WordPress Bloggers and Web Developers Get Some New Toys for Christmas

WordPress have been nice to webmasters and bloggers and given them an early present in the form of WordPress . As users of WordPress we are used to the odd upgrade that is easy enough to install, even if you are self-hosting all you need to do is press the link for the auto install and everything is done for you, and you can be confident that the latest security updates are in place.

Yesterday though when people pressed that button they were in for a surprise. There are quite a few changes under the hood of WordPress that you’ll not really need to know about but the biggest treats are in the new improved interface that has been made “Retina friendly” and a whole new media library interface. In fact it’s the media library that makes the update so much fun.

Interface Changes
As mentioned the interface itself has gone through a slight upgrade in the way it looks. This is very much an update for the Apple fans with the Retina Display. With the improved image quality the original WordPress images, especially the icons used were looking slightly dull. WordPress have improved these icons and smoothed a few edges to improve the look, even on a normal screen you’ll notice the slight change in quality, but for the Retina people it’s all about you this time.

The media manager has also gone through a major overall with more of a focus on having previews of the images you already have uploaded, and improvements around what you can do with your images when they are imported, including manipulating the gallery much easier. This is where the most of the fun is, especially finding images that are already on the system. It’s now easier to scroll down images that you can actually see in thumbnail form instead of having to just see the little thumbnail next to the image name and guess from there. This improvement has really made an impact on the interface for the better and feels like a section of the WordPress CMS has really been improved.

Functionality

One thing that WordPress have really wanted to push is that they have redesigned the default theme that comes with WordPress known as Twenty Twelve. They’ve worked at improving it for not only for desktop and laptops but now also smartphones and tablets. What this does is helps the blogger to be able to design a site that will work better with all devices, not just the normal computer screen. As more readers use different devices to read the blogs this will obviously be an important step in the future. This theme is also of course fully adaptable and the code can still be changed by the blogger/developer to make it fit their needs.

Another nice added feature is connectivity to other social networks such as Tumblr. It’s now possible to import content from your Tumblr blogs and embedding has been added for things Instagram, SoundCloud and Slideshare all that is needed is the URL placed in the post and it will embed into it.

The Backend

If we went through all the changes that have been changed “behind the scenes” of WordPress we’d be here forever but the simplest way to show the impact on the system is to look at the fact that around 945 “tickets” have been completed in the development process. Tickets in this context are issues that have been found and raised by developers and users and put into the development process to either been improved and fixed. So in context that 945 have been worked through and completed is an easy way to say that plenty has been fixed, and we’ll never even need to know what they were.

Verdict

Having posted a few articles and news items on another site using the new WordPress 3.5 update I’ve found that things so far do seem a little more stable. If I’ve had any niggles with previous versions (and there were some) I’ve looked and actually noted that they have been looked at. The most fun of course in the new version is the media gallery. Being able to see the images is a huge improvement in working with images, and when uploading images to the CMS it’s also noticeable that it does push you to add details in that are good for the SEO of the site. I did notice though that to set an image for the post it appears that you have to add an extra step to your process (it’s not an available option on uploading the image) which is a small negative change but not much.

WordPress is a CMS that you can run sites from, or run a blog it’s easy to set up and install but there are many other systems that can do the same thing. For the users though that do enjoy what WordPress survive this is a nice update and somewhat of a welcome Christmas present from the developers.