WordPress 3.2 – named Gershwin – is now available for download. if you have not already, as with all software upgrades, it is strongly advised you do so, and follow the guidelines available on WordPress.org. If you are already using WP the update is available within your admin dashboard.
While there are not any major new features, the new update will catch your eye with a tighter and somewhat redesigned administration dashboard. This continues the WordPress development teams’ concentration on software features, along with a tightened GUI interface design. To see how the windows have altered in appearance between 3.0 and 3.2 take a peak at WPCandy’s side by side WP blog post.
The important features in WordPress 3.2
- The system now requires your server to support for PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5. This won’t be an issue for most users as almost all web hosting companies, especially those who advertise as supporting WordPress, will have the PHP and database upgrades, but if you are not sure check with your provider.
- As mentioned, a redesign of the administration/user interface
- End of support for Internet Explorer 6 (FINALLY), and better inclusion of the ‘Browse Happy’ interface. Essentially a warning or suggestion appears in your admin dashboard if the web browser you are using requires updating, or has a security risk.
Not sure how many users will partake of this feature, but for some it might be useful. WordPress is a full content management system, with plenty of features to easily incorporate graphics, video, audio, photo galleries and other rich media into posts and pages, but for many WP is the platform used to simply write. The edit or add post/page interface can be somewhat cluttered with buttons, links and fields to add content, format, enter SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and more. Zen Mode opens a de-cluttered browser window with only the basic editing features available. In fact, and tested only of Firefox for Mac, the toolbar at the top of the window only shows with a mouse rollover offering the following options: Exit Fullscreen – Visual/HTML tab – Bold/Italic – Bullet or Numbered list – Quote – Insert Media – Link/Unlink and Help – very simplified.
In fact, after using the Zen mode for a few minutes, it is quite likeable!
New Default Twenty Eleven Template
Although the WordPress development team are heralding the new default features in the basic, free Twenty Eleven theme, other than the rotating header images there is little to get really excited about. There are plenty of free WP themes with the same, or better, features available via the Extend section of WordPress.org – or affordable commercial themes from a variety of trusted providers.