I’ve finished installing WordPress 2.7 and inspecting the major changes to the administration panel. I must say I’m very impressed.
Although the administration panel is arranged and appears very different from 2.6.5, it is arranged in a way that makes more sense and gives you faster access to the things you want to do.
For instance, the drop down menus on the left can show or hide more links for things such as adding a new post, adding a new page, viewing your settings or plugins. This allows for faster navigation by giving you more direct links while keeping them out of your way when needed and fewer page loads to get there.
Another really cool design feature is that the menu on the left can be minimized to an icon state. Hovering the icons for each category reveals a pop-out menu with more links.
WordPress 2.7 also sports it’s own updating system, so the WordPress Automatic Update plugin that was developed by a third-party is no longer a necessity. Obviously I have not had a chance yet to test the built-in upgrade tool (since there have been no updates since 2.7 😉 ), but I will be trusting it with my next WordPress update for sure.
With most pages you are given a tab at the top of the page titled “Screen Options”. You can click this tab to view a short list of items that you can check or uncheck to show or hide respectively on the page. If you never use the “Custom Fields” section for Posts or Pages then you can uncheck it and you won’t have to look at it any longer or have it clutter your workspace!
It appears that most all sections or elements in the administration panel are collapsible to clean up or provide more space. Elements in the Dashboard and other various pages are now drag and drop arrangeable. A new “QuickPress” section is available for a really simple, short and quick post. I may find myself using it fairly often, however, most of the time my posts are a bit lengthy. 😛
Overall I think the changes and improvements far out way the temporary lack of familiarity in the administration panel. It won’t take you very long at all to readjust and see how much better it is!
Hope everyone is looking into upgrading and if you want to make your life easier then you can use the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin that I mentioned earlier. You won’t need it ever again once you upgrade to 2.7, but unless you want to open up your ftp client and manually upgrade that way then you’ll probably want to use the plugin. 😉