WordPress 3.1 Is Big Leap Into CMS

Regular readers to this blog know that I’m a WordPress fan. You may have noticed that I updated the look of the blog with a new theme. At that time I also converted the entire site to WordPress – a feat that I think shows off the power and flexibility of this publishing tool to be a singular content management tool for small business.

The most recent update to WordPress includes some significant feature upgrades and in my opinion moves the tool even farther into the ability to serve as the tool of choice for any web site.

Key feature additions include:

Quick overview of the Internal Linking function

Internal link – This has to be my favorite new feature and reason enough to upgrade if you’re stalling. A very common practice in blogging is to link to other relevant content from past blog posts. In the past this was accomplished by finding the other post and copying the URL to embed in a link. No big deal unless you’ve got over 2,000 posts. Now, when you are editing a post (only when using the visual editor :( ) you have the ability add a link from any page or blog post, including searching through all posts, right from the link editing tool.

Post formats – The new style of WordPress theme takes advantage of multiple page templates in order to accomplish things like I’ve done on thhis site (my home page is a WordPress page template using the Builder Theme from iThemes) With the advancement of WordPress 3.1 comes something called Post Formats. Post Formats allow theme designers to create multiple views of blog post so that sites can have different post layouts inside the same theme for different content.

Theme designers now have the ability to create post formats that include:

  • Aside – Typically short pieces of content, published without a title.
  • Image Gallery – A collection of pictures in a gallery format.
  • Link – A single link.
  • Image – A single image.
  • Quote – An inspirational or noteworthy quote with a citation.
  • Status – Status updates, similar to Facebook and Twitter updates.
  • Video – A single video.
  • Audio – A single audio clip, like a song or a podcast.
  • Chat – An instant message transcript.

The ability to create custom post formats (post types) has been around for some time, but now designers have an ordained set of format names that will allow for standardization across themes. For a tutorial on how to get started with Post Formats visit this Wordcast Tutorial:Add Tumblr Style Features To Your Blog with WordPress 3.1

You might also want to check out this online seminar from my friends at iThemes – WordPress Advanced Custom Post Formats – Wed March 2nd 11 am CT

Admin bar – Next up is a new editing bar that appears above posts for admins when viewing live content. The idea behind this feature is that it offers easy editing and navigation directly from any blog page. I kind of like this as I tend to edit some things this way, but a lot of admins are complaining that it’s in the way and needlessly adds more clutter. (Top nav bars like the Hello Bar are getting popular as well and this may cause some conflicts with these kinds of scripts.) The top nav is turned on by default, but you can switch it off by visiting your account settings.

This nav bar appears by default for admins

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Andy Merrett

    internal linking (only when using the visual editor). Yeah, what’s that about? I really don’t like using the visual editor (because really it isn’t unless you muck about with the CSS) and prefer proper HTML. I don’t see why the linking interface can’t be separated so it’s available to anyone regardless of which editor they use. Maybe that’s for 3.1.1?

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Yep, that’s the sentiment of most that use WordPress – seriously, who uses the visual editor – Actually I’ve gotten lazy of late and started using the image editor in visual because it does have some nice functionality, but it makes me nervous because it has a habit of stripping out code when I switch back and forth.

  • erinsparks

    Great comment, thanks for your quick synopsis on The WordPress upgrade. I was wondering what all they had done with this turn of the wheel.

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      I think this is one of the fully upgrades I can remember in terms of having new toys to play with.

  • http://roborr.net/ Rob Orr

    Very cool stuff for the new edition of WP – my affinity for the platform continues to grow! The toolbar is very similar to a feature in Drupal that I make constant use of – it’s a fantastic tool. I really like the internal linking function – what a great addition.

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      It’s funny though I hear a lot of long time WP users complaining about the admin bar, but I’m already using it a lot.

  • http://twitter.com/angusfinlayson Angus Finlayson

    Thanks this was a cool insight! I always upgrade as soon as it becomes available, but don’t always know what new features are included! Thanks again!

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Hey Angus, you are welcome, let me know if you uncover any other cools stuff in the upgrade.

  • Kattastic

    We love using WP for our blog and just updated to 3.1 – great to hear the love from so many others!

  • http://www.henleyinterim.com Matthew Simmons

    Interested to know you have ported your whole site over to WP – this is a move I have been considering for a while but been put off by the obvious constraints of using a blogging tool as a CMS. I will look at this option a lot more seriously.

    Thanks for sharing


  • http://www.redwoodproductions.com/blog Redwood Productions

    After updating our WP blog to 3.1, we’re considering moving our whole site over to WP!

  • Natty

    This is cool. As a recent WP user I love the platform. But how do we convert a 500 page website with high P.R. and lots of incoming links and preserve the static pages? Static html still works great especially for speed.

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      I did it using permanent 301 redirects and didn’t lose anything in terms of search or indexing, but speed is an issue – I’m working on some of that and had to move to a new host too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shraderamy Amy Shrader

    I am trying to upgrade to 3.1 and it has said that it was unpacking the update for about 3 hours. Does it normally take this long???

    • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

      Hey Amy – no that doesn’t sound right.

  • http://careers.stackoverflow.com/pothi Pothi Kalimuthu

    Post formats is the one thing that has been confusing me for a long time. I look forward to the online seminar now! Other than post formats, I love the new admin bar. Internal linking is something that I rarely used (because I never had too many posts :) ).

  • JTownsendSr

    I’m a huge fan of WordPress. Yes, 3.1 has made some advances. The biggest thing about WordPress is how easy it is to use. I’ve heard some complaints – but generally from people who just didn’t actually spend any time learning the WP system. I mean, building websites isn’t the easiest thing in the world and WordPress makes it vastly simple… and the plugins add huge functionality.

    Thanks for all your articles John. I follow them avidly. You can also see some of it at my website http://TownsendCreations.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oc-Sbo/100000848877395 Oc Sbo

    Great Post!

    There are some great new features with 3.1 and I always make sure I backup before upgrading. I just came across of post that walks through downgrading if there are any site issues. May be useful to some.


    Thanks John!!!!