After more than four months of development new version of WordPress 3.2 was officially released yesterday (by coincidence USA celebrated the Independence day), only few days behind the originally planned date (30. June). This version does not bring any significant changes, the main effort was to optimise the current functions after many big changes brought by WordPress 3.0. But even for regular users brings WordPress 3.2 some pleasant changes.
Every significant new version of WordPress is named after some famous musician/composer, this time it was American composer George Gershwin. You can check the basic list of the news in our older article, because most of the suggested functions is at the end implemented and therefore the previous overview is not very different to actual version. It is also recommended to watch the clear marketing video with compelling music of George Gershwin.
The most significant change is probably the general optimisation, as the WordPress 3.2 is really faster and softer. There was a lot of positive changes which resulted in less demanding server requirements despite the new functions were added. Developers managed to avoid some unnecessary database queries or to ease the logic of some functions. The result is the fact that WordPress 3.2 does need only slightly bit more of PHP memory (memory_limit) than the older versions. After few executed tests (update from 3.1.4. to 3.2) the used memory_limit has differed only in few tenths of MB which is almost negligible difference. Contrarily there is more significant decrease of memory requirements during the automated update which usually caused the troubles. Developers also remade the way of message board reading, which is at the first look red really faster and is again using less memory. Hopefully the time of continuously increasing memory requirements is over.
The automated update itself went through the changes as well, so if you had some troubles with it for some reason, be sure you will try it again next time. (But of course, this change is only valid during the update from the installed version 3.2 to higher). Newly only the core of the WordPress should be updated, so if you for example delete the plug-in Hello Dolly or Akisment, it will not appear again after the automated update (but still remains as a part of the installation package for new users). This should avoid the previous confusions like degradation of the Akisment plug-in to the previous version after the update. Also the default template should be updated separately through the official template directory from now, so new version of Twenty Eleven template can be released, without the need of releasing the whole new WordPress. Automated update should be now working only for the files which has been really changed in the new version. This means that during the update to the 3.2.1 version only the changed files will be overwritten and not the whole installation.
Probably the most important change for all users are the new minimal installation requirements. WordPress 3.2 needs at least PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. If you are not sure that your hosting provider has these parameters, try before the update to new version itself the Health Check plug-in first. After that you will get the positive or negative message about the installation (there is no any other function of this plug-in). If the hosting provider does not meet the requirements, try to contact their technical support. If your hosting provider does not meet these requirements and does not think about the change in the near future, we recommend that you update to version 3.1.4 for security reasons and after that gradually prepare for hosting provider change.
WordPress developers also decided to struggle the out of the date explorers, therefore if you are still using Internet Explorer 6 you will not enjoy the new administration as this version of IE will not be supported any more. Big red notification with the link to new version appears on the message board after the login in to the WordPress administration. Similar messages will be appearing for some other explorers, for example Internet Explorer 7 and 8 (these are still supported). WordPress is used by tenths of million of users (just for 3.1.x version the number of downloads reached 15 million), so this decision will probably help to send the out of the date explorers into the happy haunting grounds. By the way, Internet Explorer 7 support will probably end with the WordPress 3.3 version.
In the world of content management systems WordPress has one of the best user interfaces and Word Press 3.2 brings up some more contribution. Although its small changes like added (relocated) button, or simplified operation logic, it results in more comfortable users experience and still improving. Two completely new pages were added with the WordPress licence explanations and with the more detailed information about developers and translators (you will find the links in the administration path).
What else is WordPress 3.2bringing?
You can’t miss the completely new look right after the administration login. Even though the structure remains almost the same there are some changes to the rest (fonts, colours). Positive but also negative responses appeared during the development, but have to admit that do like the new look as it appears to be more “clean”. Although for example, the web name could be slightly bigger (but it is just matter of getting used to it). The change also affected the visual editor icons, which are slightly different and only grey in the default state. The colours will come during the mouse pointer hovering over the icons (you can see the difference on the enclosed picture).
Also the new Twenty Eleven (2011) template has to be mentioned. Everyone can examine and try it. You can find the further details in our previous article. Just adding that the template fully supports HTML5. Next time you will be introduced to some new and interesting functions of this template.
Uninterrupted writing has been also already mentioned. Because no significant changes were made to this function, our previous article is still up to date. It is recommended to all compulsive writers, it is very convenient to use and you will find yourself fully concentrated on the writing itself and your thoughts. The administration bar was extended with some new useful links.
Many new functions, parameters and repaired errors are available for programmers. The new versions of widely used external scripts (jQuery 1.6.1 and TinyMCE 3.4.2.) were also added. We will progressively go through some of them. You can find specific details in the documentation.
WordPress 3.2 can be downloaded straight from the official web (English version) or you can use the automated update facility.
And how do you like the new WordPress 3.2?
Download it here http://www.wordpress.org