WordPress 3.1 “Reinhardt” Review

WordPress 3.1 “Reinhardt” is finally here! This version has been named in honor of Django Reinhardt – a talented jazz guitarist. The new version has finally come out with a new interface and structural improvements that will definitely ease the lives of theme builders and bloggers.

The 3.1 version has been scheduled to come out by the end of 2010, but because of various bugs the release date has been pushed back. However the new fresh version comes with a cleaner look and a neat blue admin theme. You can either download it or update it from the WordPress dashboard. We will further describe the new WordPress’ highlights:

Internal Linking

This feature makes it easier for WordPress users to link back to previously published content. When you want to insert a link to a post you have previously published, you don’t have to open a new tab or use another browser in order to search for the content you would like to link back to. The new version has a search bar where you can search for the needed content by using certain keywords. You will really appreciate this feature especially if you have a lot of content – thus internal linking makes it much easier for you to find the content you need.

Admin Bar

If you are a WordPress user, you probably already know about the admin bar. It appears at the top of the page when you login into your account and it provides easier access to comments, your dashboard or any other tools. The new admin bar is enabled by default in the new version and it offers a quick access for administration and blogging in general. It comes standard with 5 parent menu items and a search box that will ease your search throughout your posts. WordPress users have mixed feelings about the new admin bar, so if you can be disable it if you’re not too fond of it. You can either find the file “functions.php” in the templates folder and insert the following code:

add_filter( ‘show_admin_bar’, ‘__return_false’ );

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save it, and you will get rid of the admin bar, or you can install a plugin – Admin Bar Removal and activate it; hence you won’t have the admin bar at the top of your admin area anymore.

Streamlined Writing Interface

Another new feature in the new version of WordPress is the new streamlined writing interface. The write screen is much less cluttered that makes it less confusing and more comfortable for new bloggers for instance. Most of the options are hidden by default, but you can activate them in the Screen Options if you used them in previous versions of WordPress.

Post Formats

This is one of the most anticipated features of the new 3.1 version. It allows you to choose the purpose of your post so that styling can be applied later. So you can customize the way your posts will appear on the blog. There is a standard list that you can choose from – images, status, quotes, video and many more. They are available to all themes that support the feature and you should bear in mind that you will probably need to edit you theme to be able to use this feature. It somehow resembles Twitter and Facebook updates and seems to be pretty promising.  You can learn more information about this subject by reading the codex on wordpress.org.

Network Admin

This feature is especially useful for multisite users. The new network admin dashboard has its own pages and menu.php so that the regular admin dashboard for individual users won’t have that cluttered look.

Exporter/Importer Overhaul and Advanced Queries

There have been added under the hood changes like adding author information and custom taxonomies. You can now filter your posts by using certain queries, moreover developers have the chance to use multiple queries that can ease the way they filter posts.

Refreshed Blue Admin Color Scheme

There is a new color for the admin area. Now the dashboard has an icy blue color that puts the focus on your content and isn’t distracting.

WordPress 3.1 “Reinhardt” seems to be working fine so far. The updating process is not complicated so you can definitely give it a try. If you’re still not sure you want it, you can first make a backup and then install it. They say the new version is more of a CMS than ever before, so that you can let your imagination go wild and just be creative.

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