What You Need To Know About WordPress 2.6

June 30th, 2008
Blogging News, WordPress

WordPress 2.5 was just released a few months ago and WordPress 2.6 has been in development for some time to be released very soon. Not only does WordPress 2.6 add more zing to a platform that has already won hearts and made blogging a wonderful experience, there are few features in WordPress 2.6 that many have requested and some that caused a little controversy.

Let’s get to know a few things about WordPress 2.6 that will definitely raise few eyebrows albeit a few of them in the wrong way.

Post Revisioning

I have been a Software developer for quite long now and know how important CVS or SVN is to maintaining different versions of a file. WordPress 2.6 brings the same functionality to posts where you can have different revisions for posts.

In lay terms this means that no matter how many times you make changes to the post, you will never have the “Oops, I did something wrong to the post” effect since you can always go back to a older revision of the post, and, let me add you have a cool feature where you can actually differentiate between your revisions to see what changes you made. (think wiki-like post revisions)

Tumble Your Posts

The one thing I have loved about Tumblr is the simplicity and ease of access. I simply select a link or a image and tumble it to my micro blog at Tumblr without having to go through a series of steps to actually post my content.

WordPress 2.6 is taking a new approach and adds in bookmarklets that will allow you to quickly post links and image ala Tumblr. (think “Press This”)

Speed Up of Admin Interface

There has never been a reason not to use the admin interface but that said with the versatility and flexibility of WordPress many people have taken advantage and built softwares that resist you from doing so.

To be quite frank, I hardly use the Admin interface except for approving and replying to comments and managing plugins and themes, but in doing that, I am definitely missing so many of the features that WordPress posting interface provides me with.

WordPress 2.6 makes use of Google Gears when available to speedup and cache static files that are loaded every time you visit your WordPress admin panel.

XML-RPC access now requires Admin Permission

XML-RPC for WordPress can be used by many software applications that allow you to post content to your blog without having to visit the admin panel. The most notable one I can point out to you is Windows Live Writer.

With WordPress 2.6, in new installations, the access to XML-RPC will be unavailable by default. This in short means that every user will have to go and manually enable XML-RPC to allow external applications to post to your blog. Dougal wrote a post about this recently. From his post on the APIs:

  • The APIs will not be automatically disabled for sites upgrading from older versions. Since the APIs have previously been ‘on’ by default, they will continue to function.
  • For new installs of WordPress 2.6 and later, there will be an option presented at install-time to enable the APIs. Or not. They seem to have removed that between Beta 1 and Beta 2.
  • There will be options in the Write settings to enable or disable XML-RPC posting and Atom API posting individually.

Though this might appear to be a problem to som, personally I do not think that it is a inconvenience. Since users who want to use external applications will be able to do so with just a minor change in the settings and for the millions others who do not require it would never even bother with it. I definitely see this as a move to allow users the flexibility to do what they want to with their blogs without forcing them.

Activate Multiple Plugins at Once and Delete Plugins in Bulk

The one thing that went over my head with the earlier revisions of WordPress was that they allowed you to deactivate all the plugins but never allowed you to activate them at once.

Also deleting plugins was never a piece of cake as users had to manually login to their FTP to delete them. I did get around to writing a plugin that would allowed users to delete plugins they no longer used from the admin panel but never released it. With WordPress 2.6 both of the concerns are answered as it will not only allow you to activate bulk plugins but also provide you with the ability to delete plugins you no longer use.

I would love to see a feature where they allow users to deactivate plugins and keep a history of it and then allow users to reactivate the same plugins once again. I did end up writing a plugin for myself that kept a history of the the plugins it deactivated and then activated them while skipping those that caused a problem due to a newer version of WordPress version.

Move Your Config File to a Different Directory

Your WordPress config file contains information about things that are critical to your blog including access to your WordPress database. Though there are no known security issues with having your wp-config file in your root directory, WordPress 2.6 does allow you to move it to another directory.

Other Features

There are several other features to grab your attention and the few I talked about does not end the features you will get in the next major revision, here are some of the other things you should know about too;

  • You can move your content directory from wp-content to any other place you want it to be. (This definitely will mean there are shorter links to your downloadable content or images)
  • Better Theme Previewing.
  • External JavaScript upgrades to TinyMCE, jQuery and jQuery UI.
  • Customizable default avatars.

Well hopefully this should be the best ever version yet of WordPress, though I still look forward to getting more. Let me know your views and opinions about the latest and probably greatest version of WordPress.

Afterthought: Aaron Brazell over at Technosailor goes into greater details on some of items on the WordPress 2.6 list of changes and updates, including

  • Shift Click selection of multiple checkboxes in the wp-admin
  • More avatar options
  • Page Templates of XML-RPC
  • More “Press This” features
  • Integrated Theme Preview
  • Many other illustrated examples



  1. SE7EN (2 comments.) says:

    I can’t wait for its release! (oops I mistyped my mail in previous comment)

  2. Zach says:

    Any news about them updating or fixing the media uploader?

  3. Chris (26 comments.) says:

    I’m with you on the plugin issue, but I’m glad to see we will at least have the ability to delete. This can often become an irritation.

  4. ChrisM (13 comments.) says:

    Any news whether the post revision feature will be easy to turn off? I’m not moaning about its presence in 2.6, just hoping I won’t have to get my hands too dirty to disable it. I’d like to be able to not have to worry about the overheads it could cause re. database size (assuming I’ve understood the process correctly).

  5. Ted Clayton (31 comments.) says:

    Keith, I am very interested in your plugin to keep a state-history so that upon bulk reactivation, only those that were previously activated, are reactivated. I keep many plugins that are either broken, or which insert too much code, data & scripts in the HTML … but which are still valuable ideas and worth studying. Thanks!

  6. Epic Alex (18 comments.) says:

    The one thing I’m wondering about google gears, is whether you have to download all 190+ files(yeah, that was how many it downloaded…) for each WordPress blog you run, or if it can use the same ones, cause if not, that is a lot of files for my 3 blogs…

  7. Jesse Harris (10 comments.) says:

    Speaking of plugins, I find it ridiculous that you have to turn on FTP access in order to update them within WordPress. Whatever happened to fetching files with cURL? I purposefully leave FTP off because I don’t want the security issues associated with a service that I rarely use. Hopefully that will be considered in a future release.

  8. Steve says:

    Question about revisions. A previous question – can we turn it off easily – is a good question but my question is about pages.

    Can we have past versions of pages too?

    How about previous versions of the php and css files that we can edit through the admin interface?

    I find that when I’m tweaking my CSS sheets or the PHP “templates” for a theme it would be really nice to be able to compare and roll back to a previous version.

    Yes, I back it all up before I start tweaking, but…

  9. GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

    I can foresee that moving wp-config.php and /wp-content/ folder to custom locations will cause A LOT of plugins to break.

  10. Hendry Lee (7 comments.) says:

    No screenshots? Is the interface different from 2.5 again? I guess not.

    I can’t wait for the release.

  11. ChaosKaizer (62 comments.) says:

    @ChrisM add define('WP_POST_REVISIONS',false); inside wp-config.php to turn off “post revision”

    and also there is few constant available for plugin/theme dev to play with:-

    on the others features, you now can enqueue stylesheet (CSS) like scripts.

  12. Kirk M (67 comments.) says:


    It’s the same basic interface as the 2.5 series just with a lot more features added to it. Consider it a “finishing out” of the new WordPress platform.

  13. Mick Charles (1 comments.) says:

    Cool… I am looking forward to it. My friend helps me with my site, and he has 4 other sits running WordPress that he maintains.

  14. ChrisM (13 comments.) says:

    @ChaosKaizer thanks for the info. I was hoping for a nice simple tick box to appear somewhere, but if it doesn’t I’ll know what to do.
    Most appreciated :)

  15. ChaosKaizer (62 comments.) says:

    @Steve the post revision should work for page too.

  16. Harris (1 comments.) says:

    As you can see on the site, after upgrading to 2.6, a comment at one post appears at two posts, even though it should only be at one. Furthermore, there are 5 comments at the post, but only the last is appearing.

  17. Justin Tadlock (51 comments.) says:

    The biggest problems I’ve experienced with 2.6 (using Beta 1) thus far is that with some of my more advanced themes, such as Structure and Options, you can’t use the theme previewer to view them. This is because you have to go into a theme settings page to choose what you want to appear on your blog. There’s just a big, blank screen. :(

    I like the addition of the jQuery UI, but I believe it’s only the core and a couple of extra files. I don’t think it’s everything.

    It seems we’re still missing the category and tag IDs in the admin screen.

    WP 2.6 does seem to be pretty solid thus far (aside from the couple of issues I’ve posted here).

    Now, I’m off to play with Google Gears.

  18. Mattias (32 comments.) says:

    Looks like an overall nice update :)

  19. George (7 comments.) says:

    Looking forward to the release of 2.6; the Google gears is cool. I agree with the comment made by someone above – I run about 10 blogs, and that’s quite a lot of files for me, although I will probably only use it on the blogs I access most.. :P

  20. Daniel Condurachi (9 comments.) says:

    pelase fix the media uploader issue

  21. Frederick (1 comments.) says:

    I’m not such a fan of using so many JavaScript frameworks. It’s nice that it’s going to be cached, but it would be even better if the same sort of caching were applied to the frontend blog/site as well.

  22. trench (30 comments.) says:

    Looking forward to this.

  23. paan (4 comments.) says:

    Definitely something to wait for. I just hope that they can resolve some of the high memory issues that is going on.

  24. DD32 (1 comments.) says:

    Just a note on the Plugin deletion/Activations:

    When a plugin is deactivated, It will be moved to the “Recently Active” group for 7 days, So if you want to test without the plugins loaded, You can just deactivate them all at once, test, and then do a bulk activate of all the plugins in the recently active list, Its a seperate list from the Inactive list which is only shown when you deactivate a plugin.

    FTP Access:
    @Jesse Harris:
    FTP access is only required if PHP(and therefor, WordPress) is not running as the same user as the files.
    Eg. If running with suExec or suPHP, then there is no problem, Direct access without FTP is allowed. However, If apache(and therefor, php, and therefor wordpress) is running under a different username from what the wordpress files were created as, then to avoid file security issues(and avoiding the use of chmod 777) FTP is used.
    There is a filter called ‘filesystem_method’ which you can return ‘direct’ for to force it to use direct access instead of FTP.

    (Apologies for the length of this)

  25. GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

    @ChaosKaizer The constant only get loaded when you load WP. Plugins will have problem finding wp-config.php or wp-blog-header.php from the plugin file.

  26. Thomas D. (1 comments.) says:

    Nothing of interest for me in that revision, I think I’ll skip. Well, customizable avatars are cool, but that’s something a plugin could probably do.

  27. BoltClock (24 comments.) says:

    I only installed Plugin Central last week. Is WordPress 2.6’s improved plugin management similar in functionality to Plugin Central? If so I can drop it.

    Other than that, I’m looking highly forward to WordPress 2.6!

  28. Brad (2 comments.) says:

    I notice no has mentioned fixing the horrid widget interface

  29. RemBeatZ (1 comments.) says:

    Sounds great, it always seems as soon I update, there is another version out..

  30. tabrez (8 comments.) says:

    As I wrote on my blog recently, I want the currently active plugins to be remembered when deactivating all the plugins, and then give me the option to reactivate only those that were active before.

  31. ajua (19 comments.) says:

    I would like to see an improved Write Post or Write Page section with categories and tag management really integrated into this.

    Also, a new way of managing tags would be great, like Better Tags Manager plugin…

  32. PJ Brunet (1 comments.) says:

    1. I’m glad I can activate all my plugins at once now, because trying to do this with MySQL was too much trouble ;-)

    2. Now that we can move wp-content, does this mean multiple blogs can share the same theme files, plugin files? I’m writing a PHP script right now to copy my theme change to multiple blogs, but all blogs sharing the same wp-content makes more sense.

    3. Looking forward to trying Gears.

    4. Glad we’re finally getting shift-clicking, which I’ve waited for 14 years now. My webmail had shift-clicking working in IE for a while, but not for Firefox. Anyway, saves lots of time/energy clicking off spam/junk, thanks!!!

  33. Michael Grimm (1 comments.) says:

    This looks great, I just started running my business site off WordPress. Definitely excited for a faster admin site!

  34. Slevi (7 comments.) says:

    There’s some lovely features amongst there, the post revisioning and improved plugin handling are absolutely wonderful. Once more going to be a great new release.

  35. internetauftritt (1 comments.) says:

    Good to see the momentum WP has. But I agree that there’s still room for improvement. I 2nd Jesse Harris’ suggestion from comment #7. And hopefully they’ll add better support for sophisticated navigation menus next time

  36. butuki (1 comments.) says:

    May I ask if there has been any work done on dealing with registration spam? That’s something I’d REALLY like to see implemented.

  37. Allen (1 comments.) says:

    Like the new features and really looking forward to the ‘gold’ release :)

  38. bruce (2 comments.) says:

    You know what I’d love, now it’s holiday time? The ability to go to the admin panel and click one button to disable all new comments across all posts (so I don’t find the site unreadable due to comment spam while I wasn’t tending it).

  39. Dax says:

    Okay, this is it: I’m switching to Habari or something else. WordPress development is getting more and more bloated. The WP people keep adding more features, dragging the speed down. The user-friendliness has suffered, even from the little functions that are supposed to increase the usability. The interface just gets more and more cluttered!

    Please, start using modules so people only have to install the functionality they want, keeping the interface clean, user-friendly, and keeping the system up to speed.

  40. nn says:

    i’m using wordpress 2.6-beta2 and the hanging media uploader seems to be fixed

  41. Monika (40 comments.) says:

    Hi I’m testing WP 2.6 beta ..

    there are so many js scripts in the header- and the versiosnumber -they come with the hook wp_head -do you know is this only in the beta version or is this final?


  42. Aubyn Darlington says:

    I have an AdSence account and copied and pasted the code on a dedicated page, yet cannot get it to be activated. I have chosen a tower 160×600 and have plenty of room. Can you help?

  43. Chris Birchall (1 comments.) says:

    I see a few comments mention the media uploader problems. I was just about ready to throw myself and three different computers out of the window because of this.
    Then I switched to Firefox instead of IE7. Problem solved!

  44. Erika (1 comments.) says:

    I hope they fix the mess with uploading images. There were no problems with 2.3.3 but we all hate the mess with 2.5.1.

  45. ChaosKaizer (62 comments.) says:

    I would agree with dax & monika. Even tho most people will not used the “gears features” but the js library is loaded by default (wp_default_scripts, script-loader.php Line:195). Hope to see more clean version of wordpress 2.6 release. =__=

  46. rusmanik (1 comments.) says:

    is upgrading to wordpress 2.6 a must? I’m still using 2.3.3 now.

  47. Tim Turner (1 comments.) says:

    It would be nice, but I haven’t been able to complete an upgrade and have been unable to get a response from anyone in the forums. I’ve seen dozens of post go unanswered on the same subject. It’s odd, I love the program but I can’t spend the rest of my life trying to figure out why I can’t upgrade. Much more complicated than hard-coding HTML and designing a blog in HTML.

  48. Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

    There should be absolutely no reason that a manual upgrade to a WordPress install should be complicated at all, it’s not. The biggest problem with an upgrade is that it can be tedious waiting for the “wp-admin” and “wp-includes directories to delete and the waiting for the new directories to upload (via FTP). I tend to go off and do something else while the directories are uploading. With a low end DSL connection (768k) it takes 20 minutes tops from start to finish and the site back online to do a manual upgrade via FTP if a (decent) shared server isn’t loaded down too much.

    Try this procedure here. If you this doesn’t help you then contact me directly via the contact form on the site and I’ll see if I can find where your problem lies in not being able to complete an upgrade.

    Coding a blog by html is a heck of a lot more complicated than upgrading a WordPress install even for someone who’s comfortable with writing HTML from scratch. But that coding ability will help you out in maintaining your site and in learning PHP and CSS.

  49. paan (4 comments.) says:

    Tim Turner: what’s your problem? upgrades are usually very straight foward. Can you describe what is the problem

    Kirk: deleting big folders using FTP is a real chore.. what I usually do is upload the tar.gz or zip file to the server and then ssh to the site and delete the old folder and/or extract the archive. Uploading a single large file is waaaayyy faster than uploading a gajillion small files

  50. Keith Dsouza (82 comments.) says:

    @Kirk M @paan I released a update to WPAU that fixes plugin activation issues and should definitely make your upgrade much more easier :)

  51. Kirk M (3 comments.) says:

    paan: (please excuse the long reply–I get wordy sometimes).

    You’re absolutely right in what you say of course, but I made the procedure as basic as possible on purpose. There’s more WordPress bloggers out there then you’d think who wouldn’t have a clue of how to decompress a tar.gz or zip file on a server and most would balk at doing the upgrade just because of that. I had to look at it from an absolute beginner’s perspective in other words.

    The idea behind the procedure is that the new user can watch what’s happening via their FTP client during the upgrade. Right-clicking on an online directory such as “wp-admin” or “wp-includes”, selecting “Delete” and then just waiting for the process to finish is not really that difficult. Neither is dragging and dropping the new directory from the local pane to the online pane or highlighting all the new root files at once and dragging the whole lot of them over to the right pane and dropping then waiting for the upload to finish. The only real chore is the waiting process. To me, a new user absolutely needs to know how to accomplish a basic manual upgrade like this one and understand how it works before they start learning how to upload and extract compresses files (a perfectly legitimate way of doing things) on the server and especially before they begin using any plugin that automates the process. What better way than watching it happen?

    Hmmm, I just might have to edit that procedure a bit. Thanks for your reply!

  52. Kirk M (3 comments.) says:

    Hi Keith,

    Glad to see you’re still working on WAUP. I’ve never had a problem in using it although I have a habit of doing upgrades manually in the case of milestone releases like 2.5 and 2.6. I’m rather anal like that.

    The only real problem I’ve had with WAUP which is not really a problem at all, is that it created the WAUP tables with the latin 1 label rather than utf8. I believe the actual format of the tables are utf8 though, yes?. WordPress did the same thing with the earlier releases and have since gone to creating it’s tables and labeling them as utf8. Like I said, not really a problem, I just happened to notice when I manually converted my old WP tables to utf8 when I upgraded to the 2.5 series.


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