What I would like to see in WordPress 2.5

WordpressThe much anticipated WordPress 2.5 is almost complete and ready for download. The feature list looks quite impressive, with a lot of focus being placed on the re-design of the backend interface.

Other new features include:

  • Widget-based dashboard
  • You should be able to have any number of any widget
  • Undo for comment editing
  • Search for both posts and pages

The list of new features looks very positive, but unfortunately it excludes the one feature that I want to see, and this is to do with custom fields. When adding a custom field it has to be done through a form placed right at the bottom of the backend forms.

I want a backend page dedicated to custom fields.

Let me explain what I want by using an example. Say I am creating a website for a rugby club. The rugby club website has post categories that include “Club News” and “Match Reports”. After creating those categories in the backend I want to click on my “Custom Fields” page and create and assign the fields “Contestants”, “Final Score”, “The Team”, “Man of the Match” to that category.

When I click “Write Post” and select the category “Match Reports” I want to immediately be presented with a form that not only has the fields “Title” and “Post“, but “Title“, “Post“, “Contestants“, “Final Score“, “The Team” and “Man of the Match“.

Make sense? Wouldn’t that make it far easier for an end user that has very limited web knowledge.

Currently, if I have custom fields on my site I have to select the field I want to add content to from a drop down box that displays all my custom fields in one long list, not category specific. At the very bottom of the page.

Explaining this procedure to a client is difficult to say the least, It’s also hard for my client to remember what custom fields he/she must add to his/her post in Category “X”.

Wordpress Custom Fields

The rather daunting looking custom fields box.

I know I could hack the backend template pages to do this, but it time consuming and prone to error, especially when upgrading WordPress every couple months.

Until WordPress places more emphasis on custom fields, I think Expression Engine, and especially the soon to be 2.0 version, has a huge competitive advantage. Make sure you check out the demo video clip of the new backend interface for EE Version 2.0 that was shown at SXSW this month.

Please, please WordPress developers take note of this as I’d love to choose WordPress over Expression Engine for all my client projects, and I’m sure a lot more web designers would as well.

Let me know your thoughts.

By Mark Forrester

Co-founder of WooThemes. Makers of WooCommerce - acquired by Automattic. Mark is a husband, dad, early stage investor, photographer, gadget geek and sports fanatic. Proudly based in Cape Town, South Africa.


  1. Chris M: Yeah I’m looking forward to the new features of WordPress 2.5, but I can’t say I’m that excited about it. I want to see a WordPress 3.0.

    Thanks for the compliments re: Live Wire. Its going to rock! Looking forward to launching it very soon!

    Paul: Looking forward to working on Expression Engine with ya one of these days.

    BTW nice website 😉

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