The last major WordPress release was nearly six months ago. It brought with it a host of improvements to the WordPress user and developer experience, including a new theme customizer and better handling of image captions.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, the WordPress community is preparing for their second major update of the year. WordPress 3.5 arrived on December 5th, and, as usual, there are a number of new features worth taking a look at.
Improved Media Uploader
This one is great news, and comes none-too-soon. The current media management functionality is useful, but the interface is clunky and can be confusing for new users.
In 3.5, the layout has changed considerably. Users are now presented with a light box displaying available media, including better handling of galleries and batch image insertion, offering a much smoother user experience.
Most web developers deploy new WordPress instances on a regular basis for clients. One of the least appealing parts of setting a new WordPress installation has always been having to find and install a frequently used set of plugins. There are many plugins that experienced users will almost always want to install, and everyone has preferred plugins that they have become familiar with over time.
The new favorite plugin function allows users to designate a set of plugins, which can then be installed directly from the dashboard.
Very high resolution screens are becoming increasingly prevalent, first available on Apple’s products, they are now popular even on lower cost mobile devices, like Google’s Nexus 10 tablet.
This means that your site looks awesome, but it causes problems for interfaces that haven’t been properly prepared for the higher quality displays: they look fuzzy and pixelated. In the latest release, the dashboard will look better on these displays.
Keyboard navigation and screen reader support have seen some improvements.
Post and Comments API updated
External access to both comments and posts have seen some tweaks and added functionality, with significant performance enhancements when working with post hierarchies. Comment searching has improved, with the added ability to search by comment status and with meta queries.
If you can’t wait until December to get your hands on the newest version, you can test the beta in a couple of ways.
The zip file is available for , or you can try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, which will let you perform easy upgrades to beta and RC versions.
Keep in mind that we’re still a few weeks out from the final release, which means that the betas are not guaranteed to be stable. Therefore, we advise that you not to use them on a live site.
Image credit – Rob Davies Created For The Microstock Stock Photo Powersearch Plugin for WordPress 3D Metal WordPress Logo