While the US celebrated its independance day holiday yesterday, Automaticc the Makers of WordPress decided to celebrate by releasing the next major version of WordPress, version 3.2, also known as “Gershwin” in keeping with the theme of naming wordpress releases after famous Jazz musicians. Matt Mullenweg the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordPress, stated “I can’t think of a more fitting way to mark a day that celebrates freedom than by releasing more free software to help democratize publishing around the globe.”
WordPress 3.2 has had over 400 improvements made to the blogging platform which is moving more and more towards being a full blown Content Management System with each new release. In fact you, in my humble opinion you won’t find a better platform that is simple and powerful to use for your website needs.
Some of the improvements that have been implemented are at the core the platform has been slimmed down to be faster and lighter as some of the concerns about WordPress has been that it is too slow (This can easily be solved with a cache plugin mind you such as W3 Total Cache as well as using a Content Delivery Network but I’ll talk about that in another post). That being said, the creators of WordPress have sought to solve this issue with a slimmed down version and have also updated the server requirements as WordPress 3.2 requires PHP version 5.2.4 or greater and MySQL version 5.0 or greater. So you’ll want to check with your webhost provider before you decide to upgrade your current wordpress installation.
WordPress has also dropped support for Internet Explorer 6, one of the worst technological inventions of the century, if not the world. And this is something that has also been welcomed by Microsoft as they too have realized the blunder of their ways with this browser. So if you are still in the dark ages of Web Browsing come join the rest of us and upgrade to either Fire Fox 5, the lastest release from Mozilla or Google Chrome. However, if you really must stick with Internet Explorer, IE9 looks promising, however, I rarely use it as my two browser of choice are Firefox or Chrome.
Some of the other major improvements/changes in WordPress 3.2include the ability to compile your blog posts in full screen mode, that is that all of the bings and whistles, or distractions, are faded out and you just have the content screen to focus on while you compile posts.
For me this is not something that I will look forward to nor use. Frankly, I’ve had WordPress crash one too many times on me and lost one too many blog posts. Hence I now use Windows Live Writer to compile my posts or Evernote. Still for those who do write their posts from within WordPress this will be a welcome feature.
A new Theme “Twenty Eleven” has also been released in keeping with Automatics promise to release a new updated theme with each major release. The free theme has a lot of features including the ability to choose from 3 different layouts, you can also upload a custom header image and background, choose a light or dark color scheme and custom link colors.
That being said, WordPress 3.2 looks very promising and it is exciting to see the improvements that keep being made to make this platform better and better.
Below is an official video from WordPress showcasing the new release.