Upgrade to WordPress 2.5: Done.

I have upgraded to WordPress 2.5 on this blog. The process was simpler than I expected. One thing WordPress has done very well is ease the simplicity of upgrading. In this case, the lack of changes to the database schema made it even simpler upgrading 2.3.3 to 2.5 than any previous upgrade I’ve done. Summarized: remove the wp-admin and wp-includes directories, replace it w/ the wp-admin and wp-includes from the new version, copy over the updated files in the main WordPress folder, and then run the wp-admin/upgrade.php script. Done!

Of course, you’ll want to check your plugins before you upgrade. I had no trouble w/ the ones I use on this site (Akismet, MyTwitter, Contact Form 7, etc.)

One nice feature of the new version of WordPress is the built-in ability to update plugins automatically. On the new version of the WordPress Plugins screen, any plugin that needs updated will tell you and also provide a link to “upgrade automatically.” I tested it out for two plugins: I updated to the new MyTwitter 1.6 beta and the newest release of Contact Form 7.

The best change in WordPress 2.5 is the overhaul of the admin interface. It has a cleaner interface, improved post editor, better support for adding media to posts, improved tagging, and miscellaneous tweaks here and there.

If the enhanced features would improve your life and you’ve got about thirty minutes to spend upgrading it and testing out the new capabilities, I recommend giving WordPress 2.5 a try.

WordPress 2.5 Release

WordPress 2.5 has been released and is available for download at the WordPress site. Read the release information for the new update.

A short list of things to do before upgrading to WordPress 2.5:
Check for plugin compatability w/ the new version — before you upgrade, identify any plugins your site depends on for functionality. The WordPress Plugin Directory is the central location to look for plugins and compatibility. Currently, even “featured” plugins such as podPress don’t claim to be ready for 2.5.
Determine your aversion to risk — WordPress does a good job patching up security issues, but when a new version comes out the software could have new vulnerabilities that have yet to be discovered. 2.5.1 will inevitably follow within the coming weeks or months as new potential issues become known.
Weigh the benefits — WordPress 2.5 comes with a number of new features and changes including a redesigned admin Dashboard and Dashboard widgets, customizable admin templates/stylesheets, improved tag management, better password security, a new Shortcode API, and more.

Tips
• If you’ve got a decent webhost, install WordPress 2.5 in a test directory or domain (beta.example.com), install any plugins you need, and see if they work. It’s better to break a test site than to break your real site.
• Wait a few weeks — other people will run into problems w/ WordPress 2.5 and blog, comment, and post to forums about the solutions they have. If you wait, you’ll be able to learn from their mistakes and solutions before using valuable time and resources on problems you don’t need to have.

Your Experience
If you have any thoughts or comments regarding your experience w/ WordPress 2.5, feel free to share.

Wireless Audio w/ Airport Express and Airfoil for Windows or Mac

I recently acquired an Apple Airport Express with the intent of wirelessly broadcasting music/audio from my computer (one side of the room) to my home stereo system (other side of the room) using the AirTunes functionality. This has been a good solution for me as it’s designed for iTunes and that’s what I primarily use to play music on my computer.

iTunes Preferences - AirTunesFirst, you need to install the Airport Express. This can be a difficult process depending on your level of experience with wireless networking; if you’re having trouble, visit the Apple Support page for the AirPort. To use the device, begin by running the installation software that comes with the device (or download it from Apple) on your computer. You will also need to connect the Airport Express to your stereo; for this, you can either use a 1/8″ to RCA connector or 1/8″ to Optical/Toslink connector and hook it to your stereo receiver or other audio input.

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