It’s been a long haul to get the latest WordPress update out of beta, but it’s here and it’s boasting some great new features.
At the last minute, WordPress dropped one of the most anticipated features of this release, the ‘Post Format UI’, which would have made it a lot easier to choose and manage the styling for post format choices such as ‘gallery’ video, link, etc. Theses formats offer slight layout changes to support the type of post being published, but the team weren’t happy that it was ready for release, so they shelved it for a later version.
What it did release though is:
A new default theme for your WordPress site
Not much use to you if you’ve had your theme already designed by us or another competent theme designer, but it’s a notable feature of every new release since 2010 and is aptly name after the year in which it is released, this one being 2013, or Twenty Thirteeen as it is more correctly called.
Personally, I think it’s a bit bloggy, particularly when WordPress is trying to shake off it’s ‘WordPress-is-for-blogs’ image, but it does have a fully responsive design for mobile compatibility, in fact it looks superb on mobiles and tablet, it’s HTML5 and it’ll be robust, clean and secure.
Better revisions management
The guys (and girls) at WordPress have worked really hard on preserving time in this release. There’s been a way to autosave and manage post revisions for a while, but they wanted to take it a step further. The old layout, which frankly was a little confusing, has gone, and now we have a horizontal timeline, and side-by-side comparison of revisions and highlighted differences.
There’s also a better autosave and post-locking, which means you can see who is editing a post and take over the task if required.
The long and short of it is, that writers are less likely to lose their carefully crafted words, but now also more likely to roll-back to earlier versions when the need arises.
If you don’t do a lot of writing inside WordPress, this might seem an insignificant change, but for those that do, it clearly puts the focus well and truly on content, and while it’s not particularly sexy, it will certainly help to minimise loss of work and the angst that goes with it. Where it will shine is on multi-author sites. Each writer will have their own autosave stream (saved locally and on the server) and share editing tasks easily and safely.
Better audio and video support
A brand new HTML5 media player is built right into WordPress 3.6, which means you can upload your own video and audio recordings, as well as embed content from Spotify, Rdio and SoundCloud Like the support for YouTube and Twitter, it’s as simple as posting a URL and letting WordPress do the hard work. It will output your media in a nice-looking user-friendly media player.
Menu manager tidied up
For admins, the menu section has had an overhaul, which, although already fairly intuitive, has got some nice little extras to make it more user-friendly, and for developers like us, that means more customer-friendly.