WordPress has just been upgraded to a new version—3.4. Every major update from WordPress has brought welcomed changes, but version 3.4 is definitely one worth noting. WordPress started off as just a simple tool to create blogs and has grown into a full flagship content management system for complete websites (and blogs).
There are some great features in the 3.4 release. Some updates are for plugin developers and theme designers, which generally means the available add-ons and templates will get better. But there are also some great new features for all WordPress users and we’ll highlight some of the key new features here.
Theme Customizer. This handy new tool will allow you to change quite a few aspects of your theme right from within WordPress. And the best part? You’ll often be able to see many of your changes in real time! Previous versions of WordPress, theme customization required either tools provided by the theme developer or would require you to mess with the themes CSS files, which is never very easy. The video below is from a developer on the WordPress team, demonstrating some of the things you will be able to change.
Embedding Tweets. For quite a while, WordPress has supported the ability to embed various kinds of rich media, such as a YouTube video, Flickr photo or Scribd document. This could be done in a very non-technical way with no special embed coding necessary. With this update, WordPress has added the ability to embed a tweet, so now users can Reply, Retweet, or Favorite your Tweet with one easy click.
HTML in Captions. In earlier versions of WordPress it was not possible to add a an HTML link within a caption for an image. Some photos require that you give a link to the photographer in order to use it. Thankfully this is now possible with WordPress 3.4.
Internationalization (i18n). Over 40% of new WordPress installations are non-English. WordPress 3.4 continues to add more and more enhancements to properly support international languages. This includes things like specifying that your language is right-to-left; ability to translate configuration files; default links and dashboard widgets; specifying the start of the week and much more.
Developer Enhancements. Many of the WordPress 3.4 enhancements are “under the hood” and useful directly to developers and designers. But those enhancements usually end up helping everyone. Here’s a few of them:
- New touch support. WordPress now has tools built-in that allows WordPress plug-ins to support a touch interface, including support for drag-and-drop.
- An enhanced protocol that enhances mobile devices using the mobile WordPress app to talk with your WordPress site. This is supported in Apple (iOS) and Android mobile devices.
- Improved database query efficiency. This will allow WordPress to get results back much quicker resulting in a speedier website.
- Improved file organization and new custom header support for templates. While primarily only for template developers, but anything that helps template developers is good for all of us.
We hope you enjoy using WordPress 3.4. Your website will have more power and it will be much easier for you to manage. If you haven’t been updated to WordPress 3.4, simply log into your Bluehost control panel. SimpleScripts will notify you of the release if you haven’t already seen it and guide you through installation.