WordPress 3.4, dubbed “Green” in honour of guitarist Grant Green, was released only weeks ago and has already surpassed 4 million downloads as of the time of this writing. What does that say about this incredible platform?
Naturally I am somewhat biased but I think WordPress combines the perfect combination of power, flexibility, scalability and ease of use. The proof is in the numbers. And with each new major release it just keeps getting better.
Whether you use WordPress to publish your personal thoughts, run a political blog, operate an online store or a full-blown corporate site, it is the CMS of choice for many. Just head over to the Showcase section of WordPress.org to see some stunning examples of WordPress being used in ways you never thought possible.
Now that WordPress 3.4 is here, more specifically 3.4.1, I thought I would take a quick look at some of my favourite features.
In the past, if you wanted to tweak your theme, you had to either put your site into maintenance mode or install a plugin or even carry out the changes on a local install. No longer. Now you can preview any changes to your site before pushing them out live.
While in the Manage Themes screen simply click on the Customize link which brings up the Theme Customizer as seen in the image below.
From this screen you can:
- change site title and tagline
- display header text or not
- change colour scheme (if your theme supports it)
- change header text and link colours
- choose background colour
- select different layout (if your theme supports it)
- select or upload new header image
- change background image
- select whether you want your front page to display your latest posts or a static page
I believe it was WordPress 2.9 that introduced the embed feature via oEmbed. oEmbed is a format that allows you to embed content such as video or photos in your site via a URL only. In WordPress 3.4 this has been extended to include Twitter. To embed a tweet into your post simply enter the URL to that tweet. See the image below.
IMAGE CAPTIONS WITH HTML SUPPORT
This has been a much requested feature for some time. Starting with this release you can now include HTML in your image captions.
This comes in handy for adding emphasis or even a link, such as a credit.
Prior to WordPress 3.4 if you wanted to reach the login page you had to add
/wp-login.php to the end of your site’s URL. With 3.4 you can reach the login page with just
/login. Additionally, both
/dashboard will take you to your WordPress dashboard without typing in
/wp-admin. I realize this is just a small feature but sometimes it is the small additions that make things so much easier.
There is of course so much more than what I’ve highlighted here. As I said, these are just a few of my personal favourites. To see a complete list of features/enhancements head over to the official announcement at WordPress.org.
* photo credit: Wikipedia