I spent some time this weekend updating my personal blog to WordPress 2.5 which was released Saturday. I've been a WordPress user for a while now, and it's worth noting that version 2.5 is one of the biggest updates since the release of version 2.0 back in late 2005. There's a huge list of upgrades on the official WordPress blog, but I thought I'd go over a few of my personal favorites so far:
One-click plug-in upgrades: Like software on PCs, third-party WordPress plugins are updated constantly. The one thing you had to manage on your own was when they got updated. The new system cross checks your plug-ins with the database at Wordpress.org, and if there's an update it will both let you know, as well as give you a one click option to update it to the latest version.
Media handling: The new media uploader is a huge step up from the old system. It now lets you upload multiple files at once. Each file uploads with its own progress bar and goes into your media collection to be inserted into posts according to your liking. What I really like, however, is the new gallery feature. You can take all those pictures and put them into an easy to view gallery that can be inserted into a post with one click. It's not as flashy as some of the gallery tools you can get as plug-ins, but it's great to have as a standard solution.
Editing protection: The lack of concurrent editing is one thing that created massive headaches and potential data loss for multiauthored blogs. Say you were writing or editing a post and your co-blogger went into edit it. Both of you could overwrite each other's work endlessly without knowing the other person was in there. The new system locks down a post when a user is still in edit mode, and gives you the person's name so you can message them in real-life to see what they're doing. We've got a similar system here at CNET, and it's a life saver.
Dashboard redesign: I never really thought the old dashboard was bad, but the new one is visually much cleaner and rearranges the settings options away from the links to write and manage posts. It also takes some of the information that was on the old dashboard and widgetizes it, which makes it easier to get a bird's eye view of what's going on with your blog all on one page.
Tags management: The new system lets you add and delete tags as you would on Flickr, or anywhere else using the same system of comma separated tags. The old system simply had you list the tags, but there was no way to edit or see a list of all the tags you had used, which is now maintained in the "manage" tab.
There are a handful of other useful updates and additions, but these were just some of our picks. Are you a WordPress user running 2.5? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.