Cool new features in WordPress 3.1

WordPress really is the bomb. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted for hosting my own blog, and yet the new features keep coming. I’m loving the admin bar that appears across the top of the page when you’re logged in – makes it so much easier to jump into Dashboard features.

While I’m at it, not 3.1 related, but the Android app for WordPress is awesome too, letting me submit draft posts back to my site which I can pick up later when I’m back at a keyboard. Brilliant.

Enabling chrooted sftp access for WordPress automatic upgrades

Create wordpress user specifically for the auto update and add the user to the www-data group:

  • sudo adduser wordpress
  • sudo adduser wordpress www-data

chgroup the wordpress dir to the www-data group:

  • sudo chgrp -R www-data /var/www/wordpress

Add the following to /etc/ssh/ssd_config to chroot the wordpress user to the wordpress directory:

Match User wordpress
ChrootDirectory /var/www/wordpress
AllowTCPForwarding no
X11Forwarding no
ForceCommand /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server

Restart the sshd service:

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

Setup the sftp userid and password in the wordpress settings and select sftp.

Switched to WordPress for my blog

Wow, where to begin. I just spent a couple of weeks messing around with Joomla, installing templates and installing/configuring extensions and I got to the point where I had things setup as I wanted. It was a bit of effort to get there, but it was still an incremental improvement from my own home-grown blog software that I’d been using since around 2002.

Someone at work mentioned to have a look at WordPress. Wow. I am stunned. It’s beautiful. It does everything I need, straight out of the box. Easy to install and configure, everything works. Has all the features I was looking for:

  • menus and categories
  • layout templates
  • tagging and tag clouds

Simple needs, but stuff I wanted to use without too much messing around. I like it. Sorry Joomla, I think you’re a couple of years behind where you need to be.