Announcing WordPress 1.5

Posted February 17, 2005 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Releases.

(This is my favorite part of what I do.) To the 12,126 of you who have already downloaded WordPress 1.5, congrats for being on the ball. We had a “soft launch” on Monday the 14th while we worked out some infrastructure issues and we’re now very ready to announce WordPress 1.5 to the world. This release is named “Strayhorn” in honor of Billy Strayhorn the pianist and sublime composer who worked closely with Duke Ellington and wrote tunes like “Take the A Train” and “Lush Life.” We thought he was perfect to represent the power and elegance of this release, which has been under intense development and testing the past few months.

If you’re ready to get right to the meat, go download WordPress and don’t forget to read the installation or upgrade instructions. If you’d like to know more about the release, please make yourself comfortable and read on, we’ve got a lot to share.

1.5 has been our most user-focused development ever: we’ve listened closely to your requests, complaints, praise, pleas, and we’ve done our best to address these both in the core and through enabling plugin authors more flexibility. Any sentence that started “I love WordPress except for…” was fuel for the fire. Here are the key areas we addressed with in Strayhorn:

Templates and Site Customization

In the past the template system was simple to grasp but complicated to extend, especially if you wanted to create different templates for different sections of your site. In 1.5 we have created an incredibly flexible theme system that adapts to you rather than expecting you adapt to it. You can have your entire weblog run through a single file, just like before, or you can literally have a different template for every single different category. It’s as much or as little as you want. We’ve also broken common site elements like headers, footers, and sidebars into their own files so you can make a change in one place and see it everywhere immediately. As a quick example of how easy the new system is, let’s say that you ported your old template to a 1.5 theme and then decided that you wanted your permalink pages to work differently than your front page, simply drop a file called single.php into your directory and WordPress will automatically use it instead of the main template when on a permalink page. That’s it.

Of course we wanted to showcase the new flexibility with a new theme that took full advantage of it and was aesthetically pleasing to boot, so the new default theme for WordPress is the beautiful Kubrick by Michael Heilemann. For people who want to get their feet wet but not build a theme or design from scratch, Kubrick provides a fantastic foundation that has already inspired quite a bit of creativity. You can switch between themes with a single click.

Control Your Comments

For many comments are the best part of weblogging, they enable easy and transparent interaction to take place between you the author and your audience. However some unsavory characters have made this open interaction more of a burden than a blessing. WordPress 1.5 aims to bring the joy back to comments. First we’ve made everything much more secure by default using a new option we call “emergent registration” or “automatic whitelisting.” What it does is the first time someone comments they are automatically held in moderation unless you’ve approved something from them before. This means that your regular visitors don’t have to wait for you to manually approve each comment they make, thus slowing down the conversation, but you still can ensure that a drive-by comment vandal will never show up on your site. This is enabled by default, so that also means if you forget about your blog for a little while you won’t come back to find your domain a nest of spam (which begets more spam). This works for trackbacks and pingbacks too, and we even go the extra step of whitelisting domains that are in your blogroll.

Everything In Moderation

Many of you let us know that the moderation feature of WordPress was working great in catching your spam, but you still had to deal with spam even though it never got on your site. Well first we streamlined the comment management tools so it’s really easy to deal with hundreds or thousands of comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks at once, but we also added a blacklist option. There has been some really disgusting spam going around, and most of us can be certain that under no circumstances would we want some terms on our website, unlike moderation which is for things that may be risque but may also occur in a normal conversation. When something hits your blacklist you never even have to see it. (Even though we do save it for later analysis.) We’ve also added code for checking for insecure proxies, which how the large majority of spammers leave comments while hiding their identity, which we now block by default.

Conversation Registration

Finally we’ve integrated our user system and comment system much closer. You can now specify that you only want comments from people that have verified their email and registered on your weblog, without any dependencies or having to share any data with third-party external systems. We revamped the registration and login system to make this as seamless and easy as possible. When someone is logged in we also tweak the comment form just for them. You could combine this with something like the plugin that hides posts from lower-level users and have a very well-protected weblog.

Manage More Than Your Blog

Another thing we observed and heard was that you wanted to use the elegant WordPress interface to manage more of your content than just your blog. In other systems people would get around limitations by making everything a post and playing with templates in bizarre ways, which you can do with WordPress too, but sometimes you don’t want a template or another post—you want a page. In 1.5 we added the “pages” feature which allows you to run your entire site through WordPress, if you want. For example, you could create a page called “About” and it would be automatically added to your sidebar and the link would be example.com/about/ and then you could create a sub-page of that called “My Dog” which would live at /about/my-dog/. You can have two pages or a thousand, manage your blog and a few photo pages or an entire corporate intranet 20 levels deep.

Keep Up With the Latest

The new Dashboard feature in your admin panel keeps you up to date with the latest happenings on your blog and the most important news from around the WordPress world, keeping you connect to the latest developments, updates, news, and enhancements.

There’s More Still…

There are tons of things that for whatever reason just aren’t right for the core WordPress distribution, but that’s okay. You want us to stay small and fast and we want you to have every feature you could possibly imagine, which is why we’ve expanded the internal API for plugin developers to use by hundreds of “hooks” into the very deepest parts of WordPress. Plugins can now integrate with the rest of the administration interface easily and do more then they ever could before. We’ve also created a great collaborative enviroment for plugin developers to create plugins just like WordPress is developed, and moving forward we’ll be creating an easy user interface for you to find and use the hundreds of plugins available for WordPress.

Under the Hood

In addition to all of the features above, we made significant improvements and optimizations to core pieces of WordPress code, following our “Code is Poetry” mantra. Amazingly, if you remove the extra templates we ship with now, this release of WordPress is actually smaller than 1.2, despite adding dozens of new features. Our testing team gave the code a thorough workout too — hundreds and hundreds of bugs have been fixed since 1.2.2. WordPress is now leaner, faster, and more secure then ever before, and we’re committed to continuing that trend.

Go Get It!

This has been the longest announcement post we’ve ever done, and we still haven’t covered half of what’s great about 1.5, for example built-in podcasting support. The best way to get the Strayhorn experience is just to dive in and download it. After all, the price is right. I apologize if I gushed a little, I’m just so excited and proud of what the WordPress team has done that’s hard to contain my enthusiasm. I’m really proud to be part of something so many of you are choosing to make a part of your lives.

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  1. Pre-emptive congrats to the WordPress team

    This is a pre-emptive congratulations to the creators & maintainers of WordPress. I’m about to leave the office, and while I’m on the train the WordPress Download Counter
    is going to tick over 500,000. And this is only downloads sinc…

    Trackback from Development on a Shoestring on August 18, 2005

  2. […] Bueno, pues tras varios meses pasando del blog, de 4 intrusiones en mi servidor y de una layout que fallaba por todas partes (en IE ni te cuento), me he decidido a dar el gran paso: actualizar a la versión 1.5.2, aplicándome el famoso renuevate o muere tan fundamental en este “submundo” de internet. […]

    Pingback from CabroNET » Actualizando a 1.5.2 on September 16, 2005

  3. […] Let see what will happen next. How this WordPress 1.5.2 “Strayhornâ€? can do for me. Here some tips from WordPress Codex on how to upgrade from 1.5.1.x to 1.5.2 Upgrade 1.5.1.x to 1.5.2 […]

    Pingback from NINETNINE Blog » Blog Archive » How to upgrade from 1.5.1.x to 1.5.2 on October 4, 2005

  4. […] I have created a template/theme for WordPress called Kubrick. Which was adopted into version 1.5 of WordPress. […]

    Pingback from colophon at Along the road… on October 6, 2005

  5. […] I’m running WordPress 1.5 Strayhorn. […]

    Pingback from miahz.com » Blog Archive » Ping Test on October 12, 2005

  6. […] WordPress 1.5 Strayhorn ha sido liberado sin aviso por parte de sus desarrolladores principales. Yo ya había actualizado a la nigthly del 8 de Febrero de esta nueva, y potente, versión de wordpress, por lo que no bajaré esta versión oficial. WordPress se consolida con esta nueva versión como una de las herramientas de blogging más potentes del mercado. La licencia GPL y el número de desarrolladores que han intervenido en crear funciones, plugins, hacks y themes han elevado este CMS a la cima, en mi opinión. […]

    Pingback from La mate por un yogur » WordPress 1.5 liberado on October 20, 2005

  7. […] Alhamdulillah, Upgrade to WordPress 1.5.2 “Strayhornâ€? was done successfully on Oct, 30th ‘05. Now, this blog using WordPress 1.5.2 version. It was my first time upgrading this blog, alhamdulillah it was successful, no critical problem during upgrade. Click here if you want to use it. […]

    Pingback from » Upgrade to Strayhorn by ~{Mendengarkan sepenuh hati}~ on October 31, 2005

  8. […] The latest stable release of WordPress which is the latest in the Strayhorn line is available. […]

    Pingback from myNothing » WordPress 2.0 release on December 27, 2005

  9. […] Da bereits vor knapp zwei wochen WordPress 1.5 released wurde, habe nun auch ich das Upgrade durchgefuehrt. Das ganze ging soweit sehr einfach und problemlos, im Adminbereich scheints aber noch kleine, nicht stoerende Darstellungsprobs zu geben. […]

    Pingback from Never mind - me. » Blog Archive » Upgrade 1.2.2 to 1.5 on December 28, 2005

  10. […] Encounters with life is now powered with WordPress 2.0. The upgrade was seamless (unlike Adam’s whose upgrade seems to be reverting to the strayhorn version, no matter how clean his install was. I completely deleted all his old files and upgraded it, and ran the upgrade and it still reverted back…um… weird). […]

    Pingback from encounters with life | Site update on December 29, 2005

  11. […] So now this is a WordPress 1.5 Strayhorn powered blog. […]

    Pingback from More upgrading fun… at [zeroninetynine] on December 31, 2005

  12. […] No tak, oczywi¶cie musia³em przegapiæ. Nie ma co pisaæ o nowych mo¿liwo¶ciach, wystarczy przeczytaæ tutaj. Jak znajdê chwilkê czasu to przerobiê th7.org na now± wersjê, na razie zostaje przy 1.2.2. […]

    Pingback from th7 » Blog Archive » WordPress 1.5 is available! on January 2, 2006

  13. El nuevo WordPress

    Salió la semana pasada con muchas mejoras, arreglos a bugs, sistema de plantillas, etc, etc.
    Espero este fin de semana probarlo en local y preparar el actual para la migración.

    Trackback from .[garsan]. BLOGsite on January 10, 2006

  14. […] Dabei ist das hier immer noch Strayhorn und nicht Duke, trotzdem gibt es Parallelen, wie auch zu diesem Forenbeitrag auf wordpress.de: Ein Post wird nicht angezeigt, andere schon. Permalinks aktiviert. Blogtitel und Titelfom enthalten “wordpress”. Fehler 403 (nicht 404). Der wirklich wichtige Unterschied: Dieser Blog liegt nicht in einem Unterordner namens wordpress, sondern lag dort und ist mittlerweile umgezogen, in das root-Verzeichnis. […]

    Pingback from krootoo. 5 » Postlug Bug auch bei 1.5? on January 12, 2006

  15. […] Soon I’m going to have to upgrade to the final release of WordPress 1.5. I’ve been running the beta versions for quite a while but it would be nice to have the final release and that would wrap up any recent bug fixes. […]

    Pingback from Everything Is In/Flux » Blog Archive » New look on January 16, 2006

  16. […] Themes für WordPress spriessen seit dem Release von 1.5 ja fast täglich aus dem Boden… Die Nettesten kommen bisher von Lilac Pixels wie ich finde. (z.B “Spring Fairy” ). Ausserdem gefällt mir das “Falling Dreams” von Teo.eSuper. […]

    Pingback from Nice WordPress Themes at freshlabs journal on February 17, 2006

  17. […] Today marks one year since I started this blog. A year ago I had just heard about the release two days earlier of WordPress 1.5, the WordPress version that really began to reach full stride. My friend Jen had been using WordPress for several months, and her blog was an inspiration to start my own. […]

    Pingback from Il Filosofo » Happy Blogiversary to Me! on February 20, 2006

  18. […] The HTML Source Editor has trouble converting some posts made using WordPress 1.5. […]

    Pingback from Webmaster Place » iframes and WordPress 2.01 on February 22, 2006

  19. […] The latest stable release of WordPress which is the latest in the Strayhorn line is available in two formats from the links below. If you have no idea what to do with this download, we recommend signing up with one of our web hosting partners that offers a one click install of WordPress or getting a free account on WordPress.com. […]

    Pingback from ChamPioNeer^�片泥 on March 9, 2006

  20. […] https://wordpress.org/development/2005/02/strayhorn/ […]

    Pingback from Sabre 2/3rd Tiger v3 » Blog Archive » WordPress 1.5 “Strayhorn” on March 12, 2006

  21. […] You can check out the WordPress 1.5 Announcement yourself for full details, but the biggest changes are touted to be: […]

    Pingback from New version of WordPress released | How to Blog on March 21, 2006

  22. […] I hear upgrading is pretty painless. All the cool kids are doing it, so go and do that. I’m a total hypocrite for having a MT blog, but it’s just that redoing my templates and doodads is going to make me all angsty. […]

    Pingback from Agendacide: Minutes from Somewhere Else » I’m a loner Dottie, a rebel on April 5, 2006

  23. WordPress 1.5 is out!

    Seems like WP1.5 is out and it’s incredibly tempting to move over. Down side is that I’d have to take all of the mods/hacks I did to 1.2.1 and re-apply them to 1.5 so I think I’d better set aside a weekend or so.

    Trackback from .sp on April 12, 2006

  24. […] Read more about Worpress 1.5. Cat:  […]

    Pingback from WordPress 1.5 Ships! | by m o f r o on April 16, 2006

  25. […] So I’ve upgraded the blog to WordPress 1.5 aka Strayhorn. TIme to add some content… […]

    Pingback from eric haber » Blog Archive » Upgraded to Strayhorn on May 25, 2006

  26. […] Więcej informacji na wordpress.org. […]

    Pingback from 1.5 - oficjalnie » Barczentewicz.com on June 8, 2006

  27. […] Last week WordPress 1.5 ‘Strayhorn’ was released, a much enhanced version of (in my opinion) the best open source blog package. The improved functionality is very welcome, especially the themes and (’static’) pages. For reviews check out the links from Matt’s site. […]

    Pingback from bits by ben : WordPress 1.5 and my contributions on June 18, 2006

  28. […] As the title says WordPress 1.5 “Strayhorn” is now officially available for download with stacks of good features. WordPress now ships with the Michael Hellemann’s Kubrick Template. Good on you Matt and your enthusiastic team and Michael! I really wish the WP1.5 had the returning commenters hack in it. Either way Michael should have that hack ready to download so I assume. Matt’s organising an upgrade party tonight with Wi-Fi — don’t miss the show if you are in the area. […]

    Pingback from WordPress 1.5 ‘Strayhorn’ released at Karmakars.com on June 26, 2006

  29. […] I’m pretty much finished with the technical work of upgrading both blogs to WordPress 1.5. There were a few warts in the process, but I think everything is pretty much working now. I still need to find a better theme for this blog, but the photoblog is better then ever. […]

    Pingback from simple geek » Blog Archive » Blogs updated to WordPress 1.5 on July 1, 2006

  30. […] February 2005 Matt and the WordPress team released WordPress 1.5 “Strayhorn”, which had over 900,000 downloads. The release introduced their theme system, moderation features, and a new front end and back end redesign. […]

    Pingback from Gli hacker… » Matt Mullenweg - web hacker on August 17, 2006

  31. […] Praveen (praveen) wrote,@ 2005-03-14 11:05:00      WordPress 1.5 I have upgraded to wordpress 1.5. The upgrage itself took only 10 minutes. Now my site runs on the WordPress default design theme. I will work on the theme to bring back my original design, but more importantly I need to put more content.(Post a new comment) Log in now.(Create account, or use OpenID) […]

    Pingback from praveen: WordPress 1.5 on September 8, 2006

  32. […] I have upgraded to wordpress 1.5. The upgrage itself took only 10 minutes. Now my site runs on the WordPress default design theme. I will work on the theme to bring back my original design, but more importantly I need to put more content. […]

    Pingback from WordPress 1.5 by praveen () | LjSEEK.COM on September 8, 2006

  33. […] the surface with. Recommended although only if you’ve got the time to spend on it. The WordPress upgrade will have to […]

    Pingback from iand.net » WoW on October 8, 2007

  34. […] wordpress 1.5 [w] is available! this marquis bullshit can’t be over soon enough for yet another reason. two […]

    Pingback from the angry red planet - » wordpress 1.5 - burying you since 1997 on November 6, 2007

  35. […] posted about this back on Monday, but now it’s actually official: WordPress 1.5 has been announced. It’s been downloaded 13,649 times and counting – don’t ask me how I know nevermind, […]

    Pingback from WordPress 1.5 Strayhorn official at All Narfed Up on January 21, 2008

  36. […] Years of Blogging Today marks the third year of this blog. Back when I started, WordPress version 1.5 was brand new, and I wanted to try managing a site with something other than my hand-rolled Perl applications. […]

    Pingback from Il Filosofo » Three Years of Blogging on February 20, 2008

  37. […] sensata que procuro ser (aunque no siempre funcione), acabo de hacer una instalación local de WordPress 1.5 antes de actualizar en el servidor público. ¡Wow, qué instalación más maravillosamente simple! […]

    Pingback from el factor humano » Archivo » Camino a WordPress 1.5 on April 10, 2008

  38. […] really want to install WordPress 1.5 and Neverwinter Nights for Mac but I know that is a bad idea with all the shit that still needs to […]

    Pingback from Anxious on May 20, 2008

  39. […] הגיעה בגרסה 1.2, יחד עם התמיכה ב-gettext, וערכות עיצוב נוספו בגרסה 1.5. מאז, השינויים בוורדרפס הם יותר אבולוציוניים ופחות […]

    Pingback from יומולדת חמש לוורדפרס - סקירה מצולמת של וורדפרס 0.7 » הבלוג של רן יניב הרטשטיין on May 25, 2008

  40. […] zes jaar op dit domein heb ik nu twee keer mijn CMS aangepast: van de grondlegger van WP, B2, naar WP 1.5, en nu van WP1.5 naar WP2.6.1, de tot nu toe laatste versie van WP. Over ne luie mens […]

    Pingback from Polskaya » Nog efkes over de nieuwe ley, weet ge nog? on August 30, 2008

  41. […] SXSW Matt mentioned that WordPress 1.5 is just about to hit 100,000 downloads. Previously he had hosted an amazing upgrade party at his […]

    Pingback from WordPress 100K at The Odeon | Laughing Squid on December 11, 2008

  42. […] не прошло и года, как в феврале 2005 года была анонсирована новая версия 1.5 (strayhorn). Самое главное изменение – это […]

    Pingback from WordPress в Томске on January 26, 2009

  43. […] de développement de WordPress — le célèbre Matt Mullenweg en tête — vient de publier la version 1.5 de ce merveilleux système de publication que j’utilise avec bonheur depuis près de deux […]

    Pingback from Merci, WordPress ! - Christian Aubry | Web+Vidéo=Communication | Montréal, Québec on May 23, 2009

  44. […] announced here, the final version of WordPress 1.5 has been […]

    Pingback from Ryan Markel » WordPress 1.5 final released. on May 31, 2009

See Also:

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet.

There’s also a development P2 blog.

To see how active the project is check out our Trac timeline, it often has 20–30 updates per day.


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