What to Expect in WordPress 3.5

WordPress updates are coming out thick and fast these days.

With WordPress 3.5 soon to be released, what can we expect from the update?

[EDIT: 12/12/2012 – WordPress 3.5 has just been released today.  Time to upgrade!]

I think the most exciting thing that’s scheduled for release in WordPress 3.5 is the ability to install your favourite plugins directly from the Admin Dashboard.

Huh, favourite plugins?  Did I miss something?

Yes you did!

A few months ago Automattic made some changes to the plugin pages.

The tabs were simplified, header pictures could be added and a little “Favourite” (SIC) option appeared under the download button.


Oooo…” plugin authors said.

How awesome would it be to install all your favourite plugins directly from the WordPress Admin Dashboard with a single click?

Freaking awesome! – that’s what and that’s what we’re getting in WordPress 3.5, well almost.

You can see the list of your favourite plugins by clicking on My Favourites option at the top RHS of wordpress.org after you login.


Again this proves just how much of a community is built around WordPress and it’s development track.

They actually listen – kudos WordPress team!

So how does this new feature work?

WordPress 3.5 is still in beta just now but you can download the nightly build from SVN if you’re interested in playing around with it.

I wouldn’t recommend installing it on any production sites until it is finalised though.

Beta means just that, beta.

[lc-block-green]You know I get really annoyed when companies release beta products out into the production environment and not bothering to release a properly tested version 1.

Somehow by placing the word beta somewhere on the screen they think that they can completely bypass QA and support.

If you are one of those companies – STOP DOING THAT!

OK, rant over…[/lc-block-green]

When you go into the plugins tab you will notice that a new “Favorites” option has been added.

Install Favourite Plugins

Enter your WordPress.org community username and click on “Get Favorites” button to retrieve the list.

You can now work your way down the list installing your favourite plugins.

Currently there’s no “Install Everything” option but my guess would be that it’s not too far off.


New Compact Welcome Screen

WordPress 3.5 Welcome Screen

Bringing order to your Admin Dashboard, the Welcome Screen is being given a make over.

The new compact version is still undergoing changes.  The latest one on the dev forums has nice icons next to the different steps.

iPhone Admin Dashboard

You lucky lucky iPhone users.

With 3.5 you’ll be blogging in the new HiDPI (retina) dashboard, designed to work with the iPad’s retina display system.

What Else?

The Links tab is now hidden on new installations.

There’s been a lot of debate between the developers on the usefulness of the Links tab and it’s been decided to hide it, giving more room on the Dashboard for more important tabs.

Don’t worry – it’s not completely gone yet just hidden.

If you use the Links feature on your WordPress site there’s a plugin which permanently enables it.

Accessibility has been tweaked to make it easier to navigate using screen readers.

Mobile users will also benefit from easier set-ups as the XML-RPC service will be enabled by default.

For Developers

It’s not just UI changes that are coming in 3.5, there’s plenty for developers to get their teeth into.

The shipped libraries have been updated; TinyMCE  3.5.6. SimplePie 1.3. jQuery 1.8.2. jQuery UI 1.9 Backbone 0.9.2 and Underscore 1.3.3.

WP Query has a nice additional parameter post__in which will return posts in the order you specify.

Good times.

What new features would you like to see in later version of WordPress?

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Wil is a dad, WordPress consultant, WordPress developer, business coach and mentor. He co-organizes the WordPress Sydney meetup group and has been on the organising committee for WordCamp Sydney since 2014. He speaks at many special events and contributes to the WordPress open source project. His likes are chillies, craft beer and electrogravitics.