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New Features & Updates Released in WordPress 3.5

by Jake Rocheleau

on December 16, 2012

in Wordpress

The WordPress team is constantly busy with bug fixes and template updates. But every so often we notice a brand new release version of WordPress which comes with a few handy features. This is how we have come to accept the modern-day era of WordPress with featured thumbnail images and custom post types.

Wordpress 3.5 release homepage design

I want to look into the new WordPress 3.5 release and pick out just a few updates worthy of discussion. These may not be the most interesting changes, but WP developers have been focused on improving usability for years. The goal is to offer feature-rich publishing to even the least tech-savvy individuals.

The Admin Dashboard

To all the developers at WordPress I have to first say thanks for your hard work and service. You may read a bit more about the 3.5 release from WordPress’ news blog which publishes regular articles on advancing WP trends.

This new version 3.5 is dubbed “Elvin”, named after the famous jazz drummer Elvin Jones. And this is definitely an update packed with new goodies! First of all the Dashboard buttons have been updated to reflect a modern design style. I really like them better than the pill buttons.

Also the media manager has been given an overhaul with some new accessibility upgrades. Users may now embed full galleries with reorganization techniques. Upload a slew of images all at once and organize them through drag-and-drop controls. You may also update caption text inline with the uploader interface. I find this to be one of the best release candidates from 3.5.

Other Polished Features

Not everybody may be as excited for these extra features, but they are a part of the full release documentation. The admin panel is now fully supporting retina-mobile devices with HiDPI. The Welcome Page has also been updated for easier access on screen readers.

Wordpress Admin Dashboard panel retina MacBook display

Also the links manager has been changed and converted into a plugin. Now default installs will not display any links manager menu within the admin panel. I am honestly very happy with this change, since I feel the sidebar navigation is already very cluttered. And it can get a lot more cluttered by adding in your own custom post types and plugin menus.

Also there are many updates developers will find helpful. You can check out the release notes for version 3.5 in the WordPress Codex. This contains helpful info which developers may find handy when constructing new plugins, or editing existing theme files.

Updates to Twenty Twelve

The default WordPress theme layout twenty twelve is coupled with every download file. The WordPress developers have even gone into this layout and updated a few choice pieces.

From what I can tell the layout has been overhauled to include responsive tendencies. Now the theme should conform properly to all smartphone devices and monitor resolutions. Even as you resize the browser window, images and embedded media content should wrap around the body container. Either update the theme automatically via WordPress or download a copy to play around with on your own.

WordPress Multisites

This is another small feature which I think is worth mentioning. You can setup multisite blogs where one WordPress install is capable of handling multiple smaller blogs. You may allow users to register as authors and manage their own blog posts, drafts, and publications.

The newer updated switch_to_blog() function is noticeably much quicker and runs smoother within the WP backend. For anybody interested in coding WordPress PHP this will be handy. I personally have only grazed the surface of WPMU setups. But with all the additional support and developer references, this new release of WordPress may be the time to get started.

Looking to the Future

These are just some of the major releases you will find in WordPress 3.5 Many of these elements are not groundbreaking, but they do significantly improve the WordPress admin UI.

The new image uploader and color picker wheel are two of my favorite additions. Organizing media in your WordPress library used to be an atrocious task. Now it seems that things are going to become even easier. But I am still waiting for WordPress to allow custom directory uploads instead of the default /year/month/ organization scheme.

Other than these ideas keep on the lookout for some more neat stuff! You never know how quickly the WordPress dev team will release bug patches and new updates to the core. Also be sure to play around and see how you feel about the new updates.

Conclusion

Definitely be sure to upgrade any of your WordPress websites by logging into the admin panel. Additionally you could download WordPress directly from the homepage website. Developers who are familiar with the open source CMS may not care very much about minor updates. It all depends on how often you interact with WP admin menus, and how quickly you get accustomed into the same routines.

About Jake Rocheleau

Jake is a freelance writer and web developer. He writes articles for numerous blogs on freelancing, Wordpress, CSS3, and jQuery. You can find him all throughout Google and follow his tweets @jakerocheleau. Connect with Jake on Google +