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
The 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
In 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
For 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.
At 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?