WordPress Wednesdays: WordPress 3.3 is out!

WordPress 3.3  — aka “Sonny”, after jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt — is now available for download or upgrading your WordPress website!

At Stem, a new WordPress version means rolling it out slowly over our internal websites to help sleuth out any conflicts between the upgrade and the plugins we usually use before applying the upgrade to our client sites.

The changes in this new version of WordPress affect both users and website developers. There are tons of little UI tweaks throughout the WordPress interface to improve your experience. For example, the sidebar navigation — which used to be strictly accordion — now has compact flyouts to keep all the menu items on the same screen.

The Admin toolbar has also been revamped, using icons for new comments and updates, and employing more flyouts to keep things tidy.

The Media Uploader has been tweaked to include a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to simply pull files from your desktop and release on top of the upload window to start uploading them to WordPress (works like a charm!).

The WordPress team has also put a great deal of work into improving the software from the perspective of new users — there are tons of new ‘pointer tips’ for new features, and they’ve included friendly welcome messages for the new folks. Here is an example, highlighting the streamlined Insert Media button above the editor:

Lastly, for the tablet users out there, the WordPress dashboard in 3.3 now has better touch support for easier use.

For developer types, the new version of WordPress also includes a jQuery upgrade (so make sure to test any of your own JavaScript post-upgrade) and a bunch of snazzy back-end stuff: a new editor API, improved help screen hooks, better performance with post permalinks, and much more!

It’s always good practice to keep your site’s version of WordPress up-to-date — make time this week to run a quick upgrade on your website (after backing up, of course!). On the off-chance you run into any problems, there is a troubleshooting master list on the WordPress website.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the new version of WordPress – please share them below!

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