WordPress 3.2: What you need to know

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  This is a good thing – support for these outdated versions was holding back the use of features enabled by new technologies.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!

One thought on “WordPress 3.2: What you need to know

  1. Great post – it’s always good to keep up to date with WordPress and other similar sites. I agree that the support for IE 6 could move on now, but you’re right that sometimes places such as schools could be left behind. But… it will hopefully encourage them to upgrade.

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