WordPress For Beginners – What’s Changed with 3.3?
Let’s start our WordPress (WP) for beginners discussion from a very high level. First, what has changed from WordPress 3.2.1 to 3.3? They’ve added some pretty handy features for both beginners and advanced users. I find the drag-and-drop media uploader is one of the better enhancements in the release. For a full list of all the updates, visit the official WordPress 3.3 Codex page. A quick run-down of the improvements is below:
- File Type Detection – A single upload button – No need to specify what type of file you’re uploading, the system automatically detects the file type when you upload it.
- Drag-and-Drop Media Uploader – This interface is way more user-friendly than the previous one. Simply open a window on your machine where the file you’re uploading is located and drag and drop the file into the upload container. The file remains on your machine and is uploaded into your media library in just a few seconds.
- New Toolbar in the dashboard, combining the Admin Bar and admin header – this makes better use of space than the previous version.
- Responsive design for some screens, including iPad/tablet support – I have an iPad and I’ve noticed a difference. This will help even if you don’t have a mobile theme enabled.
- Flyout menus, providing single-click access to any screen – again, this makes better use of the dashboard real estate. The menu can become quite lengthy, especially if you have plugins installed.
New User Experience
- New feature pointers, helping users navigate new features – integrated ‘help’ topics are a good thing.
- Post-update About screen – upgrade confirmation is nice. It let’s you know the upgrade was successful and what was updated.
- Dashboard welcome area for new installs – see above.
- Better co-editing that releases post locks immediately – this feature will be invaluable for sites that have multiple authors.
- Don’t lose widgets when switching themes – if you have a widget in play that’s in a container that goes away from one theme to another (the theme has different container areas), the widget is placed into an ‘inactive’ container, allowing you to replace it or drag it back into your stash of inactive widgets for use later.
- Tumblr Importer – if you’re switching from a Tumblr blog this can be your best friend.
That’s it for now. As you can see there are a lot of new features in this release and they’re continually adding more. Stay tuned for more tips for WordPress beginners and happy late-night blogging!