WordPress 3.2 and why you need to use it.Monday 11th July 2011 | by harish | This post is in: Articles, WordPress
If you own a website or develop websites for living, you know the importance of having a web based content management system (CMS). Website owners usually have to contact their web developers for any change. This costs money. A content management system; whether custom developed or Open source avoids the maintenance cost and gives the control of the website back to its owners. Custom developed CMS no doubt would always be the best option if you have the time or money to develop them, but after spending time creating custom CMS for my clients, I have always prefered Open Source software.
Until early 2005, most of the CMS’es were basic. Some felt more like news board while other were simply web log (blog) specific applications. Some of the popular once then were Drupal, Expression Engine, Mambo (now known as Joomla), WordPress, Movable Type. There were many other avaliable, but the above mentioned were the most talked about applications.
Currently they have evolved from basic systems, to modular systems that could be customized for almost any requirements. From the list mentioned, the one that stands out is WordPress. Its free and simple. Most CMS’es have tried to include as many features as possible making it easier for the developers but harder for the end user who might not have technical know-how or might not care beyond the point that he just wants to update his site.
When we create websites for others, and the owners are non-technical, WordPress from my personal experience has been the best option. If a new user spends few hours, they would be able to check almost every single feature/option in the WordPress backend. People like me who make websites for others, know that client wants to run his business and have no inclination towards becoming master of using Web Applications. WordPress is just perfect for this requirement.
More About WordPress
The most current version of WordPress is version 3.2 named as “Gershwin”. Below are some of the pictures showing WordPress has evolved over the years
Screenshots of different versions of WordPress
What’s New & Exciting in WordPress 3.2
The focus for this release was making WordPress faster and lighter. The first thing you’ll notice when you log in to 3.2 is a refreshed dashboard design that tightens the typography, design, and code behind the admin. (Rhapsody in Grey?)
— Matt Mullenweg, WordPress 3.2 now available
Dropping Support for Internet Explorer 6 (it was about time)
Dropping support for PHP 4 and older versions of MySQL
WordPress 3.2 no longer supports PHP 4 and MySQL 4. Which means if you wish to install or upgrade to this new version, you would have to check with your web host the version of PHP & MySQL you use.
Although WordPress 3.2 does not do anything that requires PHP 5, this move makes sure everyone upgrades their server and WordPress developers could then start using PHP 5 to further optimize the software and make it more lighter and faster.
In versions prior to 3.2 WordPress upgrades were full replacements of all core files, which might be a nightmare for developers who customize core files. However thats to the WordPress developer, WordPress 3.2 only replace files that need to be modified. This speeds up the upgrade process, makes it safer, more reliable, and for those who modified the core files, there will be fewer files to modify.
Its faster, lighter and more streamlined
This is first major update to the backend user interface. The New Dashboard is cleaner, sharp and less curvy. The interface feels more professional, and WordPress definitely feels more faster.
Check out full WordPress 3.2 Before & After gallery put together by WPCandy
Distraction Free Writing
(Full Screen writing mode with only essential toolbar on display)
This would be my favourite feature. After entering the fullscreen mode of the WordPress post editor,this new “Distraction Free Writing” feature hides everything except the content. For people like me who can’t focus on one thing for too long, this is very helpful. The Crisp black text on white background feels nice. And you still can access the visual editor by moving your mouse on top of the screen.
New Default Theme (Twenty Eleven)
Twenty Eleven is the upgrade to the Duster theme for WordPress.com and WordPress.org users. Duster was developed by the gang at Automattic (the people behind WordPress.com) and it was a visually and technically impressive theme.
Other Content Management Systems