Once again, a few new features and rearrangements has arrived for WordPress.com users. As a WordPress self-hosted user, it’s easy to blow this kind of stuff off, but some of these changes make their way over, so I’m always sure to take notice. Plus, some of the features are really great, and a lot of the time you can go grab a plugin to give you the same feature.
If you’re a WordPress.com user, you’re probably just wishing I would hurry up and give you the low-down.
So, here it is:
New (and Faster) Dashboard
Isn’t it always faster? Who releases something new and says, “New and Slower!” Maybe that’s why some software changes only say, “New” and then leave it at that.
Here’s what the new Dash looks like:
It’s subtle, but the left nav shifting up was a smart move.
… you can make your writing window/post box bigger on the editing screens (you can drag the lower right corner if you use the Visual editor, and/or change the default height of the writing window in Settings → Writing). We’ve also replaced the icons in the Visual Editor toolbar with new ones designed by Ben Dunkle, the same person who designed the navigation icons for the dashboard, that we think are less distracting and fit better. You’ll also be saying goodbye to the “New Post” button that used to live in the header. We’ve added an “Add New” menu to the admin bar instead, for faster, easier content creation.
The last few updates and changes have been focused on writing and I absolutely love it.
In making these updates, they’ve kissed IE6 goodbye:
With IE6 in the rear-view mirror, perhaps we’ll begin to see some bigger enhancements in the near future.
Approving and Replying
This is one of those simple updates that you really appreciate in the long run. When you have a comment that needs to be approved, you can actually reply to the comment while it’s still pending, and then when you are finished writing your reply, you can approve the comment and submit your reply in one click.
I’m all about reducing clicks.
In a nutshell, they have tuned-up the full-screen writing experience, and it’s about time!
Here are the tweaks (via WordPress.com Blog):
- It’s available for all users, whether you use the Visual Editor or HTML. Visual Editor users will notice a more laid-back icon to enter distraction-free mode, and HTML users will see a new [fullscreen] button. Click one and you’re on your way.
- Distraction-free writing mode still takes over the browser window, but the writing area is optimized for a comfortable line length and easy reading and editing. Editor styles set by themes are also supported.
- The formatting header is shown when you first arrive on the screen, to orient you, then fades away so you can focus on your writing. Move your mouse to indicate that you want access to these items and it will magically reappear.
- Only the most-used formatting and embedding icons are shown, reducing visual noise, along with a Save button in the upper right (you’ll need to go back to the regular editor to publish), and the word count in the lower left.
If that wasn’t minimal enough for you, take it one step further:
Oh-yeah. That’s pretty.
It not only looks good, but it functions, well, too! All the keyboard shortcuts are supported and you can still switch between Visual and HTML modes. If you’re running in this mode and you go full screen with your browser (F11 on Windows or CMND+SFT+F on a Mac), then you’ll be really sporting some distraction-free writing.
So, those are the latest WordPress.com updates. There’s some really cool stuff, there, and I hope to see these features make their way to the self-hosted version of WordPress. As for those on WordPress.com, enjoy your new features!
[via WordPress.com Blog]