WordPress 3.2 – What’s New?

The new release of WordPress, version 3.2 comes with some very nice new features.

‘Zen’

The new ‘fullscreen’ mode, allows you to simply click a button in the post or page editor and you are taken to a blank, distraction-free canvas where you will see only the heading of the post and the text you are writing. This is great for getting rid of all the clutter in the dashboard so you can simply focus on writing great content on your blog.

To head back to the editor, you simply move your mouse to the top of the screen which reveals an ‘Exit Fullscreen’ button or you can press the Esc key on your keyboard.

Post Editor showing Fullscreen buttonThe post editor in the WordPress dashboard showing the fullscreen button

Shows Fullscreen Mode in the WordPress DashboardFullscreen mode when creating or editing a post or page.

Fresh New Dashboard Design

With an updated and cleaner looking dashboard, it’s slightly reminiscent of the very recent update Google have implemented on many of their pages such as their home page, gmail and Google calendar. I’m not saying the design is similar, just the fact that everything is looking smarter, fresher and more crisp.

WordPress 3.2 Dashboard

The new admin bar which was released in version 3.1 now includes more shortcuts.

Admin Bar

Faster Loading

Speed is another factor with this new release of WordPress. Not only did I notice a faster than usual install of WordPress, but much has been done to improve the performance by trimming various aspects of the core code such as removing deprecated functions.

For SEO purposes this is very good news after Google announced website speed is now a significant factor in ranking websites in the organic search results.

New Technology

This new version no longer supports MySQL4 and PHP4 meaning your hosting server will require PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 to be running. This shouldn’t be a problem if you use BlueHost, Hostgator and other large hosting companies. If you’re unsure check with your current web host. The use of PHP 5 contributes to the faster speed increases.

Microsoft’s IE6 is no longer supported either – I know this decision will make many web designers and web developers very happy!

New Theme

In keeping with new technology, the theme which installs with WordPress 3.2, Twenty Eleven is built in HTML5. This supports all modern browsers as well as many mobile devices.

Twenty Eleven allows you to choose between two colour schemes and various layouts. You can easily add your own custom header graphics and backgrounds and change the colours to suit your own design.

The new theme also includes a randomised image area. As shown in the screenshot below, you can choose between eight images which install with the theme, or you can upload your own images to use either as a static header or a showcase of randomised images.

Twenty Eleven

For blog posts this theme allows you to choose between the many the different post formats including video, audio, aside, gallery,image, quote and more.

This is the fifteenth major release of WordPress and in my opinion, a significant improvement all around. I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below.

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