twenty Ten, is much nicer. It’s clean and lightweight with minimal style attributes. I don’t use the default themes myself, but it’s still a nice feature to see.

Additional Resources

WordPress has moved leaps and bounds with this new version and I’m excited to see where it’s going in the future. These new features certainly help us deliver a more user-friendly CMS to clients with less hassle and headache in the setup process.

Have you had a chance to check it out yet? What is your favorite feature and what are you most excited to see in the future?

About the Author

Shannon Noack is a designer in North Dakota and the Creative Director of Snoack Studios. Designing is her passion in life, she loves to create websites, logos, print work, you name it. She blogs regularly on the Snoack Studios Blog and you can connect with her on Twitter as well.

  • http://edwardcalugtong.com Edward Calugtong

    Great walk through for the WordPress 3.0
    Can’t wait for the final update on this. Its going to be more of a CMS Platform on the future, I believe.

  • gautam

    thanks for sharing this article Shannon, just downloaded the beta, and now going to take it for a test drive :)

  • Jon W

    Hi,

    The name of this article is a little misleading; The only reference to managing content is Custom Post Types. Custom menus and MU are nothing to do with managing content.

    A little bit of a disappointing article :( Nothing new to read here that hasn’t already been written about in 100s of blogs over the last few weeks.

    J

  • http://www.vooshthemes.com Chris Creed

    Thanks for the overview Shannon – I think the menu management features and custom post types are great additions to WordPress. I’ve been playing around with the custom post types and they’re going to make things so much easier when developing WP themes.

  • http://www.energizedit.com Mark

    Can’t wait for these features. Thanks for the overview.

  • http://twitter.com/kevinquillen Kevin

    So essentially, WordPress is where Drupal was 4 years ago. Progress is cool I guess.

    I want to see WP do better, but to be a true CMS they need to focus on being a CMS and shift off of the core blog aspect.

    • gr0b1

      that will probably never happen

      • http://superdit.com aditia

        yeah, wordpress must remember what wordpress is for, blog is the main focus of wordpress

  • http://www.snoackstudios.com Shannon

    Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed the article! I’m excited for the full release as well.

    @gautam – let me know what you think after playing around with it!

    @Jon W – It’s true there are many other articles talking about WordPress 3.0, but I don’t believe everyone here has read all of those other articles, and they aren’t all the same anyway. I also focused on the content management part of these new features, and menu management has a lot to do with managing content in my opinion.

  • http://trickpedia.com Sid

    WordPress as a CMS atlast .. :)

  • http://laira.pathseek.info/ Laira

    Such a nice and wonderful website design tool i like it very much so great Thanks for sharing with us…

  • http://www.mudah.nl Peter

    Thanks for this post. It’s isn’t that you are walking through a new way of content management in this article, and so I agree with Jon W. on the point of a misleading title.

    You are just pointing out some new features of WP3.. After all, I hoped to read in this article some arguments that could convince me to use WP3. I am a webdesigner/developer and WordPress is not useful for me at this moment because it’s to much focused on blogs.

  • http://teachmewp.com Dave

    I am really looking forward to 3.0 – it’s getting so much closer to a real CMS. Actually, I can’t wait until 4.0. just imagine all of the 3.0 goodness, advanced another year or two…

  • http://sideradesign.com paul

    I was expecting something a little more in-depth.

  • http://www.keithmountifield.com Keith Mountifield

    I’m looking forward to taking WP 3 out for a spin.

    It’s taken a huge step fpward with the custom menu system. It makes it a practical option for basic CMS work where further complex functionality is not required.

    It’ll be interesting to see if my code snippets will still work, too…

  • http://inspirationfeed.com inspirationfeed

    Can’t wait till its out of beta!

  • http://www.vectorbunker.com Vectorbunker

    thanks for sharing, Just Download it.

  • http://www.jordanwalker.net Jordan Walker

    Have been using WP3 for little while now and I am simple stunned with the little changes that are great for developers.

  • http://www.levinsonaxelrod.com/ Levinson

    Excellent introduction of WP 3.0. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • http://www.strafecreative.co.uk Web Design Nottingham

    Wow, I cant wait for the full release of WordPress 3.0, will be much easier for technophobic clients!

  • http://wordpressforbusiness.org Adam

    Very clear and succinct overview of 3.0. Just what I was looking for. Looking forward to the full release.

    The big test for me will be to see how the themes/plugins I’m using work with 3.0. Anyone have any experience (good or bad) in using the Beta with their favorite themes/plugins?

    • http://www.snoackstudios.com Shannon

      @Adam – Glad you enjoyed the article! I’ve had success with many of my favorite plugins.. I’m assuming there will be some issues (maybe that’s the holdup on the full release?) but I haven’t found anything too glitchy yet.

  • http://www.joptima.com/blog Ayman Aboulnasr

    Thanks alot Shannon. In fact I’ve listed the following new 7 features of WordPress 3 in my blog in this link:

    http://www.joptima.com/blog/topic/7-features-to-look-forward-to-in-wordpress-3-0-resources/

    1- Get to use your own username and password: No more default Admin account
    2- Custom entry types: No more Posts & Pages only
    3- A new default theme: TwentyTen
    4- Multi blog networking support: WordPress MU merge
    5- Custom Taxonomies: No more tags and Categories only
    6- Custom menu management: Thanks to WooThemes developer
    7- Custom background and header support

  • http://www.intertec.com.au perth web

    great summary, i’m loving the new menu management..

  • http://www.psdtomagento.net tuba

    than you for this nice article, have been using 3.0 from very first day, looks better admin than old versions, specially, upgrade tab at left side upper portion.

  • http://www.naumanakhtar.com Nauman Akhtar

    I like WordPress 3.0 a lot, specially the new menu features, this is really a very attractive feature, placing menu on header and/or footer has become really so easy via this feature.

    I only thing I hate the most is the default theme of wordpress, they should’ve given something good, its so simple or I may say it is so pathetic :S

    Regards

  • http://flaviopaiva.com/ Flavio Paiva

    The WP 3.0 was a real revolution. I don’t need another CMS for may sites

  • http://www.buzz-webdesign.co.uk Web Design Hull

    Just started using 3.0 and I’m loving the features.

  • Dion Evans

    Hello, I am trying to figure out where all of the options are in your post. I have WordPress 3.1 and I am seeing none of these. Can you let me know how you accessed the stuff in your post? Thanks

  • http://www.purencool.com purencool

    I have use word press at different times but I still love Drupal because of its versatility and its moving in html5 and CSS3 at a rapid rate. To deploy a website design using the Omega theme has really helped me make our clients online vision a reality. Drupal is fantastic sorry WordPress

  • http://www.topbester.com bester

    wow, i finally find it, great

  • http://www.theplanetsurf.com Hasitha

    useful and easy to figure out. thanks!