Why you should upgrade to WordPress 3.5 ASAP

As you know WordPress 3.5 was released on Dec. 11th. Aside from all the main reasons you should always keep your WordPress version up to date, I want to share with you some drastic reasons on why you should make the updates ASAP.

photo credit: teamstickergiant via photopin cc

1. The Media Manager / Gallery Abilities

OMG. This is the moment we have been waiting for. No longer will we be forced to use a plugin to manage our galleries. Galleries are now part of the core of WordPress. You will notice when you add a pic now you have the ability to create a gallery. Once you upload and multi upload your pics for your gallery you can insert it automatically in a page or post using id’s. The sort order is cool too – you can just drag your images to the position you would like them to be placed in and easily add your title and caption. If your theme has gallery/ portfolio styling, it will will pick it up and runs seamlessly. Here is an example of our galleries using the WordPress galleries and Woo Themes portfolio custom post type.

Description of Media Manager Update via WordPress Codex:

  • Beautiful interface: A streamlined, all-new experience
  • Create galleries faster with drag-and-drop reordering, inline caption editing, and simplified controls
  • Insert multiple images at once with Shift/Ctrl+click

2. New Responsive Twenty Twelve Default Theme

If using the default WordPress theme is your thing, then you will be super excited about the new Twenty Twelve theme. It is packed full of updates replacing Twenty Eleven. It’s a responsive theme that also includes some cool theme features including: Sidebar WidgetsNavigation MenusPost FormatsPost ThumbnailsCustom BackgroundsCustom HeadersAutomatic Feed Links, and Editor Style.

Description of  Default Theme Twenty Twelve via WordPress Codex:

  • Simple, flexible, elegant
  • Mobile-first, responsive design
  • Gorgeous Open Sans typeface
  • Uses the latest Theme Features

3. New Admin Features

For us WordPress junkies who love to geek out, the Admin area also got a facelift. New year to you. You go WordPress! Some cool stuff includes new welcome screen, retina ready, and hide link manager just to name a few. I don’t mind the link manager being hidden as my dashboard was getting a bit full anyway and I’d like to keep it clean. It is all in the details for WordPress and sometimes it is just nice to feel spoiled.

Description of  Admin Enhancements via WordPress Codex:

  • New Welcome Screen
  • Retina-Ready (HiDPI) Admin
  • Hide Link Manager for new installs
  • Better accessibility for screenreaders, touch devices, and keyboard users
  • More polish on admin screens, including a new color picker

4. For Developers

In this update we saw quite a few new highlights for developers. One of the cool ones to point out is the show_admin_column which allows automatic creation of taxonomy columns on associated post-types. Previously, plugin and theme developers had to manually insert this to anything to make their job easier is always nice.

Description of  Developer Highlights via WordPress Codex:

  • WP_Comment_Query and WP_User_Query accept now meta queries just like WP_Query
  • Meta queries now support querying for objects without a particular meta key
  • Post objects are now instances of a WP_Post class, which improves performance and caching
  • Multisite’s switch_to_blog() is now significantly faster and more reliable
  • WordPress has added the Underscore and Backbone JavaScript libraries
  • TinyMCE, jQuery, jQuery UI, and SimplePie have all been updated to the latest versions
  • Image Editing API for cropping, scaling, etc., that uses ImageMagick as well as GD
  • XML-RPC: Now always enabled and supports fetching users, managing post revisions, searching
  • New “show_admin_column” parameter for register_taxonomy() allows automatic creation of taxonomy columns on associated post-types.

Other Changes and Recap

One small change that might freak you out is the renaming of the “HTML” editor tab to “Text” in a page or post. I honestly don’t like this, but oh well. I write code in my notepad text editor so I get it, but still. Not excited about the change!

Basically, if you don’t upgrade for any other reason than the galleries you are missing out. The media manager overhaul is to die for and long awaited. Other main items are the overall “tidying” up. It is just a lot cleaner, and who couldn’t use some spring cleaning in their dashboard.

To date there has been over 2,300,000 downloads of WordPress 3.5 and the counter keeps going up. If you still aren’t convinced check out the full list of highlights and upgrades on the WordPress Codex.

Go forth and upgrade!

Source: WordPress Codex

Rachael Butts
I'm a self-made WordPress designer who loves running my own shop...and coffee. You can find me at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

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