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Changes in WordPress 2.8

Most of the chaPressnges to WP 2.8 are backend or admin changes.  

New Features: Plugins screen is organized differently – listing all your plugins and providing a link to the plugins homepage.

Plugins Screen 2.8
(click images to enlarge)
WPPlugins2.8

The Widgets screen is now organized to show available widgets – widgets used in your theme sidebars etc all at once  rather than one at a time as the previous WP version.  Additionally, you are given the option of removing a widget from a sidebar but keeping the settings.  This comes in handy if you wish to temporarily remove certain sidebars and then reinsert them at a later date without having to go through configuring the plugin.  You can also drag and drop the widgets from sidebar to sidebar etc.  Just makes everything that much easier and being able to view all widgets in use at the same time gives you a better overview of your site.

New Manage Widgets Screen

WPWidgets2.8

Add New Themes:   This is a very convenient upgrade from the previous WordPress version – now like plugins you can search the wordpress site for themes and install them directly to your site without having to upload into your site files.  You can search for themes based on color, columns, width,  features and subject.  Note:  this only applies to themes on the wordpress.org site.  Themes found through other sites would still have to be uploaded into your site files.  Additionally,  running some tests of the search selections I found that more than 2 selected options tends to return no themes – I suggest picking the most important 2 selections to begin your search.

Add New Themes Screen

WPAddNewTheme2.8

Once you have made selection click search – you will be brought to search results screen showing themes that make your selections.  On this screen you can preview themes to see how the information on your site will look. 

Install Themes Screen

WPInstallThemes2.8

Once you have decided on a theme select install which will bring you another overlay screen confirming your decision (basically you can accidentally install a new theme)  Click install now  – the theme will be added to your available themes and you can choose to activate it or not.

Install Now Screen Overlay

WPInstallNow2.8

Another minor change is that you can now activate a new theme without having to preview the theme first.  

That’s it for now – other changes are even less obvious to the casual user but all are improvements.  Only downside so far is that plugin developers haven’t updated their plugins to be compatible with the new wordpress version – have noticed some glitches – nothing major yet but I’m sure they will make appropriate changes.