A beta version of the next version of WordPress has recently been released, you can test it but you shouldn’t use it on a live website. If you don’t have the time, I tested it for you, so here are the new functions coming in WordPress 3.0.

1. Meet Twenty Ten: the new default theme

Kubrick has been the default theme for WordPress since the beginning of the blog engine, it was definitly time to change it. Done!

2. New step in the installer

This not only makes it easier to remember your login information, it also lets you know if your password is too weak and helps you to get rid of the “admin” first username, thus making it harder to guess what the first user’s login is. A small change that helps to improve the security of your blog.

3. Create custom content types

This one looks a lot like Drupal’s CCK, basically it allows you to create new kinds of content. You can set a number of arguments to this new function that makes WordPress much more flexible, see how to create custom content types.

4. Custom menu system

Another step towards the CMS for WordPress, this new functionality makes it very easy to create custom menus mixing categories, pages or custom urls.

5. WordPress merges with WordPress MU

Want to create your own blog network? It become much easier with WordPress integrating the multi-users version’s functionalities. See how to enable this here.

6. Custom background from the admin

Not a huge feature, but you can now go in your admin to change your blog’s background color or image.

7. Author templates

The author pages templating becomes easier and works pretty much like categories templating now.

8. Admin UI improvements

Some minor visual and functional improvements have been applied to the admin.