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WordPress 3.0 – Ending Confusion Between the Software and the Template


2010 can be celebrated for the release of WordPress 3.0, the open source software also known as “Thelonius”. It’s touted for its stability, security upgrades and added features for the user. So, it’s likely you’ll hear good things about it. users (who host their blog on WordPress servers) have already been upgraded to the revised software. Users who host WordPress on their own hosting account will have a decision to make. Like other software updates you’ve probably experienced for your computer, upgrading to WordPress 3.0 is not mandatory, so it’s your decision whether you want to upgrade or not.

Many WordPress users, even those using the last version (2.9.2) were vexed in Spring 2010 by hacking attacks on their hosting accounts. The evil-doing hackers were successful on some blogs, taking down themes, style sheets, and diverting users to websites that contained malware. The mantra of the hosting companies during the hacks was “Be sure you’re using the most current version of WordPress.” Hence, the upgrade to 3.0 is recommended by hosting companies like Network Solutions and GoDaddy because this update has some security features that prevent hacking.

A downside to the upgrade is some of the plugins adding extra features to WordPress will no longer work. You may have to do without them or you’ll need to change them out for a different, 3.0 compliant plugin.

So what’s the upside? You may hear that WordPress 3.0 will allow you to change your masthead, the background color of your website, and even create and rearrange a dropdown menu. These features may offer an upside, but do not actually come with the upgraded software. That’s right-if you upgrade the software it’s likely you will still have a theme (i.e. template) that is not up to speed. At this point, all the new features will not work with older themes.

In summary, if you upgrade to 3.0 you’ll have the bug fixes for stability and more peace of mind for security. But for you to take advantage of all the cool new features on the dashboard, you’ll need to change to a new compatible theme like Twenty-Ten, buy a new theme, or work with a designer to create a custom theme. It will still take some time (probably sooner rather than later) for the developers to catch up with plugin updates.


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