This week we finally got our hands on version 3.5 of the WordPress CMS. It was way back in the middle of June that we saw the previous release, ‘Green’ version 3.4, boasting new Twitter integration etc. So what new features does ‘Elvin’ version 3.5 give us?
Here’s a quick review of some of the new features that are bundled into the latest system.
Updated External Libraries
We can now use the latest features of jQuery, the jQuery UI, SimplePie and TinyMCE editor because their latest stable versions have been included in the latest WP build.
As a frequent jQuery and UI developer I’m really glad they’ve both been bundled at versions 1.8.3 and 1.9.2 respectively.
If you’re pioneering new features and at the cutting edge of implementing new functionalities from these technologies, the updated libraries you’ll find in 3.5 will save you the monotony of manually upgrading those libraries.
The Twenty Twelve Theme is here!
I’m not sure why they wait to the end of the year, but they’ve finally released the Twenty Twelve theme for use with new installations.
For a default theme I think it looks quite good, but perhaps that’s because the Twenty Eleven (and dare I say Twenty Ten) is saturated onto my brain.
Twenty Twelve looks fresh, clean and minimalistic. A good
start end to the year.
Oh and as one of the biggest buzz-words on the internet at the moment, the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme is fully responsive too. Not sure what this means? Well in layman’s terms it means it should look pretty good and more importantly, will remain functional, on a large plethora of devices and screen sizes. Whether you’re browsing this new theme on a widescreen monitor, your net-book or your phone…it should reliably work the way you expect it to.
New Image Controls
They’ve finally cottoned on to the fact that blogs tend to have a raft of images in them.
You can now insert multiple images into a blog in one go, great for those photography or image rich sites that some people are running. Just use CTRL click for selecting multiple choices, or SELECT click to pick a range of concurrent images.
Back in WordPress 2.5 they gave us the ability to add whole galleries of images to posts, now they’ve substantially re-jigged how they work, enabling more control over ordering and editing them. Something which I haven’t tried yet but am very much welcoming with open arms.
I feel these continued works by the WordPress boys to tackle the arduous batch processing tasks accustomed to blog tasks, such as gallery management, will help guide this CMS to greater glories in 2013.
XML-RPC Enabled by Default
Now I’m not really sure in my mind if this is a good move forward, or perhaps an unnecessary and vulnerable step into the unknown.
The XML-RPC API enables clients to interact with your WordPress installation easily and efficiently. If you’ve installed the WordPress app on your mobile, in the past you would have needed to enable XML-RPC via your settings panel on your WP installation. Changing this settings enables the two systems to be able to communicate with each other, writing posts on your mobile etc.
As of WordPress 3.5 this feature is enabled from the get-go.
Yes this will speed up pairing of systems – but it also opens your WordPress admin API to interaction from the outside world. Of course it still requires your username and password, but to use a worldly analogy you wouldn’t tell a burglar where your house is even if you knew you’d locked all the doors.
General Clean-up and Make-over
Lots of generic pages, as well as admin ones, have been graphically upgraded. Including retina-ready support for some of our admin pages.
We’re also now allowed to use a color picker in our pages, a simple yet useful tool that otherwise would have required a browser plugin.
As with any release of a product, there have been a tonne of bugs that have been identified and removed in the latest WordPress build.
Depending on how far you delved into the internal workings on the system, most of these won’t effect your day-to-day usage of the system, but two of the key bugs fixed in my eyes are:
- The featured image being too large and overflowing into the rest of the post editor window,
- The URL for second page search results no longer is wrong,
If you want to check out the whole list of bugs fixed in 3.5 check out the WordPress ticketing system.
WordPress 3.5 Summary
Even with a collection of non-essential updates, the latest 3.5 revision is a welcome site.
I think the main advancement is the Twenty Twelve theme, which implements the majority of new features and functionalities added since the previous Twenty Eleven one.
Hopefully v3.5 helps wet your appetite for WordPress 4