What’s Coming in WordPress 3.0 (Features)


Syed Balkhi and Amanda Roberts of WPBeginner attended WordCamp Miami this past weekend on February 20th. After sitting through Jane Well’s presentation and talking with her after her speech, we have decided to share with the WPBeginner community what is coming in WordPress 3.0 in terms of features.

WordPress 3.0 is projected to be released on May 1st, the same day as WordCamp San Francisco. Feature freeze is pushed to March 1st, 2010 at which point there will not be any new feature requests taken (Only Bug Fixes).

WordPress 3.0 Features

As we mentioned that Feature freeze is on March 1st, therefore this list will contain only major features that we are fairly certain will make into WordPress Version 3.0.

Merge of WordPress MU + WordPress.org

For those of you who do not know what WordPress MU is, you do not need to worry at all. WordPress MU is a similar platform to WordPress except it allows users to run multiple sites under one installation. WordPress.com is running on WordPress MU code base. Matt Mullenweg announced the merge news during WordCamp San Francisco 2009. After a year of hard work, Automattic staff and WordPress core developers finally did it.

What does this mean for you?

You can now have multiple sites in one installation. For example we can have showcase.wpbeginner.com with one WordPress installation if we want. What are the possible outcomes? If you have one site now, and you do not want to add more sites later that is perfectly OK. Nothing will change for you. If you are running on WordPress MU, after the upgrade your sites will remain the same. Nothing will change for you.

The bottom line is that nothing will change if you don’t want it to change. This feature is just an add-on that will help users who want to have multiple sites. It will also help WordPress MU users because this will allow them to use all WordPress.org plugins without hacking them.

Domain Mapping – If you are a WordPress MU user, or if you have used WordPress.com in the past, you know that there is a way to have top level domains for your network sites. WordPress.com allows users to upgrade their subdomains to a custom domain. This feature will NOT be included in the core. You can still use the plugin to make it work.

Cross Network Search – If you do decide to have numerous sites under one install, cross network search is not a built-in feature. It may become a core feature in the future, but in WordPress 3.0 this will not be possible. Although you can still use the plugin to make it work.


WordPress 3.0 Screenshot

Custom Post Types

There was a big hype about this feature when WordPress 2.9 was being released. Due to some technical difficulties, this feature did not make it in. Well the wait is over because it will be included in WordPress 3.0. Combining Post Types and Taxonomies will make WordPress a much more robust CMS option. This feature will allow you to have different type of posts for example Portfolio listings, Products, and then Normal posts.

Note: This feature is not to replace the use of categories. You should still use categories. This feature will allow a different way of sorting/display and enable other CMS options in WordPress.

Preview: First Impression of WordPress Post Types by Frank of WPEngineer

Better Navigation Menus

Custom Woo Navigation will be included to the core in this release in order to allow for better menu management. This menu system has the drag and drop ease of the widget management screen, it could combine Pages, Categories, and Links. It also allows the ability of re-ordering, along with submenus, and hiding specific Pages or Categories from the menu altogether.


This will be a great addition to the WordPress core and it will be very helpful for users. Thank you Woo Staff for contributing this system to the core.

New Default Theme 2010

Bye Bye Kubrick Theme. Welcome 2010. WordPress 3.0 will come with a new default theme known as 2010. From this year on, the goal is to have a new theme for every year. Wondering what the new 2010 theme would look like?

You can check out the live version of this theme by clicking on the image above.

The theme has Custom header, Custom Background, Clean Design, Multiple Widget Areas, Cascading Menus and a lot more.

Custom Background Support

Support for custom background can be called by adding this line in your functions.php:


Once you add that code, you will see a screen in your admin panel that will let you upload a custom background image which will replace the default grey background. It will only work in this theme and other themes that support this feature.

Author Specific Templates

We know that in WordPress 2.9 there was an option added which allowed designers to create category templates using the slug fore example category-slug.php. In WordPress 3.0, you can create specific templates for each author. The function get_author_template(); has been expanded in wp-includes/theme.php.

In WordPress 3.0, you would be able to name files like author-syed.php.

Ability to Choose Username When Installing WordPress

As of now, WordPress automatically assigns the first user with the username “admin”. If you have read our 13 vital tips to protect WordPress Admin Area, or sat through any of Syed’s Security Presentations, you would know the importance of this feature. Now the hackers cannot guess your username because it will no longer be “admin”. Before those who did not change their default username were helping the hackers by giving them half the answer.

Welcome Guide in Every Installation

In the past, WordPress always lacked something which was very crucial. A welcome guide which would help users get familiar with using WordPress. Many users complained regarding this issue, so in WordPress 3.0 there will be a Welcome Guide to guide new users.

Canonical Plugins

Have you used a plugin that you loved, and the author discontinued providing support. No bug fixes, no upgrades, and the plugin initially breaks in newer versions. This is a common issue therefore with WordPress 3.0 there is a mission that Jane Wells is carrying which is to unite the plugin authors and come up with canonical plugins. Canonical plugins are developed by a community instead of one developer, so if one person steps down, the plugin does not die.

Lets hope this idea works because it will be great for the community.

To stay updated with WordPress Development follow: http://wpdevel.wordpress.com/