WordPress has done it again with yet another reason to Upgrade WordPress, with a ton of new enhancement with this latest stable version. It is kid tested and the use is mother approved (in most cases). Being an active WordPress Developer, I help many people and clients upgrade WordPress and I can tell you I was very excited after testing the new enhancements on the stable version on two test sites.
WordPress 3.4 Upgrade Features
The WordPress 3.4 Upgrade brings some exciting new features…amongst which are relative to easy on the fly header and theme changes…as well as previews both in your live theme and in other themes which are not activated. You can now change header graphic sizes in all of your installed themes and see how different things will look in preview mode! (The codename for this project is “Green,” named after musician Grant Green).
There is also a new Twitter embed function which is much more interactive. These are just a few of the new features, go ahead and read about the others below (read some of the favorite features below) (there are links to read about all features in this post as there are too many to list) (some of the other features include enhancement to tools, users, multi-site, install process and development support for themes and plugins).
Some of the Upgrade Features
- Theme Previews with Live Change Reflection
- Custom Image Header with Multiple Sizes
- Twitter Support Enhanced
- HTML Support in Photo Captions
- Reply Back to Comments from Post Edit Screen
- Localization and Translation Features
Prepare to Be Amazed
Theme Customizer: The ability to live preview installed themes is amazing. You can also change various things and see them in the currently active theme. This makes swapping out different header graphics of various sizes easy and greatly enhances the ability to improve your site on the fly. There is an excellent article by Otto on using the new WordPress sizable headers which will help in understanding how this new feature works.
Live Change Previews on WordPress 3.4 Upgrade: The above is a live capture of the sidebar area when live editing a theme. This particular theme is Twenty Eleven and wasn’t activated at the time of the cap. This works with any theme that has been coded with theme support for these functions. Most theme developers are following the conventions to provide support (there are links below to add the header support to an existing theme). If the theme doesn’t have support for a particular function, a shorter list of options appears.
Twitter Embeds: WordPress has had oEmbed support now for some time (where you can put in a URL to various web items such as videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, etc.). This support has now been extended to Twitter posts…so you can just drop the link to the particular tweet in the post editor…it then brings up a summary where the tweet can be responded to, retweeted or favorited by anyone. The visitor can also follow you directly from the displayed box. There is a screencap of what this looks like below as well as a couple notes.
- Replies and Retweets Not Threaded
- Dialog Box Pops Up
- Check URL is Not Linked
You may have to bump to your HTML view to make sure when you drop the URL in the post editor that it does not become linked. You can also use the remove link function. The link to the above post looks like this:
How to Find The Twitter URL: If you click on any Twitter Tweet, you will see the tweet expand and a button marked “detail” appear at the bottom right corner. This will take you to the full view where you can obtain the URL from the go or address line.
Check URL is Not Linked: The editor wants to link whole URLs that are dropped into it…if this happens, go the the HTML view and make sure just the link appears as above with no hyperlink markup…or use the link function in the editor and remove the link.
Box Does Not Show Dialogue Summary: There is no pull in from Twitter showing the activity on the tweet itself.
Image Captions HTML support is now here. There are tons of photos on the net that can be used with attribution (linking back to the image owner)…until now, they had to be placed in the post or page content itself or at the bottom of the post. This new feature allows a more fluid discovery of these cooperative works or can be used as a callback for a link (or various other things).
Replying to Comments from the Post Edit Screen: There have to be active comments for this to appear in the post edit screen, but if so, replying back is easy…just one click to expand the simplified comment editor reply box, where there are some simple tags available as well.
Localization Extension for Other Languages: There have been quite a few enhancements to aid translation function. This is best explained here.
Summary of This Upgrade
We’ve all been through the many upgrades and they always provide added security, stability and feature. Some are more transparent addressing items that aren’t related to usability or contributing to flexibility of design. We’ve seen this change with the last few releases which is very exciting as at the end of the day, the front-end of the site is what visitors see. These are awesome enhancements to make working with multiple themes easier and more comparable in a realtime fashion. Install This Upgrade Today!
Developer Info and Informational Links
- Read All About the Upgrade Features
- Download the New Version
- Matt on How P2 Changed Things
- Lorelle on Speed Changes and Features
- Field Guide for WordPress Developers
- Add Flexible Headers to Existing WordPress Themes
- Creating the New P2 Style WordPress Themes
- P2 Development Blog