One of the WordPress core team’s aims is to release numerous significant updates per year while maintaining a short development cycle. On July 4th, WordPress 3.2 was released, and it came with a slew of new features. The discussions and work on WordPress 3.3 has already begun.
The release of WordPress 3.3 is scheduled for the end of the year, with a target date of November 15, 2011. Let’s have a peek at what WordPress 3.3 might bring.
Enhancements to the Media Uploader
There have been discussions about improving the media uploader, but they have always been put back. Finally, in version 3.3, the uploader will be improved. Plupload will be integrated into the dashboard. Plupload is an easy-to-use upload handler that supports HTML5, Gears, Flash, Silverlight, BrowserPlus, and the old-fashioned upload.
Jacob Gillespie is leading this project as part of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program.
The following are some of the potential new features that could be added:
- Multiple file transports, starting with HTML5, then Flash, and finally HTML4.
- Uploading via Drag and Drop
- Image resizing on the fly
- Image processing hooks in the browser (so that a plugin could add pre-upload sepia tone for example)
This should significantly enhance the file uploader’s overall user experience. This will also serve as an excellent foundation for the future, as it will develop over time dependent on the browser and environment used by the user.
An Improved User Experience
When you first set up Gmail or your cPanel Hosting account, you’ll see a welcome screen that walks you through the process. This much-needed function is missing from WordPress, and it will be added in WordPress 3.3. A first-time install welcome screen with introduction text and a checklist of steps to get started is proposed, as well as a first-time post-update welcome screen and a first-time exposure popup for new features.
This is excellent news for novice users, as the dashboard might be intimidating at first.
(P.S. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@wpbeginner) and like our Facebook page if you’re a WordPress beginner.)
Admin Interface That Is Responsive
With WordPress 3.2, we got a new user interface, and now the goal is to make it look good on devices with different screen sizes (including bigger displays) and human interaction techniques like touch.
Admin Bar could be improved.
In WordPress 3.1, the Admin Bar was introduced. In WordPress 3.3, the goal is to improve the admin user interface by merging the admin bar (in the dashboard) with the admin header to decrease duplication and conserve vertical space.
Enhancements to Performance
There’s a lot of talk about how ideal permalink structures aren’t scalable. Chris Coyier’s site experienced some severe performance issues, as he details on his Digging into WordPress blog. Hopefully, once WordPress 3.3 is released, you’ll be able to use SEO-friendly URLs (Permalink structure) without incurring any performance penalties.
Using an upgrade routine, a fix for the issues with special characters in permalinks will be made. The performance of WordPress menus will be improved with a number of adjustments.
Packs of Languages
You should be able to download a language pack from Glotpress to localize your WordPress website if a translation exists. This would apply to plugins, themes, and the core of WordPress. This will be based on Marko Novakovic’s work for his GSoC project. Here’s an example of what it might look like:
You may always use the Native Dashboard Plugin to alter the language of your WordPress dashboard until this is released.
The Repository’s Child Themes
A big attempt has been made to employ child themes to speed up development while also making the code more safe and efficient. However, developers have not been able to host their child themes on the official WordPress repository until now. Things are expected to change in this area as Otto, one of the best WordPress developers, takes over and adds this feature to the WordPress.org site in version 3.3.
There are a lot of updates worth mentioning that don’t belong in their own category. As a result, they are mentioned below:
- When you switch themes, your widgets vanish. Hopefully, in WordPress 3.3, we’ll be able to preserve our widgets when changing the theme.
- Admin messages that can be ignored
- The Settings and Meta APIs have been improved.
Which of these features are you most looking forward to seeing in WordPress 3.3