WordPress 3.2 – What’s new?

WordPress recently released their new update for WordPress, version 3.2, nicknamed Gershwin. Unlike many of the past updates, this one brings with it some pretty big changes, some really good stuff. There’s enough new stuff that it definitely warrants a blog post!

The first thing you’ll notice when you upgrade to WordPress 3.2 is the improved back-end. The administration side of things, where you do things like write posts, edit pages, and moderate comments, has been totally revamped.

A glimpse of the new WordPress 3.2 backend.

WordPress has always been clean and well designed, and now it is even more so. They’ve taken pains to make the backend faster, the design tighter and more refined. According to the folks behind WordPress, their goal with this latest version has been to make WordPress “get out of the way” and allow you to do whatever it is you need to do on your site, faster and easier.

One of the things that really illustrates this effort from the WordPress team is the new fullscreen view for writing posts. While you’re typing away, there is literally nothing on the screen except for your content. If you need to change formatting or do anything else, move your mouse to the top of the window and a clean, uncluttered UI fades in for greater control. It looks and works great, in fact I’m using this feature right now and loving it.

Another addition is the new default theme, Twenty Eleven. Very clean and basic, but built from the ground up with the latest features the web has to offer, a la HTML5. It looks to be a great launch pad for building some truly amazing custom themes. I can’t wait to build one!

All these new features come with a cost, however. WordPress has dropped support for some older technologies, such as PHP4 and older versions of MySQL. This isn’t really a big concern, since most web hosts already have newer versions installed.

Also, WordPress has discontinued support for the ancient web browser Internet Explorer 6. IE6 has been the bane of web designers for many years already, because it doesn’t support many of the key features we use to build and design sites. It’s an easy fix though, just visit Browse Happy and pick a shiny new browser to bring your web experience into the 21st century.

There have been lots of other tweaks, refinements and bug-fixes across the board. Far too many to list them all off one by one. If you’re really curious, check out this Codex Page on WordPress.org for the full run-down.

About Karyl Gilbertson

Karyl is New Harvest Media's Creative Director. He is passionate about design, and pretty stoked about things like web standards, usability, and Wordpress too.

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