I have installed WordPress 3.0 for a little test drive before it’s launched and I played a little with its new settings and features. What can I say? I, personally, am not so impressed, but we will talk more after 1 May when they’ll release the final version.

The first thing you’ll notice is the new installer. They’ve added a “password strength” section that will tell you it your password is week/strong. Also you can choose your desired username, getting rid of the old “Admin” name this way.

Another new thing in WordPress 3.0 is the “Twenty Ten” theme. The old “Kubrick” theme is now gone but its basic design still resides in the new one.

twenty ten wordpress 3.0 theme

There is a good thing ,for newbies especially, that you can change its background color or the background imageand header by uploading your own image. Other basic settings like the background position, repeat and attachment are available.

wordpress 3.0 background settings

wordpress 3.0 header settings

Now let’s get to the new menu system that everybody talks about. This is indeed a very useful functionality. You can create page menus, category menus, custom urls menus or a mix of all three menus.

wordpress 3.0 nav menu

So, the next feature (I don’t know if I can call this a feature) is the merger with WordPress Multisite – WordPress MU in a shorter term. I don’t know if this is something good or bad because I used WP MU just a few times. One thing I noticed is that in order to use it you must add a line of code in the “wp-config.php” file.

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

A new option called “Network” will appear in the “Tools” menu from the “Dashboard”.

Custom post types is another feature we will enjoy in WordPress 3.0. This feature will allows you to create any kind of post types like product pages, portfolio pages, etc.  according to your needs.

Add this code to your theme’s functions.php file to create a custom post type in WordPress 3.0:

function my_custom_init() {
$args = array(
'label' => __('Albums'),
'singular_label' => __('Album'),
'public' => true,
'show_ui' => true,
'capability_type' => 'page',
'hierarchical' => false,
'rewrite' => true,
'supports' => array('title', 'thumbnail')

register_post_type( 'album' , $args );

Check this site and this site if you want to learn more about the custom post types.

A feature that I really like in WordPress 3.0 is the “Shortlinks” function. Especially the tweeter users will love this function. If you don’t feel comfortable using shortening url services like bit.ly or tinyurl you can easy use the “Get Shortlink” button or use its function according to your needs.

wordpress 3.0 shortlinks

Another cool feature of the new WordPress 3.0 is the possibility to create specific author templates. Now the theme makers can call a specific file (ie. author- john-doe.php) for each of the writers that contribute on the blog.

Last but not least feature that I’ll be talking about now is the possibility to customize the WYSIWYG editor within WordPress.  If you want to see how you can enable this feature visit this site.

For more info about all the features included in WordPress 3.0 check out the WordPress Codex.