WordPress 3.8 Parker features an Updated WordPress Dashboard

WordPress 3.8 Parker was released only a few days ago on December 12th, 2013 and the latest iteration of the world's most popular blogging and content management system has just gotten a major backend design update.  Checkout the refresh below when I updated one of my other websites, CarNewsCafe.

WordPress 3.8 Oscar

wordpress 3.8 parkerThe new WordPress dashboard and backend is much cleaner and seems to be more inline with how a lot of WordPress themes look nowadays.  I imagine this is not a coincidence on the part of Automattic, the company that handles WordPress development.

The new backend uses Open Sans font, which most people probably didn't know about but it works well in the WordPress dashboard.  The idea is to make things less cluttered and easier to read and manage.  In addition icons have been updated and they are now vector based which means they can scale to your screen.  That means they load faster and work better.

Dashboard Color Schemes

wordpress dashboard color schemeIn addition to the udpated look you now have options in terms of what colors you want the WordPress dashboard to look like.  There are currently 8 options to choose from which includes Default, Light, Blue, Coffee, Ectoplasm, Midnight, Ocean, and Sunrise.  The idea is to provide more options and better contrast to be easier on the eyes for WordPress users and admins.

If you have a WordPress website that a lot of different people access, a user can individually choose what WordPress dashboard color scheme they prefer.  A pretty cool update to the backend.

WordPress Twenty Fourteen ‘Magazine' Theme

wordpress twenty fourteenFor WordPress 3.8 Parker there is also a new theme called Twenty Fourteen (2014).  It has the layout of a magazine which seems to be what a lot of people use WordPress for.  The new theme is by far the cleanest default WordPress theme Automattic has come out with.

Other WordPress 3.8 Improvements

In addition to all these cool updates to WordPress 3.8 Parker there are several other nice updates.  This includes better theme management which allows you to see more advanced previews of themes you might want to switch to.  Also the widget menu is easier to handle.

It seems that the WordPress team also has improved the functionality of WordPress for mobile phones and tablets.  Creating and managing posts should be easy no matter what device you are using now.

There are other WordPress tweaks you might notice too.  For instance if you check your plugins page eeactivted plugins are highlighted in white while active plugins are in blue.  (I personally find this confusing.)  Also there is no “Quickpress” in the WordPress dashboard anymore and in it's place you will find a “Quick Draft” box.

wordpress quick draftAt first I was apprehensive about the WordPress 3.8 update since I've been using WordPress for awhile.  Automattic didn't change too much and they make ease-of-use a top priority unlike a lot of other open source software.  After a few days I really like the updated WordPress dashboard and backend.  It is definitely faster and snappy and I imagine that Automattic developers worked hard on improving the WordPress core code to achieve this in addition to reworking the design.  Kudos to everyone that contributed to WordPress 3.8 Parker.

By the way WordPress 3.8 was codenamed “Parker ” after the great Alto saxophone player, Charlie Parker.  Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, likes to use Jazz musicians to codename WordPress releases since he is Alto saxophone player.  WordPress 3.6 Oscar was named for Oscar Peterson and WordPress 3.7 Basie was named after Count Basie.  Matt Mullenweg and these these other Jazz giants might be great musicians but they don't have singing dogs. 🙂

If you haven't updated you WordPress website(s) or blog(s) to WordPress 3.8 I would recommend you do it to enjoy the new features.  I would encourage you to make a backup of your WordPress installations before you pupated though.   You never know what might happen in an update and it is always a smart precaution.

If you are used WordPress 3.8 Parker are you thoughts about the updated and new dashboard?  Do you love it or hate it?

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?

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]