WordPress 3.3

Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

Still living on 3.2? Don’t you know that all drama of WordPress 3.2 have come to an end? We are going to rejoice WordPress version 3.3 very soon. The wait is almost over.

In fact the news started spreading way back in July this year. WordPress is back with a bang with series of improvements. Currently it is 30% of total developments we bloggers are seeing . Means, there are enough to be seen yet!

Guess what upgrades WP 3.3 is going to bring for you and when?

15th November is the gala day – bloggers around this world would experience the latest version WordPress 3.3.

WordPress 3.3

Let’s pay attention to what new features this WP version is going to gift us.

Here is the Top 11 for you.

1.  Improved Multimedia Uploader:

Do you post a lot images in your blog posts? You might have spent worst time of your life seeing image crunching bar slowly progressing. Currently the media uploader in WP 3.2 and less is not that user-friendly. The formatting is also a time-consuming, frustrating process.

The agony will be no more as experts are saying. WordPress 3.3 will revamp the media uploader by integrating Plupload into it.  Plupload is an upload handler developed by people from TinyMCE. It allows you uploading files using HTML 5, Gears, Silverlight, Flash, BrowserPlus and normal uploads. Jacob Gillespie is carrying out this integration of plupload into the WordPress core for his Google Summer of Code Project.

Plupload for WP Media Uploader

What is there for you?

Plupload comes with a gamut of user-friendly features such as drag and drop support, image resizing, chunking, type filtering, stream upload, multipart upload, file size restriction etc. Means you get almost everything you dreamt of.

However the features vary what file format (Flash, HTML 5, Gears or Browser Plus, etc.) you are using. HTML 4 won’t work here. As far as browser compatibility is concerned most of the features are available on Firefox 3.5+.  Webkit, opera does not support drag and drop, image resizing and multipart upload.

2.  Stepwise guidelines:

Keeping in mind usability factors for beginners, now you will see a guide taking you through the new CMS. Right after installing WordPress there will be a series of helpful features to get you started.

Intro screen – for checklist of steps in detail

Post-update screen like we see in Mozilla

Pop-ups for new features

Newcomers sure can count on this introductory help.

3. Responsive User interface:

Users must have experienced that current WordPress dashboard is not adapted to different screen configurations (devices with wider screen) and touch devices, specifically iPad. The admin area on iPad was a no go till today. Even WordPress version for mobiles and its applications have yet to improve a lot. As of now traditional desktop version works best for WordPress dashboard.

Responsive Admin Area

To remove all these worries WordPress 3.3 will have adaptive desktop version. Means, there will be a responsive admin area that will recognize your screen or device configuration and deliver the suitable version that fits the appearance automatically. Functionalities and usage modes will have the same impact.

4.  Improved admin bar:

WordPress admin bar had been a continuous issue for users since its inception. When 3.2 came in existence the admin bar introduced in version 3.1 did not fit well as it was expected. Currently with 3.2 you will see both admin header and admin bar showing repeated items. This only creates duplication and increase vertical space.

Combined admin header and  Admin Bar

In WordPress 3.3 these issues will be solved as admin bar (in dashboard) and admin header will merge and save on precious space.

5. Performance improvement:

If you have set permalinks of your blog manually and then read the WordPress Codex (Using permalinks) you will know what performance improvement really means. As of now there are several redirect events with pretty permalinks which is simply pointless.

According to WordPress larger websites using the /%postname%/ permalink structure create performance issues. But most of us use /%postname%/ or /%category%/%postname%/ (custom structure) as it looks nicer rather than a bunch of date, month and number (options by default).

We hope with 3.3 this whole permalink debate will come to an end. WordPress will most likely reduce the extra large information and requests to its database. The result is you can use /%postname%/ without compromising on performance settings.

6. Permanent widget:

I am sure you have suffered a lot in the past when trying for a theme change. As and when you upload a new theme, out of the blue, all perfectly organized widgets on the previous theme disappear. Then you have to start from the scratch to get sidebar widgets in order.

Well in WP 3.3 this is going to be fixed. It means your widget will remain intact no matter how many themes you have applied. Your sidebar arrangements will be as you selected first.

7. Language packages:

Now with WP 3.3 you can download a language pack from Glotpress (language installer) and then change the language of WordPress interface along with themes and plugins.

Language Pack

8. Child theme installation:

With WordPress 3.3 now you can install child themes via theme installer. As on date it is hard to do even on WordPress.org repository

9. Admin warning removal:

With this new version you can prevent messages showing up plugin upgrades and hacks yourself.  Just choose so that such message does not appear to you again.

10. Better API:

This is from developer’s point of view. They can expect –

Meta improvements

  • register_meta, new caps, *_metadata_by_mid()
  • WP_Meta_Box (possibly)

API setting adjustment

This is done by converting table mark up to CSS. The adjustment will make settings fields, forms, errors construction less troublesome.

11. Second plane upgrade:

Similar to Chrome or Max OS X, WordPress will begin upgrading in second plane. This will render greater benefit to webmasters who are managing multiple sites of different clients.

So here is WordPress 3.3 with all its goodness and virtues.  To me media uploader, permanent widget and performance improvement are the nicest features.

What do you think it is up to?  Write to me and share your views.