WordPress 3.0 Ups The Game

By Jennifer Farley
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Following six months of hard work by the many volunteers who work on the platform, WordPress version 3.0. (aka Thelonious”) is now available for download or upgrade through the dashboard if you’re already a WordPress user. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging applications and with the new release, the open source community has added many more content-management tools.

One of the biggest changes in the upgrade is multisite capability which will allow users to use a single WordPress installation over multiple web sites. Users can enable multisite capabilities by a manual edit of the wp-config.php file and it is restricted to providing site addresses to the main domain of the site on which WordPress 3 is installed. Users must choose between using subdomains or subdirectories, which means each additional site in your network will be created as a new virtual subdomain or subdirectory and you cannot change this unless you reconfigure your install.

  • Subdomains — like site1.example.com and site2.example.com
  • Subdirectories — like example.com/site1 and example.com/site2

New Default Theme Design

The upgrade also features a new, community developed default theme called Twenty Ten. Up to Version 2.9.2, the default theme was the Kubrick theme, the Twenty Ten theme is now the only theme in the WordPress distribution. Twenty Ten is designed to showcase some of the new theme-based features. Theme designers and developers have new APIs that allow them to implement custom backgrounds, headers, short links, menus (without file editing), post types and taxonomies.


Other new features include the big time-saving ability to upgrade multiple plugins at one time and a new Custom Post Type. According to the WordPress Codex Help, “Custom post types allow users to easily create and manage such things as portfolios, projects, video libraries, podcasts, quotes, chats, and whatever a user or developer can imagine.”

WordPress users have you upgraded to version 3 yet?

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  • I have upgraded to 3.0 (from 2.9.2) but one thing that I definitely not like is that WP 3.0 needs more than 2 MB of additional RAM just to open one page.

    With each and every version, WP needs more and more RAM (and CPU) to run. And if the core of WordPress is not optimized soon, users on shared hosting servers may soon not be able to run it at all… Servers will simply show ERROR 500 when PHP ram limits will be reached — and this will happen too often…

    On a 64bit server, WP 2.9.2 needed approx. 14.5 MB of RAM to load the main page of the blog, with no plugins installed, and using the default theme.

    WP 3.0 needs more than 16.5 MB of RAM just to load the main page!

    If you install a couple of basic (and most needed) plugins, like WP Super Cache, anti-spam plugin, etc., RAM use may jump from 16.5 to 23-25 MB of memory! Just for loading one page. Not good…

    • Ouch, that sounds like a huge amount of resources alright.

      • Yes, huge amount, indeed.

        And the reason is that lots of new features are added but no optimization performed on the WP core…

        That’s too bad, because I really like WP. But I see that it becomes more and more difficult to run WP on a simple shared server. It uses too much resources… :(

  • monicams

    Just upgrade to 3.0. It went smoothly and was quite a while since the last update. Since I’m using a different theme from the default, I don’t know yet about the new features… Will be exploring!

  • LFA

    Why WordPress when you can Drupal?
    As a developer: No reason…

    • Anonymous

      can you point of some advantages of Drupal over WP?

      • Drupal is more flexible and extensible than WordPress and can be used to complete really large, complex projects, but for some (including me), theming is pain because you spend a lot of time trying to cancel out default stylesheets in your theme.

      • lfa

        It has a very solid backbone with very clear coding conventions. This alone makes it very easy to upgrade, theme, get help, understand, etc, etc.
        Another big thing for me is that it is really easy to make a good looking, easy-to-understand admin section.

        Then of course you have Views, custom fields, CCK, and a hole bunch of other extremly useful and time saving moduls to play with. I have to say that I’m having a hard time to see why anybody should use anything else for any type of project. It has done wonders for my productivity!


    • HK

      It’s way simpler and has pretty much all of the same capabilities.

    • The fact that the WordPress back office UI is better, for instance. Drupal is working on a redesign, mind you, but it’s not there yet (it will be in Drupal 7.0 i think). This might not convince developers to use WordPress over Drupal, but developers are NOT the end users of the CMS.
      Drupal is more flexible for developers, especially since the module/plugin API is more capable than what WordPress offers. Also, Drupal offers a way to create your own content architecture, and even the new post type feature in WordPress 3.0 doesn’t come close. So for big projects that require a lot of custom code, Drupal might be a better tool. For a number of small to medium projects, though, WordPress could be better.
      Finally, why would a developer use PHP (Drupal, WordPress…) when they could use Python? :)

      • Django fan

        Did you mean Django? :)

  • FunkyDUde

    I was gonna hop on the WP bandwagon, but I found it really difficult to setup an easy-to-use picture gallery for clients. Also, looking at the source code, I found it frustrating that css, html, javascript, and php are mixed into the same files, it would be nice if the gallery component was more modular and the files were organized into a cleaner design pattern.

    I think what I’m going to do, is emulate some of the features and create my own cms based on CodeIgniter. I usually get to a certain point and give up, let me see how far I get this time…

  • I’ve upgraded my site to 3.0 and like the little UI enhancements and the combined updater, but to me it doesn’t feel like that great an improvement. I’ve looked into how custom post types work and it feels like a lot of hoops to jump through to complete something that I can do much more simply with other CMSs like ExpressionEngine. So for more complex jobs, I’ll stick to what I’m already using.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. why do i have to write so much code for a custom field. That’s stupid!! EE’s way is so much cleaner and e

  • W3bnewbie

    How easy is it too theme WP 3.0?
    please any resources.

    may the french lose today lets all pray.

  • bobdobbs

    I really wish there was something better then wordpress.

    I mean, I understand that it is the least crappy blogging software available and that it makes things pretty easy for users.
    But after experimenting with it for months I find it no less distasteful.

    Maybe it’s just me. The wonders of wp are sung by every other blogger out there.
    But theming for wp seems much harder then it should be, and you are forced to use xhtml.

    The UI is really finely polished, but I’ve found creating websites with it confusing and frustrating. I just plain hate doing it.

    • Brian Noah

      I’m a self taught developer, and I found that developing themes on WP is super easy. I even updated my current themes that I sell yesterday to take advantage of the new menu structure and custom background images.

  • GrimJim

    Bobdobbs – I thought the idea of WordPress was to be able to rapidly create a basic site with various standard functionality, add to that with the plugins, and do basic work to themes, if any (ie. choose an existing theme you like). That’s why I use WP. Fast to action. If you’re wanting a site wonderfully tailored to your own design, why not do a full site design a.n.other web design package? Its a blog, not a website creator! However, I will admit to not doing much theme’ing myself (I’m lazy), and perhaps you’re coming at it from the angle of regular theme designing?
    What concerns me more from the original article was the potential difficulties in upgrading to 3.0, and the apparent hunger for memory.

    • bobdobbs

      I do understand that wp is for blogging, and that it is not a site creator.
      I also understand that there are a zillion themes out there already. Many of them are very good.

      But I find converting designs to wp blogs hellish.

      I actually get kind of confused when I see comments like Brian Noah’s above, saying that developing themes is easy. I see them all the time in article forms on the web or on comment threads.

      Maybe I’ve been spoiled by modx, which actually is easy to understand and easy to develop for, and doesn’t make you use xhtml.
      But in wp, I found doing simple things, like adapting a theme to use a sticky footer solution took a couple of hours of studying existing markup before altering it.

      Things that I think should be simple seem to take hours of work. Much existing theme code seems like sticky messes of molasses. Doing everything from scratch means spending hours to do simple things.

      I get no pleasure from working with wp. I simply hate it.

  • Geoffrey Kidd

    Upgrade went very smoothly, possibly because I kept the Demon Murphy at bay by making a fresh (and complete) backup before even touching my installation. Automatic upgrade worked like a charm and my 2.x default theme remained the default, which is good because twentyten seems to turn off the “login” links by default.

  • imran

    i think wp is the best management system & very easy to use no programming skills are required.