New admin UI on WordPress.com, 2.5.1, and 2.6

I went on an already planned vacation on the day we released 2.5. While I’ve been chilling out with my family in SoCal, the WP devs have been fixing bugs in preparation for 2.5.1, and the Automattic crew unveiled the new admin UI on WordPress.com. Feedback on the new UI from the large WordPress.com user base will be interesting and educational.

I’ll be back to WP work on Monday. I and the other WP devs will be focusing on fixing bugs for 2.5.1 and planning 2.6 features. After the lengthy 2.5 cycle, we’ll aim for a shorter feature list and quicker turn-around on 2.6.

66 thoughts on “New admin UI on WordPress.com, 2.5.1, and 2.6

  1. Requested feature: In-UI updates. Understandably WordPress always has issues that need resolution, but we also think that your users should have an easier time upgrading.

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  2. I think the dashboard in admin controls should be improved. The amount of rss there is two little and you can’t even manage them yourself.
    Appreciate your work.

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  3. I can’t stand the Widgets administration. It makes less sense than the last version.

    I think I’m awkward with everything else, because it’s different. I’m not sure how I like the media gallery. Perhaps I’m not using it to its most efficient use. Perhaps someone can show us how it was intended to be used for quick posting of media.

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  5. The thing about the widgets in the dashboard is that disabling the widgets breaks the dashboard (bad for K2-based themes and their Sidebar Manager).

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  6. I would second that on some clearer explanations on the Media Gallery. Other than that, I think 2.5 is a fantastic release. I’m finding it very easy to use and get around in. The editor itself is a great improvement.

    Tho, I’m a bit surprised to hear a complaint about the widget functionality; I thought this was a great improvement. Instead of having to scroll down and drag a widget across several columns to add or remove, the ‘slide out’ menus seem a whole lot easier.

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  7. Many of my friend said that they dont like the new UI and will never upgrade to 2.5. I’m blank on this just have to deal with it.

    Some of my disappointing is in the beginning I have idea I could remove some widget or configuring what to show and not to show. Most of time I think about clean dashboard with capacity to add or remove component I want and I don’t want. Imagine that you have 5 blogs or more, every blog feed you same data.

    Only thing I like in the new admin is one-click automatic update for plug-in, even they are delay over differrent blogs. Try to install one plug-in on two or more blug that you can compare.

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  8. Well… welcome back!

    Great additions and changes to 2.5 admin ui… It’ll be interesting to see the collective response by the users.

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  9. Widgets are for user who can’t code or would not code. But the new widgets system is un-understandable. It is not intuitiv, no one can *see* what he has done or not.

    I have to use 11clicks and copy and paste to drop one text widget to another sidebar!

    Please bring back drag and drop and visualize widgetable columns as in the past.

    Thanks a lot.

    I would like to upload photos. And have a gallery in my frontend.

    A gallery in my backend is *beautiful* but I don’t know who need this feature.

    I would like to post videos with copy and paste the embeded code. I do not know how to post videos in WP 2.5.

    @ wordpress-deutschland.org I was in 25 Administration Panels from user who need support. After this I have to say: Please change your hoster, because so many hoster do not allow all this things WP 2.5 need for its mediacenter 😦

    Please be aware of all our users who can’t pay for webspace.

    thanks a lot

    Monika

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  10. I pretty much liked it for what I use it for, but then I found that it did not work with my old theme. I found the working theme list, but still just kept losing the sidebars all the time – the front page was fine, but navigating to any individual post meant the sidebars disappeared.

    Eventually, I downgraded back to the 2.3.3 version. Read a lot of comments about 2.5 being VERY slow as well – the last thing you need – from pre-release testers to live version.

    I have always looked forward to new releases and found the trend to be onwards and upwards, better, faster, longer as a rule, but this one has been a mixed bag to say the least.

    Think this time I will wait for the 2.5.1 or perhaps even 2.6 before I rush into an upgrade again.

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  11. @ryan
    I thought I was dumb when I was trying to rearrange the widgets in my sidebar. It was much more difficult than it was in wordpress 2.3.3
    I consoled myself that the difficulty I was experiencing was most likely due to the fact that I am a newbie to wordpress. This post has enlightened me.
    I pray something should be done about it. Some of us know next to nothing about coding. For now, I just want to write articles 😉

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  12. The new upload images feature is very buggy, I get all sorts of weird errors. I have heard others with similar issues, you should take a look into this.

    Otherwise, Im loving WP 2.5!

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  13. For me, the biggest problem in 2.5 is some HTML code is erased for no season when make a new post or modify an old post. Like I can’t put in the Amazon store link or Good Adsense link in the post anymore. Thats REALLY SUX!!

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  14. upgrade to2,5 on release day, had a couple of gallery image upload issues with IE7(only) – Now fixed, due to bug that was fixed, a week before the 2.5 was generally available.. (real shame for the early adopters without a test site.)
    All in good job…
    I too would like better widget management, and an option to switch between the new 2.5 to the old posting template, as I find it faster to post old style. With this new template I have to scroll more with my wide screen, but I do like the full screen mode.

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  15. On my not-live site I decided to try 2.5, from a 2.3.0 install- it’s slower than a Vic-20.

    I think I’ll look up 2.3.3 instead.. the output_compression is not enabled, thats not the problem. It’s just awful.

    Too bad, I like the newer admin section. Less fluff.

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  16. Ryan, first of all thanks to you and all the WP developers on making a really awesome and so-useful product available to publishers or would-be publishers all around the world with any level of technical background for free! You guys are great, and your work is great. I would though like to share my “two cents” with some of the other commenters here (As this seems to have become a place for that :p)

    I agree with Baris Unver, big issue there – leaving the “category selection” just to the right of the post writing area is a biggy. And also the problem with ‘Insert Images’ and ‘Insert Link’ in the visual editor: from what I have read on various WordPress forums, this wasn’t really an issue for Internet Explorer users so much maybe, but it was for me with Firefox 2.0.0.13 (although I since seem to have solved this WYSIWIG editing issues by using Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 4).
    At least using the FF2 browser, I also found some problems with the WYSIWIG “garbling” the contents of the post, something which a post by Matt had stated earlier would be fixed with 2.5. This might be OK though so far by using the beta Firefox 3.

    With all the complaints I have read about for WP 2.5 (and which I admit, I too had in the beginning), the more I use it, the more I find some things I like about it. For example, when editing a page in a Theme, the coloring highlights show you clearly exactly which page you are editing, the ‘Write a Post or Page’ right away is pretty good, and others.

    Keep up the great work! (And I would be glad to help you guys test WP elements, and share feedback with you along the development process).

    Thanks again.

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  17. I’ve got to say, after upgrading from 2.1, you’ve set WordPress back one full version with 2.5. Understandably, you’ve made these changes to make things better, and I appreciate that, but this edition made pointless tweaks. Case in point, I customized the old login screen with specific graphics in order to use Require Authentication plug-ins. In 2.5, you’ve completely changed the template, rendering those graphics, and the layout, useless. That creates needless work for end-users, and quite frankly makes my sites less attractive. And that’s just one of your changes out of countless. I love WordPress, but please, you didn’t need to become New Coke. I hope you get back on track going forward.

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  18. Should users at the Contributor level be able to view and edit pending posts for anyone, as well as edit and approve comments?

    I’d like the Contributor level to only be able to view posts they’ve written, and not have access to editing other’s posts and comments.

    Thanks!

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  19. I hate to comment like a sheep, but I’m also excited about 2.5.1 and 2.6 – I really need the image upload bug fixed…

    Otherwise, WP2.5 was a great release. Clean, sophisticated and QUICKER.

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  20. Hi, I like WP 2.5! The new backend is a step in the right direction. After such a major change there always will be things to fix.

    Human is bad at changing habits. You’ll all see: In about a year no one wouldn’t go back anymore… 😉

    To maintain the own site requires a bit of knowledge and/or motivation to learn. Computer science hasn’t reached the point yet where this is an automatic and effortless task.

    But I appreciate the WP-crew trying to work in this direction. So don’t just rant! As it is free to use it is free to not use too.

    Maybe it would be nice to warn people without ANY skills to instantly upgrade a new major release like 2.5. This could spare a lot of hassle.

    Thank you! Keep up the good work!

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  21. Generally I find the 2.5 a genuine improvement. But could we please have category selection section back to the sidebar, at the write page! It might as well be the logical place for the tags section.

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  22. Second point…I hate the way thumbnails are formatted now. I liked it when they were scaled down but the full image was maintained.

    In 2.5 the thumbnail defaults to an image 150 px x 150 px – is there a way to change this so thumbnails look the way they did in earlier versions?

    But overall, good stuff! 🙂

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  23. I love the way the 2.5 admin looks. However, my very first post on the 2.5 rel. already encountered image upload problem. I would very much appreciate if this bug can be fixed the soonest! Thanks guys!

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  24. I think it would be best if we could decide which options are displayed below the write box and which are displayed to the side. These options should be on the Settings > Writing page. For now, I use the Clutter-Free plugin to disable many options that our authors never use.

    I did notice upload image errors on 2.5 RC1, but they mysteriously disappeared even before I upgraded to the official release. Maybe that release was just more cranky.

    Overall, I am enjoying the lighter schemes, and the larger headers throughout the admin. 2.5 is nice.

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  25. I really look forward to what you guys plan for WordPress 2.6. I am sure that the gallery built into WP has a lot of potential. I still can’t rely on it though, since ZenPhoto has a more powerful set of functions that seem important (to me).

    Glad you could get some rest in SoCal! What a place for a vacation!

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  26. Good stuff in general, but im agree with everyone, widget system is annoying, categories back in the sidebar, bug for the upload image, but the most important, Its VERY SLOW !! I have a big content on my blog and its taking a little while to appear, thats not good for the my readers….

    But thanks for your work guys and keep rocking WP ! 🙂

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  27. There’s a long forum thread on UI annoyances in 2.5, most notably the categories and tags being stuck below the write area and forcing people to scroll down on every post. What’s awful is that we love most of the new features in 2.5, but the Write Post/Page UI is so bad that people are actually downgrading.

    It’d be great if someone from the dev team could take a look at that thread.

    Like

  28. Please get the category selection section back to the sidebar, at the ‘Write a bew post’ page!

    Yes, and also ‘Tags’ section, and also ‘Allow/disallow Pings/Comments’, etc.

    Now, the sidebar section is almost empty. Instead, almost everything is moved to the bottom of the ‘Write’ page, which creates unnecessary scrolling up and down. On what is based this strange decision, then? Same with ‘Write a new page’, and ‘Write a new link’.

    Sidebar contained almost everything of importance, when creating a new post page. We could write our main text at the left side of the screen, and use the settings in the sidebar to edit the date, category, etc. Now, instead, I have to scroll up and down all the time? This is not an interface usability improvement at all! 😦

    Thanks for listening! 🙂

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  29. There should really be done a clean up in where the configuration or setup pages of plugins end up, when some of them end up under “settings”, some under “manage” and some get their own menu, things can be a bit messy. What about having a “settings” under plugins where all of them end up? Would really clean it up easilly.

    Besides, activating the stuff on the dashboard as widgets, and giving the site owner an easy way of configuring it would allow the owner to get what he wants on the dash 😀

    4 weeks to next “svn update” 😀

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  30. 2.5 is a major step back. Lots of things just do not work anymore – most prominently the image uploader and manager that is broken in more than one place. Second the backend. The editor – being the piece of the software used the most – was way more usable and ergonomic in 2.3.3. To move the categories under the textfield so you cannot see them anymore leads to just forgetting to set a category.

    The image uploader needs seconds to open even on fast computers, the thumbnails are not rescaled, but downscaled with html-size-attributes, positioning does not work and so on…

    I’m back to 2.3.3 and if there are no heavy improvements to 2.5 AND no longer security updates for 2.3.3 I will definitely switch to another software.

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  31. I upgraded to 2.5 and all my pages return an error message ‘no posts match you criteria’ theres a thread in the wordpress support forums about it but no-one has come up with a solution yet. Its something to do with IIS and permalinks apparently.

    Is there plans to fix this and are the devs aware of it?

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  32. Yes! Great new features. Widget management is great too. Thank you guys! But, there is still no multilanguage options! I don’t like to use Gengo, it doesn’t work properly.

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  33. It’s entirely possible for PHP to fetch the updated files from WP.org itself and do an auto-update. I would help but the trackers near impossible to use.

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  34. I have to agree that placing most items below the writing area is very inconvenient. Maybe as a suggestion, make each item except the writing area movable to the sidebar or back, kind of like a widget?

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  35. I’m really surprised by all the negativity towards 2.5 here. The only “issue” I have is moving the contents of the sidebar to below the textarea on the Write page — yes, that wasn’t very good.

    But everything else is great. According to my site’s stats, 2.5 *is* faster than 2.3.3, no two ways about it. The new backend UI is much nicer and more logical (and easier on the eye!).

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  36. A few issues I have with WP 2.5:

    1) The image uploader has promise, but is slow and buggy at the moment. One odd element is how, after uploading an image, the options to add a description and insert it into a post vanish. You need to hit “Save all” then go to the Gallery tab for them to re-appear. Given how slowly the whole thing runs, that can take almost a minute.

    2) The check boxes for choosing categories should be moved back to the right sidebar. I often forget to add categories now, forcing me to edit posts in order to do so after the fact.

    3) Scheduled posts should show the time for which they are scheduled, on the Manage Posts screen

    4) Another bug I get sometimes is that comments are closed on new posts. I definitely hadn’t scrolled down that far, until it became necessary to edit the post so comments could be made.

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  37. It would be great if there was multilanguage function (like Gengo plugin) in new version of WP! Great blogging software! Thank you!

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  38. I would like to a custom color scheme button with auto reset. I manage three blogs and the default is horrible, with the classic not much better on my eyes.

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  39. I have to agree that moving the categories and other elements below the Write panel was a huge mistake. It has scuppered a previously simpl and usable workflow and it’s now painful to use compared to 2.3 and earlier. I’m really surprised by this change, it doesn’t really make much sense to me I must admit.

    The widgets panel now lacks a meaningful interface. This is also confusing compared to the previous version where it was easy to drag and drop. I can understand that maybe these changes were made so that non-javascript users can also use the screen, but it seems a shame to have lost some great drag-and-drop functionality which has been replaced by something, well, unnecessarily complicated.

    I’d be really interested to see the user analysis and usability studies that Happy Cog undertook to come to these design changes because I can’t really see a good case for changing what was previously a better, more functional interface.

    I’m posting this here after a quick google because a mod on the WordPress Feedback forum said we shouldn’t be using it for… posting feedback. Bit confused by that, I must confess!

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  40. I absolutely can’t stand that they moved the categories to underneath the posting box. How stupid? If anyone from WordPress is reading – please fix this now!

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  41. Guys, thank you for the hard work to maintain WP, you guys rock!

    But I must admit that the widget in 2.5 is confusing. I have multiple blogs in my site and I always get lost when rearrange my widgets. I can’t see what I’ve done to my widgets, I must go back and forth to check the widgets and see it on the live site to recheck. Really time consuming.

    I also find that the javascript code for adsense and shopping ads are breaking down everytime I put them in a post.

    I hope there will be fix on this issue in the next release.

    Thank you.

    Like

  42. Me and the new 2.5 interface definately have a love/hate relationship. It is more pleasing to the eyes, nicer dashboard, quick new page/post buttons on the dashboard, the addition of excerpts, easier to navigate, and faster, but it definitely has it’s drawbacks.

    1) Adding photos to a post just got 300% harder. When you click a photo, you have to wait for it to load (5 to 10 seconds), then if you haven’t uploaded the photo already you need to import it. Once you have imported it, it does NOT add it to the post, you have to then click the photo button AGAIN (5 to 10 seconds) and select your photo and insert it into the post.

    2) Widgets. Loss of functionality, less adequate. This isn’t that big of a deal because widgets are added only occasionally, but regardless, drag-n-drop is the way of the future, and WP just took a back-step.

    3) Moving Categories below editing area. This kinda pissed me off, and I saw this as a definitely MISTAKE. The categories should be moved back to the sidebar immediately. This change alone will result in many people forgetting to choose a category, with more posts in ‘uncategorized’ than anywhere else.

    4) Incomplete. One of the most crucial components to a new release candidate is compatibility and the capability to upload old data. Simple Tagging Import is broken, and has been for several releases without a fix, or any change to the file in months (the last change was a grammatical typo >:P). I personally cannot upgrade thanks to this problem. I have tried to debug it myself, but it’s non-functionality goes much deeper than it’s file (wp-admin/import/stp.php), and it returns false no matter what from the function wp_add_posts_tags(). I can’t upgrade until this is addressed, along with a lot of people. I have been suggested to upgrade to ‘Simple Tags’ plugin, however, the upgrade path from ‘Simple Tagging Plugin’ to ‘Simple Tags’ breaks the tags, and floods the ‘categories’ with thousands upon thousands of tags.

    5) Lack of a native feedback form. When making such a huge change to the interface, it is almost assumed that there would be a link within the dashboard, or even a form, to submit feedback to the development team. On the recieving end, there would be alot of duplicate feedback, so all you would do is tag every piece of feedback that comes in, and the most popular tags are then the most needed fixes.

    Regardless of my long post full of complaints, WordPress remains the best Open Source blogging system, I love it. Let’s just hope 2.6 addresses some of these obvious problems!

    Like

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