Overlooked Additions to WordPress in Version 2.3

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Head in the Proverbial Sand

Nobody wants to seem like that guy. I mean, look at him. Sand is messy.

The buzz over the last few days has been somewhat predictable. The talk has been mostly about the new tagging features added to version 2.3 and the update notifications for WordPress and Plugins. Now these are all well and good additions (some of the best to date) but there are a few others which are really worthwhile and could be easily overlooked in the hype of the release. Let’s take a look at them and see how we could all benefit from them now being included in WordPress.

Multiple Category Widgets

WordPress 2.3 Categories

I didn’t even notice this one until I was browsing the Codex page today just to see if I missed anything. I saw it on the list of changes for developers, but I’m not sure this one is limited to that group.

It is now possible to add multiple category widgets to sidebars, the same way it’s possible to add RSS and text widgets to sidebars. Just choose how many you want to put up and drop them where you want them. Something disappointing: these category listings don’t show anything but the full listing of categories; there’s no way to stick to only a limited number of categories. Minor, but worth mentioning.

WordPress 2.3 Categories 02

Improved URLs for SEO and Posterity

I’m really excited about this one. This new URL management does three things.

  • Corrects to either http://www. or http://. Now WordPress will correct for you when someone visits either one or the other (and you wanted them to use the other). Just be sure your Options page has the URLs you want displayed. See the image below this list.
  • Fixes partially entered URLs. For example, if your post ends in /12345 and your visitor only types in /123 it will still take them to the right page. Awesome or what?
  • Redirect old URLs to new URLs when post slugs are changed. This way you don’t have to worry about destroying links when you want to correct permalinks or make post URLs pretty.

WordPress 2.3 URL Fix

Speed. Lots of Speed.

I can’t claim to be an expert like all the brilliant folks who work on WordPress, but I can understand numbers and emphases when I see them. The Upgrade to 800% times faster jQuery (1.1.4) can’t be a bad thing, can it?

What’s Holding You Back from Upgrading?

WordPress 2.3 has been out for four days now. If you haven’t upgraded by now, I want to know why. What’s holding you back? Share in the comments.