I have a Love and Hate relationship with WordPress. I love the functionality and extendability it provides and hate how often it changes. I do welcome the improvements but the guys behind the core need to slow down. It was actually nice not to have to upgrade for a couple of months due to a break they took.

Well, WordPress 2.5 is scheduled to be released on March 10 and from what I have seen it has some huge changes on Admin backend…

You can see the new “alpha” version of WordPress demo here. Feel free to play around as database is reset every hour so any changes implemented by you and other people will be reset to default. Use admin/demo for authentication.

As you plow through the new interface you will discover some visual changes that I personally welcome and a few that I don’t. I guess it is a matter of getting used to working a certain way and being forced to switch is bugging me.

I love the planned ability to edit incoming news from couple feeds into my admin dashboard interface. While it is a welcome addition to some blogs, if you have a few – it is best to disable these feeds on all but one that you access most often and edit number of news displayed to avoid bogging down your database.

I do like how the guys plan to implement separation of menus in Admin interface based on tasks. This approach separates less accessed features, such Users, Settings and Plugins and tasks we access more frequently into separate sections. I think it will help many new users to get more intuitive with whole administration part. I do think that Design should be moved to same location as Users and Settings. It is not accessed that often by majority of bloggers and really doesn’t need to be in most Common tasks.

Tags management. I have to say that build in tags management is still falls way short in functionality. I personally prefer Simple Tags plugin to get the job done. It almost seems like this functionality was integrated simply because it was absolutely needed but it is very limited. I can only hope that Simple Tags author manages to update his plugin to work around the new management option. Looks like WordPress 2.5 places its Tags management into exactly same location as latest version of Simple Tags using. Note to developers: if you can’t make full functionality, please don’t break functionality created by other people to address the need!

Looks like Editor for creating Posts and Pages got a small overhaul as well. And I can only hope that what I’m seeing is due to the alpha state of the WordPress. All the normal boxes I’m used to see on right hand side as I create posts now moved below post and in location I can’t modify anymore. Yep, they have gone away from “drag and drop” functionality and we can no longer arrange the boxes to our liking. I can only assume this is to improve performance and hope they will put the boxes in correct location we are so used to…

And following the “no drag and drop” philosophy Widgets Management option have changed. I actually like the way it is done now. As someone who supports many customers with WordPress blogs I had to work a few times when customers simply dragged the Widget too far and it became completely unavailable. I can only guess it is due to the position pointers recorded in database. Well now it will be no longer an issue Cool

My overall opinion – I like many things developers have done to new version and can only hope they address couple shortcomings. I really don’t see a reason to break something that works well for people and hope they follow same principal but only time will tell..

Anyway, enough listening to me talk about the changes – go check out the new interface for yourself! Username: admin, Password: demo