The WordPress development team is on the home stretch to releasing the next milestone! WordPress 2.3 is scheduled for an official release on September 20, and right now they are looking for people to test out the first Beta.

Before we tell you what’s new in WordPress 2.3 we wanted to clarify that this is a Beta release of the blogging platform. It probably shouldn’t be used on any production sites, and the development team has requested that those who participate in the Beta feel "comfortable troubleshooting PHP issues, filing tickets, and backing up your data religiously." Not only that but the new version might possibly break some of your existing plugins.

Okay, here’s a sneak peek at WordPress 2.3 features:

  • Tag Posts
    WordPress 2.3 Tags
  • Import Ultimate Tag Warrior (UTW) tags or convert select categories to tags
    WordPress 2.3 Import UTW Tags
  • Improved Post and Draft Management using filters
  • Improved publishing workflow with a new post status of Pending Review
  • WordPress and plugins upgrades available notification
  • Terms tables (combined post categories/link categories/tags)
  • Canonicalize more URLs
    WordPress 2.3 Permalinks
  • Upgrade to "800% faster" jQuery (1.1.4), and some parts of the WordPress dashboard have been converted to jQuery.
  • MovableType/TypePad and WordPress Importers memory usage has been greatly improved
  • Several bundled libraries were updated to the latest versions. TinyMCE is now at, Prototype is at 1.5.1, and is at 1.7.1 beta 2. More updates to and an update for TinyMCE Spellchecker are on the way.
  • The files in wp-admin were reorganized to make things easier to find.

The new tagging system is a bit of a disappointment right now. It’s extremely basic, and I would have liked to see it recommend existing tags based upon the content of the article. Not only that but there is no way to know what tags you’ve already created, which makes it hard to know whether I’ve already created a similar tag.

After WordPress 2.3 is released in about 3-weeks work will begin on the next version. There was some discussion in the mailing list about bumping the version number up to "3." Mark Jaquith, a contributing developer to WordPress, had this to say about WordPress 3:

There is one nice solution for the "marketing problem" that I keep throwing out there every couple months: WordPress 2008. Do it like a sports video game franchise does it. For multiple releases within a year, we can do WordPress 2007.2 or WordPress 2007b. This works well with our new 4-month cycle. And people will be made aware of exactly how long it has been since they’ve upgraded.

The problem with skipping numbers is that before you know it, you’re shipping WordPress 14.5, which just reeks of version inflation. What makes good marketing sense for 2.2-to-3.0 bites you in the ass down the road.

My first choice, though is to stick with 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 until we’re ready to rewrite 50% of the code and really break stuff for a groundbreaking, spoon-bending, mind-blowing 3.0 release.

So don’t expect to see WordPress 3 anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that the development team won’t be adding new features in the upcoming versions. Keeping with their 4-month release schedule, WordPress 2.4 is currently scheduled for December 12, 2007 and WordPress 2.5 is expected on April 1, 2008.

Get WordPress 2.3 Beta 1