John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Wordpress 2.5 - take your time upgrading?

Usually it is best to wait a few weeks after a major software upgrade, to enjoy relative stability while your friends on the bleeding edge tear their hair out over bugs and gitches. Wordpress 2.5 is no exception. After a couple trials, I can say:

  • Post Slugs Are Gone. (Note: this has been updated after Claudius posted a great comment, below). Those wonderful SEO assisters have been mangled renamed in 2.5. They are still there, but hidden… until after you title a post, and move on to another field, when they slowly reappear (ajax fade in) as a small-print permalink between the title field and the content box. Not obvious, and it doesn’t appear unless you have already conifigured WordPress to use a custom permalink structure. This will take a little getting used to, but at least the editable permalink idea is strengthened.
  • AJAXy Enough to Make You Cry: Can you say heavy? Can you say toad-slow interface? Okay so I still like Firefox 1.5, but seriously, is it necessary to have so much javascipt on every page load? I love the way they say the new editor won’t mess up your code… and it does. So I truned it off.. like always. But now I am having trouble tolerating the little hesitations that happen CONSTANTLY now as AJAX phones home. WP used to slow down when I clicked… now it slows down as I type. Yuck.
  • Editors Get All The Credit? Edit a post some author wrote and viola.. you are now the author! Sweet!
  • Prepare to Scroll Like You’ve Never Scrolled Before: It’s is definietly more work to use Wordpress 2.5. More clicks, more scrolling, more moing the mouse around the screen. Not sure why. I think it’s got something to do with getting better, but I’m not sure I understand that part yet.
  • Start Building Those Backlinks All Over Again: (Updated: Since the editable permalinks are there this is no longer the problem that is appeared to be, as long as you have customized your permalink settings and you pay attention to the small print beneath the title edit box). If you think that first comment about post slugs was subtle, think about what it will mean to migrate a blog to this new version and not be in control of the URLs. You will go insane trying to align your existing inlinks with the new URLs. Don’t even look for dupes.. you won’t find peace there, either. But thats ok, you can simply choose to WAIT and not migrate the old blog, until WP 2.5 is fixed, right? Well, some people who didn’t use page slugs upgraded, and guess what? If you had used at least one known permalink structure, you’re hosed. Those page URLs are gone… and according to a poster on the WP forum, you’ll simply have to choose a new permalink structure (and throw away your existing backlinks)..mmmmkay?

Oh, one more thing. Wait. The only big disaster I can see possibly coming is if the Wordpress exploit going around only gets fixed in 2.5, forcing everyone to upgrade to 2.5 or remain vulnerable. Please, please, please don’t let that happen.

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5 Responses to “Wordpress 2.5 - take your time upgrading?”

  1. Dan - Life Coaching Says:

    Well, I have to say I’m so glad that I subscribe to your feed - I was all set to upgrade this morning and now I’ll be happily waiting, safe in the knowledge that my current setup works well and all my plugins are dandy!

    Thanks for trying it out first!

  2. Stuart Says:

    Yeah me too - I just downloaded 2.5 to do a fresh install as part of a client’s new site where SEO is important and it’s going to need to load fast … so now it’s time to go digging in my files for an old copy of 2.3

    Thanks for the heads-up Jon

  3. PaulH Says:

    will wait for the few minor pacthes to be released, also with 2.5 the few plugins i use need small tweaks, best to wait for plugin authors to catchup.

    @PaulH: Yes, I agree, and I note that at least one bundled theme i was using fails to perform properly under 2.5.

  4. Claudius Says:

    Hey John, I just saw that you can in fact edit the post slug before publishing the post, simply write a new post, enter the post title, then click to the text editing area, and within a second or so you’ll get the post slug underneath the title box.

    @Claudius: Good news. I didn’t expect it to be more than a UI problem (because that’s the big change in 2.5 admin console), but I don’t recall seeing it at all when I was writing. Now I see they have eliminated the idea of a “post slug” (which was bizarre terminology anyway), and included it as an editable permalink (via that small text link you discovered) if you have customized your permalink structure.

    I hope many of these “issues” will trun out to simply be “differences” instead of problems, like this one.

  5. Barry Welford Says:

    It’s always enlightening to read your take on situations, John. I’ve migrated all my blogs without a hitch and so far enjoying the experience enormously. Luckily none of the problem conditions you’ve highlighted are a problem for me. But you point out the important fact that Buyer should always beware. It’s good that you make us think. :)

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