Yesterday saw the the release of the 2nd beta version of WordPress 3.3. For the benefit of those of you who don’t have time to download the beta version and test it I thought it would be good to look at some of the features that you can expect from WordPress 3.3 when it is released in November or December.
Fly Out Admin Menus
One feature I am particularly looking forward to is fly out admin menus. Currently the admin menu can get crowded if you have a lot of plugins installed, forcing you to have to scroll down the page regularly to find the page you want.
Fly out menus makes navigation much more user friendly and should allow you to move around your admin area more efficiently.
Improved Admin Bar
The admin bar at the top of the page has also been improved. The styling has been improved and at the far left hand side a WordPress icon has been added to the menu. Hovering over that will bring up links to various WordPress.org links such as the home page, codex and support forums.
Pointers are a useful new addition that allows developers to place handy information boxes in areas where you might need some help. In the future I suspect WordPress will use it regularly with updates to help explain new features that have been added.
The media uploader has also been revamped. Before there was 4 icons for uploading images, videos, audio and media:
This has been replaced by a single upload icon:
You can upload files as normal using the new media uploader:
Alternatively, you can drag and drop files from your computer into the media box:
%postname% Performance Issue
In the Summer I spoke about the The /%postname%/ Permalink Structure Debate. Andrew Nacin had confirmed a number of times that the performance problem that can occur by using %postname% would be resolved.
I didn’t see any announcement about this being resolved though I noticed that there is now an option to choose %postname% as a permalink structure (previously you had to enter this manually). Good news for anyone who was concerned about choosing the %postname% structure for their website.
All in all the features introduced in 3.3 seems like they will vastly improve WordPress. Plugin developers should find the pointer option very useful for helping users and the cosmetic changes to the navigation menus make it easier to administrate your website. Whilst I will probably upload images as normal, I’m sure many people will find the option of dragging and dropping files into the media uploader very useful.
The most important update for me was the resolution of the %postname% performance issue as that’s the permalink structure that is used on WP Mods. I don’t believe I ever run into any problems by using this structure but perhaps I will see an improvement in performance once I’ve updated the site to WP Mods.
What do you think of the new features introduced in WordPress 3.3?