I’ve been using 2.8 beta since it’s release and upgraded this evening to 2.8 (Baker) this evening and nothing broke – that is always a bonus! Loving the upgrades to the WordPress platform and how everything is pretty much automated for users – – now not only can you upgrade your WordPress installation directly from your Dashboard AND search for, install and activate new plugins (and upgrade existing ones) directly from your WordPress Dashboard – but you can do the same with free WordPress Themes from the official themes directory.
A true WordPress Trifecta – it’s brilliant.
I’m going through and reading my RSS feeds this evening and having a look at various reviews of the 2.8 release – almost all positive. Reviewed are the changes, large and small, from 2.7 to 2.8 – I am struck by an experience I had this evening with a brand new WordPress user, a client of mine, whom I met with for a few hours at a local Starbucks.
Chris and I met with her and her husband for coffee. They brought their laptop and I brought a copy of WordPress For Dummies to give to them as they begin their journey of transitioning their static HTML website to a WordPress powered site.
As we drank our coffee, they logged into their new WordPress Dashboard and I began taking them through the ‘How To’s’ of managing and maintaining their site. A quick tour of the Dashboard… the differences between WordPress Posts and Pages… how to create and maintain a list of links with link categories….how to sort posts into topics using categories…what are ‘parent’ and ‘child’ categories – – the list goes on.
We made our way through all of the essentials and they were simply awestruck at the ease and simplicity of this program. The mere fact that they could type content for an article on their site, click publish and that’s it. Their site is updated and they can move on to the business of running their business. Up until now, her husband has been hacking his way through HTML using Dreamweaver and FTP. Simple content edits on their existing website took excruciating effort, to the point where they let those updates lapse because it was just too daunting of a task for them during an already hectic and busy work week.
They actually let out a little cheer when I showed them how to edit their About page, and demonstrated how that 10 second edit and republish in the admin panel created the change to the page on the live website – – I’ve never quite seen anyone get teary eyed over a software platform before, but this couple was putting some seriously intense labor and hours into a website that will now only take them minutes a day to maintain.
As I’m reading through the reviews of 2.8, written by my experienced WordPress friends (and gurus) – I think this evenings experience was a very positive one for me, as well. As my friends are talking about and exploring some of the changes to the Plugin and Themes management page in their WordPress admin panel, discussing bug fixes, hooks and filters.. . . I just got home from a meeting with a couple who are so very grateful for the WordPress project just simply based on the fact that they can login, write and publish in a very small amount of time. For them – that is golden!
Knowing some of the folks on the development team, the testers, the plugin and theme developers – I wonder how often they stop to think of the possibility that this evening, somewhere in a coffee shop in a little town in the middle of nowhere, their efforts at contributing to this platform truly improved and transformed the way a husband and wife team run their day to day business. Multiply that times a couple hundred thousand – and these developers, testers and designers are making an honest and profound difference in the lives of so many on a daily basis.
It’s pretty damn awesome if you stop and think about it.