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WordPress 3.0 is more than just the next in a long line of WordPress releases. It will see the merging of WordPress with WordPress MU (multi-user), which lets you run as many blogs as you like with a single install, a move that’s been widely welcomed by the blogging community. Besides this major advancement, however, little has been announced about any further updates to WordPress 2.9. Messageboards are currently awash with demanding bloggers, listing the new features they most want to see and the plugins they want shifted into core. Below you’ll find the 9 new features that are most in demand.

1. Multi-Domain Support

The merging of WordPress and WordPress MU has not really been designed with the common blogger in mind. It’s been made to suit large organizations like universities who want to offer blogs to all their students under one domain. Multi-domain support, whereby users can manage blogs with different domains from one back-end, is easily the one change that most people are calling for. The merge with MU could prove to be the best possible time for some type of multiple domain capability to be included

2. A New Theme

Many people are calling for a new default theme to be added to WordPress 3.0. Users are getting bored with the current offering. Some people are even calling for a skeleton default theme, which can easily be tailored to suit individual needs. The idea of having a default theme that’s better suited to non-blog sites is also particularly popular.

3. Improved Back-End

We want a new, quicker-to-load-and-run back-end to WordPress, and preferably one that’s theme-able.

In particular need of attention are the settings and tools tabs, which can quickly get overrun with links from plugins, which tend to be ordered in an entirely haphazard way. Furthermore, it would be great to be able to try out the back-end of a new theme for a period of a few weeks, without visitors seeing a change to the site.

4. Page and Post Reordering

Reordering pages should surely be easier than it is now. A drag and drop page editor, for reordering, is long overdue. Many users have over 1,000 posts in their blog, which quickly become unmanageable. There should be tools available for arranging them thematically for readers.

5. Increased Security

Unsurprisingly, improved security features are high up on many bloggers’ list of priorities. With MU as standard, security might well become even more of an issue. Improved registration, with admin configurable registration features and compulsory extra fields would be great. Furthermore, lots of people are not happy with the way WordPress transmits and stores passwords in plain text.

6. Integration with Canonical Plugins

A relatively new idea, canonical plugins are developed by communities rather than individuals and are designed to address the most common problems in the most exceptional manner. These canonical plugins will be a true extension of WordPress core and people want to ensure that they’re integrated effectively into the latest WordPress release.

7. Galleries

The subject of image galleries pops up very regularly when discussing the most wanted features for 3.0. People want to have the same power over their image content as they currently have over their written content, and quite right too! There are numerous conflicting demands, but most people simply want some type of Flickr look-alike. Being able to share your albums with other users is also a popular idea.

Image Manipulation

Besides galleries, there’s a strong feeling in the WordPress community that the current method of uploading images is far too restricting and needs a serious overhaul. There is no reason, for instance, why the source code is linked to each image automatically or why WordPress automatically selects a different size image from the original when you upload it. Surely we need custom image sizes ? not just thumbnails, medium and large.

9. A Built In Welcome

Many WordPress users are still harboring a grudge over how difficult they found it to set up their site when they first registered. It would be great if there was a built-in “Welcome to WordPress” guide for first time users, allowing them to change settings, add profiles, edit comment options, add widgets, pick themes and more, with the ability to skip quickly through if necessary.

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