Last week, WordPress released WordPress 3.2 – the fifteenth major release of WordPress. I saw a slideshow on Mashable of how the WordPress interface has changed over the years since 2003 – and wow, it’s come a long way.
The focus for this release was to make WordPress faster and lighter, but 3.2 also sees a new & improved administrative interface, and the much talked about distraction-free writing mode (which I’m using as I write this!).
Here’s a screenshot of the updated admin interface:
And then a couple of the distraction-free writing mode. It does feel rather nice, it must be said. And I think it works too – with a blank white screen surrounding what you’re writing, you really don’t get distracted. This is a good reminder about website design in general – only have elements on the page which serve a purpose!
Pretty minimalist! And if you need buttons, here they are…
To use the distraction-free writing mode, just click on the ‘Toggle fullscreen mode’ icon within the write posts screen. It’s on the top row of icons, second from the right.
A few more important points:
- Support for PHP 4 and older versions of MySQL has been dropped. This is a good thing – support for these outdated versions was holding back the use of features enabled by new technologies.
- Support for Internet Explorer 6 has been dropped. This is a good thing too, although I have a niggling concern for organisations (schools are a good example) who are often waaaay behind upgrading browsers. But it needs to be done, and hopefully this will help convince them that they really do need to update…
- Upgrades are now much faster – as only updated files are replaced, rather than the whole WordPress directory. Works for me!
- A new default ‘Twenty Eleven’ theme has been introduced, using HTML 5 & apparently responsive design. It’s sort of similar to Twenty Ten, but different (how’s that for a description?!). One of the obvious additions is the ability to have multiple rotating header images.
All Hexagon-hosted WordPress websites will be getting an upgrade very shortly – exciting times!