WordPress 3.2 Due For Launch This Week

So after 3 release candidates and much anticipation its expected that WordPress 3.2 will be launched this week or maybe even today. There have been many announcements from WordPress in a run up to the launch but most importantly I’m sure you all know by now that this installation will require you to be running PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.15 before you update.

You should find out if your hosting provider is up to date (most generally are since PHP 5.2.4 was released in August 2007,  and MySQL 5.0.15 was released at the end of 2006 – so its been long enough). Alternatively if you want to be sure then there is also a Health Check plugin where you can find out if everything is up to scratch for the new release.

Dropping support for Internet Explorer 6 was a decision we made recently for our own projects and so it seems have WordPress with their new release – so if you’re viewing WordPress 3.2 from Internet Explorer 6 then expect to see a red box in your dashboard which will notify you that the new functions will not work with your current version of IE 6. Expect WordPress to be dropping support for IE 7 in the future.

Given these updates expect to see the new version of WordPress working more efficiently and with faster page loading and speedier plugin additions. It’ll be a great advantage for WordPress websites that are really counting on Google for rankings as page loading and performance are now being factored into Google’s recent algorithm changes.

With this new version you’ll also be supporting incremental upgrades of files that have been modified and not the core code. Again this will save a lot of time and is also expected to reduce any download errors.

New Features in WordPress 3.2

So what new features will you be seeing with WordPress 3.2 – an updated admin interface, a full-screen post editor, and an extended admin bar.

Firstly as you can see the new admin interface is just a little cleaner and looking more compact.

WordPress 3.2 Admin

WordPress 3.2 Admin

WordPress 3.2 Admin

Full Screen Editor

The new Ajax styled Full Screen Editor interface is super when you want a distraction free writing space so you can focus purely on writing with nothing else to clutter the screen. Its inspired by writing apps like WriteRoom or OmmWriter and infact I wouldn’t mind having that option right now as Im writing this! You can easily switch from Visual to HTML mode by just hovering over the white space when a basic toolbox appears.

WordPress 3.2 Full-Screen Editor

The Extended Admin Bar

Newly introduced to WordPress 3.1 – this feature took a bit of getting used to but we found our clients really liked the option to easily access and edit pages directly from the admin bar. Now with 3.2 more commonly used functions have been added to the admin bar such as the favorites menu as well as plugins.

The New Default Theme — Twenty Eleven

WordPress 3.2 will also bring in the launch of the new default theme – Twenty Eleven, and you can read more about in Konstantin’s recent Twenty Eleven theme review.

Most importantly, developers of themes and plugins should check everything to see if they break with this new release as those that use jQuery could see problems arise due to the changes in jQuery 1.6. Hopefully you’ve been early enough to run through all these changes and haven’t left it to the last minute but if you are one of those late ones I wouldn’t wait any longer – rumor has it the WordPress 3.2 release could even happen this evening.

Apparently future release cycles will now be shorter so expect more frequent upgrades in future. Let us know what you think should be included in future WordPress releases. Don’t forget to tell us what you think of the new release as soon as you’ve upgraded.