New version of WordPress (3.3) and why you should update

WordPress 3.3 was released this week. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Drag & drop media uploader – whether you’re uploading directly into the Media library or adding from a post, you can now drag & drop your files into the browser window to upload.
  • A single attachment button – when you add an image or video to a post or page, you no longer have to choose what type of file it is before uploading. There’s just one button to upload or insert any file type.
  • Dashboard redesign – the wp-admin area got a facelift. The menus fly-out and expand now and when you click to a new section, the previous section collapses. No more having a mess of open menus. There are also helper pointers which can be a little annoying but are easily closed.
  • Widgets – You no longer lose your widgets when you switch themes. This is HUGE! That was one of the most frustrating aspects of working with WordPress. I haven’t tested it out yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • Better “co-editing” – Post and page locks are released immediately now, so you should only see “Bob is currently editing …” if Bob is actually editing.
  • jQuery 1.7.1 and jQuery UI 1.8.16 – WordPress now has the latest version of jQuery and includes jQuery UI. This is excellent but be careful when you upgrade if you have plugins and other elements in your site that use jQuery. You’ll want to make sure those things are compatible with the latest and greatest jQuery. If you’re not sure or you have no clue what I’m talking about, contact me.

Wondering why you should update?

If the features above aren’t incentive enough, it’s always best to have the most current version for functionality and security purposes. This goes for WordPress, plugins, and themes.

While we’re on the topic of WordPress security, now’s a great time to go through your plugins and make sure you are using all of the plugins you have installed. If you aren’t using a plugin, deactivate it and then delete it. If you have inactive plugins installed, remove them. If you have inactive themes, delete them too. These are just extra ways bad guys can get into your website.

Upgrading

I’ve updated over a dozen websites to use 3.3 so far and haven’t run into any problems. If you have a WordPress site that needs updating but you either aren’t comfortable doing it yourself or you think you might have trouble or you have any questions about upgrading, please contact me. If you have a Circa Consulting maintenance plan, I’m planning to update your sites early next week.

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