Just a few short hours after I posted my WordPress review, version 2.5 was released. Of course this is a very major update, and of course my review is for version 2.3 (the prior version — there is no 2.4).

The new release offers, among other improvements: simpler plugin updating, easier gallery creation, a much better Dashboard (admin panel), enhanced security features, full-screen writing capability, a better WYSIWYG editor, and better searching capability (that now indexes static pages in addition to posts). Check out the full list of improvements here.

I just completed the upgrade. It installed flawlessly. The changes to the admin panel are indeed very substantial. It’ll take some time to get used to. The automatic plugin updating is quite nice, I have to say. Also, the Dashboard ‘start’ page is much more useful than the previous version.

The only minor problem I’ve noticed so far is that the WP Archive widget named has changed from ‘Archives’ to ‘Archive.’ This is significant if you use image replacement for the widget title — you’ll have to update your CSS to reflect the new name.

I also noticed that the new wp-config.php is different from previous versions, so be sure to use this updated file (this file hasn’t changed in a long while, so I’m guessing that many people are in the habit of keeping their existing config file during upgrades).

The easiest way to do this is to copy over your old MySQL settings (user name, password, database name) into the new file (which is called ‘wp-config-sample.php’), delete the old config file, then delete the word ‘sample’ from the wp-config-sample.php file.

The difference in this file is the addition of a secure key field. Enter a long, complicated key in this field as indicated (no need to remember it). This is part of a new secure cookie encryption protocol.

I’ll add my thoughts on this new version when I post the RapidWeaver Vs. WordPress final wrap-up.