WordPress 3 review

WordPress, the web’s most successful blog publishing platform, recently went to version 3. It’s the first full point upgrade in five years, so for fans of the package that’s a pretty big deal.

If you’ve never used it before, version 3 is a great point to jump on board. We should point out that WordPress 3 isn’t, strictly speaking, a Mac application. It’s a web application, built in PHP but it will run on your Mac because OS X has Apache Web Server built in. In effect, WordPress runs on Apache. You’ll also need to install MySQL (from dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/).

So far, so complicated. But the point of WordPress isn’t really its simplicity (though it does simplify the process of publishing a dynamic website). The real point of WordPress is its power. Fans will tell you that it’s so much more than a blogging tool. We agree. WordPress is the most accessible, free content management system (CMS) on the web.

Once installed, it’s relatively easy to configure a blog and quickly begin posting. But you can also configure it to post static pages and use it to power any website. A theme system enables you to change the look and feel of that site in just a few clicks. Alternatively, you can create your own themes using PHP code snippets, HTML and CSS.

OUR VERDICT

Version 3 boasts several new features. A lighter admin theme is the most noticeable, straight after installation. The program’s theme API has also been expanded so that you can more easily add menus, custom backgrounds and headers to your own themes. Perennial upgraders will appreciate the bulk updater, which enables you to automatically update multiple plug-ins, themes and WordPress itself simultaneously. It’s a meaty update worth upgrading to.

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