New Dashboard Design and March Wrap-up
Today we’re pretty excited to launch a new dashboard design to everyone here on WordPress.com.
If you have a few minutes, try clicking around and exploring the new layout and features. It’ll be unfamiliar at first, but like riding a bike you’ll find yourself picking up new habits and cruising down the road in no time.
Those of you who follow the wordpress.org side of things probably saw the sneak peak that included several screenshots, the screencast of the new gallery feature, and the exhaustive list of features from the 2.5 release announcement. Now those improvements are available to you, including a few cool bonuses like a blog switcher menu on top.
Here’s a brief rundown of the features that are relevant to WordPress.com users:
Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard — we’ve worked hard to take your feedback about what’s most important in the dashboard and organize things to allow you to focus on what’s important — your blog — and get out of your way. In collaboration with Happy Cog and the community we’ve taken the first major step forward in the WordPress interface since WordPress.com was created.
Dashboard Widgets — the dashboard home page is now a series of widgets, including ones to show you fun stats about your posting, latest comments, stats, people linking to you, and we’ll allow more customization here soon.
Multi-file upload with progress bar — before when you would upload a large file you’d wait forever, never knowing how far along it was. And uploading more than one photo was an exercise in patience, as you could only do one at a time. Now you can select a whole of folder images or music or videos at once and it’ll show you the progress of each upload.
Now you can put that 3gb of free space to good use!
Search posts and pages — search used to cover just posts, now it includes pages too, a great boon for those using WordPress.com as a CMS.
Tag management — you can now add, rename, delete, and do whatever else you like to tags from inside WordPress.
Concurrent editing protection — for those of you on multi-author blogs, have you ever opened a post while someone was already editing it, and your auto-saves kept overwriting each other, irrecoverably losing hours of work? I bet that added a few words to your vocabulary. Now if you open a post that someone else is editing, WordPress magically locks it and prevents you from saving until the other person is done. You’ll see a message like below.
Friendlier visual post editor — I’m not sure how to articulate this improvement except to say “it doesn’t mess with your code anymore.” We’re now using version 3.0 of TinyMCE, which means better compatibility with Safari, and we’ve paid particular attention this release to its integration and interaction with complex HTML. It also now has a “no-distractions” mode which is like Writeroom for your browser.
Built-in galleries — when you take advantage of multi-file upload to upload a bunch of photos, we have a new shortcode that lets you to easily embed galleries by just putting [ gallery] (without the space) in your post. It’ll display all your thumbnails and captions and each will link each to a page where people can comment on the individual photos. I’ve been using this feature on my blog and have already uploaded over 1,200 pictures into 23 galleries. The shortcode has some hidden options too, check out this documentation.
In light of the launch, we’re also going to be keeping support open this weekend so you can let us know of any issues that pop up as a result of the new design. This new dashboard being out also allows us to roll out some other improvements we’ve been holding off for a bit as they didn’t make sense before. Keep an eye on this blog next week.
- 298,194 blogs were created.
- 381,855 new users joined.
- 2,242,997 file uploads.
- 3,225,059 posts and 1,420,975 new pages.
- 5,622,696 comments.
- 4,418,407 logins.
- 636,024,114 pageviews on WordPress.com, and another 347,679,330 on self-hosted blogs. (983,703,444 pageviews total across blogs we know about.)
- 863,470 active blogs, where “active” means they got a human visitor.