During the final days of May, the first release candidate for WordPress 3.0 was released to the public. In the world of WordPress, when a version of the popular blogging application becomes a release candidates it means that the official version of WordPress isn't too far behind.
What’s an RC? An RC comes after beta and before the final launch. It means we think we’ve got everything done: all features finished, all bugs squashed, and all potential issues addressed. But, then, with over 20 million people using WordPress with a wide variety of configurations and hosting setups, it’s entirely possible that we’ve missed something.
So what are the new features that will be included in WordPress 3.0. Personally, I'm excited about improvements in custom taxonomy and the merging of standalone WordPress with WordPress Multi-User code which WordPress is calling Multisite. Some of the highlights of WordPress 3.0 include:
- New menu management feature
- New theme "Twenty Ten" is the only theme in the WordPress distribution.
- Improved child theme support; child theme use is highly encouraged and as described in the Child Themes article, very simple to accomplish
- New comment_form() that outputs a complete commenting form for use within a theme template
- Expanded contextual help
- All importers moved to the plugin repository (e.g. WordPress Importer)
- Custom backgrounds for themes
- The Default (Kubrick), and Classic themes, are no longer included in the WordPress distribution, but are available in the Theme repository
- Bulk theme update ability
- Improved custom post types (try the Custom Post Type UI or GD Custom Posts And Taxonomies Tools plugins to see the possibilities)
- Improved custom taxonomies including hierarchical (category-style) support (again, try the Custom Post Type UI or GD Custom Posts And Taxonomies Tools plugins)
- Standalone WordPress and WPMU code merged and is called Multisite (Note: extra domain stuff remains plugin territory for this version)
- Multisite requires wp-config.php file changes to institute
Below the fold I've also included a video from WordPress.TV on WordPress 3.0 multisite. In this video, Boone Gorges demonstrates the new built-in multisite functionality of WordPress 3.0 to the WordPress NYC Meetup audience.