Back to Work With WordPress: Catch Up on Updates and Get Ready for 3.1

Back to Work With WordPress: Catch Up on Updates and Get Ready for 3.1

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family. We’re back to work with WordPress! The development team kept churning out updates over the holidays. In case you missed out on the notices, here’s a summary of what happened and what is coming soon with WordPress 3.1.

WordPress 3.0.4 is a critical security update.

WordPress 3.0.4 was released on December 29, 2010, just a few days before the new year. This update fixes a core security bug in the HTML sanitation library. You’ll want to complete this update on your websites as soon as possible.

WordPress 3.1 is almost ready for download.

Over the past couple months, we’ve watched steady progress on the 3.1 release. The Beta 1 came to us on Thanksgiving. RC1 was released on Christmas, and RC2 on New Year’s Day. WordPress 3.1 is expected very soon.

Important Changes Coming in WordPress 3.1

Custom post type archives and post formats are two of the biggest game changers coming in the 3.1 release. I’m sure many of you have had the experience of assigning featured posts using categories so that they would display differently. Now with WordPress 3.1 you can use post formats to get the job done. Post formats offer more control of the presentation of posts, which relieves you from having to create custom category and page templates to accomplish the same thing. Supported formats include aside, chat, gallery, link, image, quote, status, video, and audio.

WordPress 3.1 offers archives for your custom post types, so that you view them all in an index the same way you do with categories. This will also allow you to correctly define your permalink structure. Custom post types should be thought of as custom content types. If you’re still unclear as to how custom post types differ from post formats, check out this short article from Mark Jaquith.

If you want to get started with 3.1 early and play around with the new features, download the release candidate. Another option is to grab the WordPress Beta Tester plugin and select “bleeding edge nightlies.” We’ll keep you updated on everything that’s new, so stay tuned.