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WordPress 3.6 Released – Update Now

WordPress NewsThe long awaited WordPress 3.6 is out and ready for download for self-hosted WordPress users.

Those on WordPress.com or managed WordPress installs, you should not have to do anything. WordPress.com has been using many of the new features of WordPress 3.6 already and is automatically updated. Managed WordPress hosts will advise you as to a system update or notify you that you will need to update WordPress with a notification in the Administration Panels. All self-hosted versions of WordPress will feature an update notification encouraging you to update to the new version. Don’t wait. Just do it now.

Dedicated to Jazz great Oscar Peterson, “Oscar” has some very exciting new features in WordPress 3.6, most of important to many is the improvement to multimedia handling such as native support for audio and video embeds with an HTML5 media player that needs no third-party services or tools, audio and video previewing on the Media Edit Screen, and much improved integration with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud, making video and audio publishers jump for joy. Does this mean you need to say good bye to your WordPress Plugins that handle media? Maybe, maybe not. Check in with the Plugin Authors to see if they are adding more features or expanding upon the improvements native to WordPress.

Another exciting improvement is how WordPress is embracing HTML5 markup, and many external libraries have been updated for jQuery, Backbone, and JavaScript libraries.

For those of us dealing with multiple contributors, the new Post Locking and Augmented Autosave features will be a blessing. When there is more than one author editing a post, their “autosave stream” is saved separately so you may track what each has done. The new timeline feature of revisions and autosaves makes it easier to track who did what when and where and what to keep. There is also an interface for warning or taking over writing and editing a post when someone else is working on it, or has it open on their computer. I’ve played with this already and it is sweet, though a little intimidating at first.

The release includes some fantastic new features and is worth the update. The team took extra time to ensure this release was compatible with most WordPress Plugins and Themes, and Theme and Plugin authors have had months to ensure compatibility. Along with upgrading WordPress, upgrade those.

The “cast of professional actors” is better described as a cast of colorful characters, but they do a fun job showing off some of the fun features of WordPress 3.6 for WordPress.tv.

As I write this, I keep putting WordPress 2.6 instead of 3.6, another version of WordPress that brought massive changes to the interface of WordPress, some good, some not so good, but it started the trend of UI design we have today with the menu over on the left side of the screen rather than across the top. How far we have come in those few short years since WordPress 2.6.

What Was Fixed and Improved in WordPress 3.6

There were more than 700 closed tickets resolving bug fixes and feature improvements, and the full list of improvements can be found on the WordPress Codex for Version 3.6, a seriously impressive list. Examples include improvement for foreign language alphabets, improvements to shortcode handling, Author name sort on the Media Library, Post Formats to be set by default for those using a specific post format extensively, a darker Administration Panel menu to improve readability (though some argue the darker gray background with white letters is harder to read), improvements in web accessibility of the Administration Panels for screen readers and keyboard users, and so much more.

A few things are missing that were expect, which may come in later versions.

They removed the ability to edit the Post Formats from the Quick Edit and Bulk Edit features, something my students use all the time as they experiment with the different post formats, and I use to correct many client sites who make the mistake of choosing the wrong post format or thinking they have to choose a post format when their site does not support them, making things complicated when they switch WordPress Themes to one that does and they don’t like the results.

I was really hoping that media tags would be introduced in this version along with greater improvements to the Media Uploader and Library. Trying to track down images, especially when they are poorly titled, and the inability to sort by date, tag, post, or album, continues to be a challenge, as is the inability to quickly select and add images already in the Media Library similar to the ease of the File Gallery WordPress Plugin I adore on my self-hosted sites and many client sites. However, most people put one image in per post and not 25, so such improvements are for the power users.

This is one of the most important updates to WordPress. We’ve been using many of the new features on WordPress.com, so I’m eager to learn about your experience.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

15 Comments

  1. Posted August 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    is this for the paid or free sites? If it is for the free sites how would you go about doing that?

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      WordPress is free. There is the self-hosted version of WordPress – it’s free – and the hosted version of WordPress called WordPress.com, which is also free. This is the release for the self-hosted version of WordPress. You may automatically update directly from the Administration Panels where there will be a notification of the release.

      The hosted version of WordPress is automatically updated, and has been in phases for months. Thanks.

  2. beliceno
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Just upgraded and many, many thanks.

    I am so happy to be in the WordPress camp for a couple of years now.

    I think the new native embed features for videos are way cool.

    I wonder if the Viper Plugin can now be removed and whether existing video embeds will still work?

  3. Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I just convert my website from Joomla to WordPress,
    and thank for your notice about Update.
    I did, and it workd very good.
    If anyone want to convert from Joomla to wordpress, please read my article on how have I moved Joomla website with more than 10 thousand articles to wordpress

    Thank again

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      I transferred more than 2,000 static web pages to WordPress in 2003. It’s now common practice to transfer hundreds and thousands of articles from one content management system to WordPress. Thanks for sharing your tip.

  4. wilyll
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    think’s it’s free for trial :) make it best effort to launch

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I’m confused. There is no trial for WordPress. It’s free.

      Oh, maybe it’s a joke. :D

  5. Posted August 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Is this the 70% coming out of the wood work? It’s free some hosts have a on click install or you can download from http://www.wordpress.org
    This is awesome, post revisions have had a sweet improvement made to them!

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Come on, be nice. :D

      Some people just don’t get that WordPress is free and that there is a one (or three) click easy update for self-hosted versions of WordPress. WordPress.com folks often forget that they have all their basic needs taken care of, so an update announcement catches them off guard. I’m going to update the post to reflect that. I usually add it, but I’m at a full weekend conference and writing this up on a borrowed computer.

  6. Posted August 2, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the article. I read through the list of changes with improvements and notice that at least one deletion of a service isn’t listed: the Spellchecker has vanished from the create post template! I guess more people will have to read what they’ve written and do a little editing for themselves in future.

    • Posted August 2, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Spell check has never been a part of the core of WordPress. Check to see if the Plugin you were using needs updating due to interface changes.

      Thanks.

    • Posted August 2, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Funnily enough, and after I had posted the above comment, I noticed it had only disappeared on one of my WordPress blogs. I have taken it to be a part of the core simply because it is in the create post menu and not included as a separate plugin.

  7. Posted August 3, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I have upgraded to wordpress 3.6, didnt actually feel much of the difference other that the quick edit feature, but also i would like to know what are media tags and how exactly are they useful

    • Posted August 3, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      WordPress does not have media tags…yet. Unless they are hiding them.

      For moat people you will not see much difference, the sign of a goos upgrade.

      Thanks.

  8. basicwponline
    Posted August 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Continuing above discussion on missing spell check feature.

    Best way to solve this problem, use WordPress Dashboard in Google Chrome browser. Chrome has in-built spell check feature and it shows wrong spelling in real time.


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