WordPress 3.6 beta was launched at the end of last week which means the official release date is like to be very soon.
Lets have a look and see what goodies lie within.
Just to be clear, I’m reviewing the WordPress 3.6 beta 1 (23913) build.
There shouldn’t be any new additions to the build at this stage but as with all betas, there are no guarantees that all the features will make it to the production release.
What’s New in WordPress 3.6 beta
This particular update to WordPress has more visual updates than previous ones.
With the popularity of Tumblogging (posting short, often multimedia, blog posts on sites like Tumblr), post formats have had a bit of a user interface (UI) redesign making them a more noticeable part of the publishing process.
This is a clear attempt to show that WordPress can be just as good a platform for microblogging as other sites.
The new Twenty Thirteen theme that will be shipped with WordPress 3.6 handles post formats beautifully.
Which leads nicely onto the next thing that’s shipped with 3.6 – the new Twenty Thirteen theme.
The previous incarnation, Twenty Twelve, was primed for websites with a static homepage and business websites.
This new theme goes back to WordPress’ blogging roots with big, bold and bright colours.
It’s fully responsive too.
We reviewed the Twenty Thirteen beta theme last week – have a read.
The menu UI has had an overhaul in the Dashboard.
The Pages, Links and Categories sections are now accordians making it easier to get to the content without scrolling.
Menu locations are now managed on a separate tab with menu assignment at the bottom of the menu underneath the menu items.
More audio and video types can be embedded into posts without having to rely on third party plugins.
This is great news for high-volume media sites.
Media services are popular and resource intensive, so parsing them through the core WordPress 3.6 code rather than through yet another filter (plugin) should save a few milliseconds here and there.
Posts are now autosaved locally. If your browser crashes, your computer dies, or the server goes offline as you’re saving, you won’t lose the your post.
This is making use of HTML 5 and the ability to use the an offline local data store (your computer).
How many times have you edited a post only to get the snag message that “Bob is currently editing this post” and has been for the last 4 hours.
“DAMN YOU Bob and your extra long lunch hours – I’ve a deadline to meet.”
Not only will you get a message to see who is editing the post, you’ll have the ability to kick them out and take back control.
Joomla! has had something similar since 1.5 so it’s a welcome addition to WordPress.
The all-new revisions UI features avatars, a slider that “scrubs” through history, and two-slider range comparisons
Plugin and theme authors should be testing their code against the 3.6 beta, especially if your code uses or extends any of the areas mentioned in the review.
Should you update to WordPress 3.6 when it ships?
It’s not just the new things you’ll get with 3.6, it also contains bug fixes and security enhancements to the core product.
If you’d like to know exactly why you should update, have a look at the trac system (code issue tracking) for WordPress 3.6. It’s only currently 4 pages long!