As most of your blogging dudes are probably aware of, yesterday marked the release date of the awaited and highly publicized new 2.3 WordPress version, dubbed “Dexter”, after a famous saxophonist. Some real neat new features where implemented so I soon grabbed a copy and installed a 2.3 WP on a remote host.

Is it innovating in any way? Not at all, but it’s now more safe, faster and better SEO wise, thanks to the native tagging, although I’m not so thrilled about it; and I’ll tell you why soon enough. Here’s a few of the main adjustments made:

1. Native tagging. You don’t have to install a tagging pluging now, it’s all built-in the system and ready, you can even make a tag cloud too. What I don’t like about it is that it’s a lot more limited then the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin. Namely you can’t control and edit your tags as with the UTW and especially you can’t embedded tags anymore, a feature that I use extensively on my other blogs. Other then that it’s really great, a lot of blogs out there don’t use a tagging plugin, so a built in one will more then certain help.

2. Update notifiers. Now, thanks to the new WP API, you’ll be notified if any new version of a plugin your using is available, so you don’t have to manually check them each time. This is really great.

3. Conical URLs. That means that you can choose to enforce non-www or www preferences, redirect changed slug posts (bye 404). This is a excellent feature, it will improve blogs SEO rankings by a bundle. You can read more about conical URLs here.

4. New user level. Now you can grant a particular user the “Contribuitor” privilages. That means that someone can write a post (don’t know if he can upload anything, haven’t tried it yet, but will hollar back) and submit it for reviewing. You can then, as the admin, approve or not the post. Great for multi-author blogs.

5. Advanced WYSIWYG. This new improved functionality now allows to access some features of TinyMCE that were previously hidden.

Other features worth mentioning include: new jQuery which is “800% faster,” full and complete Atom 1.0 support, the importers have been revamped to be more memory efficient and a lot lot more.

Do I recommend a upgrade? Hell ya, won’t take you too long and the reward  is a faster and more optimized blog.

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