WordPress 3.7 Basie comes packed with Automatic Updates, Improved Search, & better Foreign Language Support

WordPress 3.7 Basie was just released and while they are not as many upgrades to WordPress 3.7 as there was in WordPress 3.6, the world's most popular content management system (CMS) just keeps getting better and better.  New and notable features in WordPress 3.7 Basie includes;

wordpress 3.7 basie

Automatic WordPress Updates

Maintenance and security releases in WordPress 3.7 are automatic and most sites will be able to apply updates in the background.  Wordpress updates are also now a lot more secure and reliable, according to Automattic developers, with new checks and safeguards.

Some configurations will still require more manual updates though.  System administrators and WordPress developers can fine tune controls though for major releases and automatic plugin updates.  This should save a lot of people time and hassle.

WordPress Search Results Improved

If you are using the WordPress search system to find posts and content on your website and have been frustrated with the fact it sorts articles by date, they've changed it.  Search queries are based on how well the keywords match the relevant content and post titles and now will not be sorted by dates.

Advanced search queries are also supported.  What does that mean?  Only want to see posts that went love on specific date or date range?  This will make finding older content a lot easier.

Stronger Passwords

Wordpres password meter

Having a strong password is important and WordPress developers thinks so too.  The WordPress password meter has been updated in WordPress 3.7 to recognize popular mistakes that can weaken a site's password.  What does this include?  Names, keyboard patterns (123456789), and even pop culture references will be considered “Weak” under the WordPress password meter now.

Better WordPress Support in Foreign Languages

Do you speak another language besides English?  You will be happy to hear that WordPress will receive faster and more complete translations in foreign languages.  WordPress 3.7 has added support for automatically installing the correct language files and keeps these language files updated.  This make it easier to manage a WordPress site in a foreign language for millions of WordPress users around the world.  “Parlez vous Francais?”

WordPress Multisite

wp_get_sites()

Allows those running WordPress Multisite installations allows developers and administrators of large WP Multisite installations to get an idea of all the sites on the network.  This makes so that you do need to do do a direct database query to get that information.

WordPress 3.7 Basie

wordpress 3.7

It should be noted that WordPress 3.7 Basie is named in honor of the Jazz great Count Basie.   Since Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, is a Jazz saxophone player this isn't surprising.  WordPress 3.6 Oscar was codenamed after the Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

What's impressive about the WordPress 3.7 launch is the timetable of it's release.  Wordpress 3.6 was unveiled at the 2013 State of the Word at released at the beginning of August, 2013.   For WordPress 3.8 Automattic anticipates it will release in December which is just 2 months away.

What do you think of WordPress 3.7 Basie?  Are you hoping for any new features in WordPress 3.8?

2013 State of the Word with Matt Mullenweg

state of the word
Matt Mullenweg giving the 2013 State of the Word

The 2013 State of the Word was recently presented at WordCamp San Fransisco.  State of the Word is an annual presentation given by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress.  He talks about the developments and progress WordPress has made in the past year and the future plans and hopes for the platform.

Even if you don't personally use WordPress and use another content management system (Joomla, Drupal, etc) it is still good to watch the State of the Word's to know what is going on with WordPress. Keep in mind WordPress is the largest content management system (CMS) out there and is getting more popular and more powerful everyday.  I don't see this trend changing anytime soon and I don't think any other CMS can catch-up with it's rapid development.

So what is new with WordPress?  Apparently the Automattic team has reworked the plugin review system.  “Now all ratings are attached to reviews.” commented Mullenweg.  Essentially this means nobody can give you 1-star without saying why they think it deserves that rating.  Also the plugin author can now respond in a thread to a negative review.  If the plugin improves a reviewer can change it.  Matt Mullenweg did many 1-star reviews have been changed to 5-star reviews.

Another interesting development is that there will be a WordPress book coming out soon.  According to Matt Mullenweg it will the first book to be written on Github, which is for sharing coding databases.

There was also talk about the fact that WordPress will start to become not just a blog/CMS platform but an application platform.  Automattic will be focusing more on becoming a developer resource (developer.wordpress.org). Mullenweg thinks of WordPress as a platform that with different building blocks such as a CMS, blog, or e-commerce blocks you can build in or take out as you need.

Matt also talked about the MP6 plugin project within Automattic.  I have never heard of this but apparently it changes the user interface administration in the backend of WordPress.   You can change colors, it is responsive, and it looks pretty slick from what I could tell.

WordPress 3.8 apparently will feature Luke Skywalker and Automattic hopes to release it sometime in December this year (I think).  Mullenweg also said he would like to start releasing the default WordPress theme like automakers.  (Automakers release the new model before the year even starts often.)

At the time WordCamp San Francisco took place WordPress 3.6 was not released but was on August 1st, 2013.  WordPress 3.6 “Oscar” was named after Oscar Peterson, the great Jazz pianist.  In State of the Word 2013 Matt Mulleweg highlighted some of the rising “WordPress rockstars” as he called it that have helped with it's continued development.  They did show the video for WordPress 3.6 (which I am running now) and it is sweet!

“Be the change with WordPress.” said Mullwenweg at the end of the presentation.  He really encourages people to get involved with helping out in the WordPress community.

You can watch the State of the Word right here or by visiting WordPress.TV.  There was also a Q&A session after the State of the Word presentation.

Some of the most interesting parts of Matt's State of the Word presentations is when he mentions the growth of WordPress along with some WordPress Stats and numbers. I've tried to organize them here;

WordPress Stats

  • 18.9% of the web now runs on the WordPress platform.  This is a 2.2% increase from last year.  (Matt mention it should be as popular as Justin Bieber.)
  • 46 million WordPress downloads from (46,355,774) in the last year.  175,000 everyday.  (That number does not include automatic scripts installations only downloads from WordPress.org.)
  • In a WPEngine survey they asked US adults, “Have you heard of WordPress?” 29.7% of survey respondents said “Yes.”
  • 336 WordPress Themes were added to the directory this year.  That is 2.3 as many as last year. Impressive considering each theme goes through a theme review process.
  • 1,500 people were active in WordPress Core development over the past year.
  • 30,000 respondents from 178 different countries took part in the WordPress survey.  “Community” and “ease-of-use” are what people like the best about WordPress.  The least?  “Plugins” are the least favorite along with “updates” and “security.”
  • 15 updates for the WordPress mobile apps were released.  There were 3 updates for iOS, 6 for Android, and 6 for Windows phones.  (Who wants a Windows phone?)
  • Make.wordpress.org blogs have received 10,945 posts and comments in 2012, which is double the amount since last year.
  • 50,000 blogs that were created 7 days ago on WordPress.com will be active today.  That is only a 96% rate of attrition rate of bloggers.  They believe this number is higher for WordPress.org users because of the extra steps.  Since you have to buy a domain, hosting, and setup a few things yourself.

WordPress Plugin States

  • Over 40,000 plugins have been relaunched.
  • 9,334 plugins requested to be reviewed in the past year and 6,758 were approved for the WordPress plugin directory by Automattic.
  • There are now 26,000 WordPress plugins in the directory.

WordPress Usage

  • 98% of people use WordPress on web.
  • 31% use WordPress on an iPad or iPhone
  • 30% use Android mobile phones
  • 18% Android tablets
  • 13% Desktop Apps

What do you use WordPress for?

  • 69% use WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)
  • 20% Blog/CMS
  • 6% as a Blog
  • 7% as an App platform (new entry this year)

WordCamp Stats

  • 314 WordCamps have been held to date
  • 72 WordCamps have taken place in the past year.
  • 1,026 people have given talks at WordCamp over the past year.
  • Videos of WordCamp presentations on WordPress.TV have been viewed 1.4 million times.  So you better prepare a good talk at WordCamp! 🙂

WordPress 10th Anniversary

WordPress 3.6 Oscar gets Groovy New Features

WordPress 3.6 Oscar was released at the beginning of August and as with every new WordPress iteration, the most popular content management system (CMS) just keeps getting better and better.  Leaving those other CMS frameworks behind. (cough, Joomla, cough, Drupal.)

Checkout this video that Automattic, the company behind WordPress, released to showcase the new features and updates with WordPress 3.6 Oscar.  The video made it's debut at the 2013 State of the Word presentation at WordCamp San Francisco which is given my Matt Mullenwegg, the creator of WordPress each year.

As you can see there have been quite a lot of updates going on behind-the-scenes with WordPress.  Notable new features include;

Article Locking

wordpress post lockingOn WordPress sites with many users you will now see the above screen if you try to edit an article another user is working on.  It's helpful for blogs and news sites that have many concurrent users.  This prevents someone from correcting styling changes or typos the original author might know is there but hasn't had a chance to go in and fix yet.  Saving time and hassle for everyone.

For those that are the sole writer on their blogs or website, this isn't a feature that you will find useful I assume.   Of course you might in the future.

wordpress article locking

Better Revision Control

If an editor does take over a post you can always see who is editing with live updates in the list of posts.  WordPress 3.6 also separates versions revisions by different authors so you know who wrote what.

WordPress 3.6 Oscar makes seeing your own revisions easy by highlighting text in snazzy colors.  You can also go back in time and compare different versions of your article to see what you like and didn't like.  This should allow you to be confident to explore and have writing freedom but gives you piece of mind you can still retrieve an old post if you liked it better.

Autosave

WordPress now automatically Autosaves posts so worrying about losing that great paragraph you wrote is not a concern anymore.  Your content is safe whether your power goes out or you accidentally navigate away from your post.

Default Theme – Twenty Thirteen

Automattic has released a new default theme named Twenty Thirteen.  The idea to to put the focus on content by having a single column.  The design is inspired by modern art and has great fonts, bold colors, and a flexible layout.  In addition the theme is more mobile optimized and should look great on any device whether that is your desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.

Media Embedding and Support

wordpress 3.6 oscarThis is probably what most WordPress bloggers and users are most happy about with WordPress 3.6 I imagine.  There is improved media support and embedding with a built in HTML5 media player now.  This makes uploading files to your site and embedding them in posts a lot easier in WordPress 3.6 Oscar.  All you do is paste the URL where the MP3 or video files is located, and boom, you are done.  This means all those plugins you used to need to use to attach MP3 files are not really needed anymore.  Also you can now embed music from SoundCloud, Spotify, and Rdio.  (No, that is not a typo in case you are wondering.)

WordPress 3.6 Oscar

Well there are a lot of other great features in WordPress 3.6 that I could go on about these are the most important ones that most people will use I assume.  I could go on and on about new improvements and how awesome WordPress is.  It's just awesome they keep making Groovy changes and updates..

What do you think of WordPress 3.6 Oscar?  Do you love the new features?  If yes, what is your favorite new feature and why?

[Source – WordPress News Blog]