Yes, after much coding, testing, fixing, changing and all the other fun stuff, the WordPress developers have released a shiny new version of my favourite blogging platform.
The new version features a new look, which comes with a choice of two colour schemes – one much like the “traditional” one, and one with lots of soft pastel colours. I can’t say I’m keen on the pale look – to my eyes it just looks a bit washed out. There are big changes in the layout of the admin interface – some I like, some I’m not keen on, and some that I really don’t like. Some of the things I don’t like can be mitigated by the use of plugins that are available right now, others not so much.
Aside from the layout issues (which are being hotly debated, so some changes may be changed for the next version), the overall look of the interface is a lot crisper and fresher. That’s quite nice.
If you’ve never installed WordPress before, this version will be a great starting point for you – the new method of adding images and collections of images to posts will make it nice and easy for you. If you’re a “basic” user – you use an off-the-shelf theme and not too many plugins, then go for it. Update. Have fun.
If, like me, you’re used to a moderately to heavily customised environment – maybe you’ve developed your own theme, or you use a lot of plugins, then beware- here be tygers, and all that. As usual with a major update, some plugins will crash and burn, drink your beer, kick the cat and quite possibly eat your data. Or at the very least won’t work. If you can set up a test environment, do it. That’s also a good way to have a play with the new features without breaking your live site.
Personally, I won’t be upgrading for the moment. That’s partly because I’m hoping some clever developing person will produce a plugin or two that will let me use the writing page the way I want to rather than the way it’s been decided we all should, but mostly because the WPG2 plugin that links WordPress to Gallery is still being given the major overhaul it needs to work with WordPress 2.5. Without that, large parts of this site would break, so I really do have to wait.
I wouldn’t like anyone to get the idea that WordPress 2.5 is a bad version. It’s not. Lots of thought and work has gone into it, and I suspect it will be very good for lots of people. It’s just not quite right for me at the moment.
Anyway, here are the links you need:
 Though make sure you have a backup before updating – just in case something breaks