WordPress 2.6: quick tips

The new WordPress 2.6 perfects most of the features introduced in 2.5 and adds several big enhancements. A nice security enhancement is the full support for SSL in the the admin area, ensuring all data sent from the browser to the server and back is encrypted.

To take full advantage of it, everybody should enter not one but three “Secret Keys” in their wp-config.php file. More details are available on Ryan’s blog.

Another security improvement is the disabling by default of the Atom Publishing and the XML-RPC protocols. This is more of a “locking of the back door when we know nobody is coming through there” kind of thing, not a “security guards with dogs”. However these protocols are used by the off-line blog editors and by some plugins, so if you have one of these, make sure to enable the protocol you need from the Settings screen.

A new improvement is the ability to add captions to all images. Just enter some text in the Caption field on the Insert Image dialog and a caption will be added both in the editor and on the blog. To show the captions on the blog correctly, a few CSS styles may need to be added to your current theme’s style.css file. These styles are in both the Default and Classic themes’ style.css and are as follows:

div.aligncenter {
    display: block;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;

.alignleft {
    float: left;

.alignright {
    float: right;

.wp-caption {
    border: 1px solid #ddd;
    text-align: center;
    background-color: #f3f3f3;
    padding-top: 4px;
    margin: 10px;
    -moz-border-radius: 3px;
    -khtml-border-radius: 3px;
    -webkit-border-radius: 3px;
    border-radius: 3px;

.wp-caption img {
    margin: 0;
    padding: 0;
    border: 0 none;

.wp-caption p.wp-caption-text {
    font-size: 11px;
    line-height: 17px;
    padding: 0 4px 5px;
    margin: 0;

Of course these styles can be edited to suit your theme. A nice way of editing CSS styles is to use FireFox with FireBug. When changing styles there, it would show you immediately how the look changes, and when everything looks good, just copy/paste the edited styles to your style.css file (don’t forget to check them in Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera too).

Editing image captions should be very intuitive. Clicking on the Edit button that pops up when you click on an image in the editor would open the newly enhanced Edit Image dialog that has the same options as the Insert Image one. It would let you align, resize, change the title, link or caption for the image. There is also an advanced tab that has more options.

Images with captions can also be aligned with the Align Left, Align Center, Align Right buttons on the editor’s toolbar. In FireFox and Internet Explorer, the images and the captions can be resized by dragging the corners, however that’s not recommended since most images don’t look very well after using this method. Best is to select the right size image when inserting it.

Trying to move an image that has a caption by dragging it doesn’t work (yet). Currently there’s no support for dragging in the editor. Since all modern browsers seem to support dragging better, it won’t be long before that will work well too.

Another nice enhancement is the “Turbo” (top-right corner on the dashboard). Behind it is a new browser plugin – Gears. Currently it only works in FireFox and Internet Explorer, soon in Safari.

In WordPress, Gears captures all “static” files (images, css and JavaScript) from the admin area to the computer’s Hard Disk. This eliminates needless connections to the server when these files are needed. That makes page loading quite “snappier” for people with fast connections and much faster when Internet is congested or the connection is slow.

After enabling Gears it would download about 200 small files (just over 1MB in total) to your Hard Disk. Any errors during the download usually mean that some files in WordPress haven’t been installed properly. The best way to fix this is to delete the wp-admin and wp-includes directories and upload fresh copies from the installation package.

10 thoughts on “WordPress 2.6: quick tips

  1. Hi,
    you helped me when no one else could!!!
    Thank you so much for this tip!
    I don’t know why wordpress did not mention about adding the style information to the theme’s stylesheet.
    Thanks again.

  2. I would absolutely love for this function to work. I’ve added the code to my theme’s style.css and nothing. Same problem every time. Captions look great in the edit pane, but the code spills out around the photo when its published. I wouldn’t mind editing the html each time I use a caption, but nothing seems to work in there. Any thoughts?

  3. Pingback: Waarom wil je upgraden naar WordPress 2.6 | Enthousiasmeren

  4. Pingback: vrypan|net|weblog » WP 2.6 image captions + CSS

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