Recently, WordPress 3.4 was released. For those of you who have not clicked the one-click upgrade button just yet, please make sure that you upgrade. We hope that this article, we will highlight what’s new in WordPress 3.4 in terms of features for users and developers.
Live Preview and Theme Customizer
The theme customizer is one of the best features in WordPress 3.4. Perfect for both developers and users alike, the theme customizer will start a new era of WordPress theme development.
Previously, users would not know whether a specific theme would work for their website without activating it. They could not see how the theme would look with their content. Well that problem is out the window now with the Live Preview and Theme Customizer. When you go to Appearence » Themes, you will see “Live Preview” below each of the themes.
When you click the “Live Preview” link, a preview box will open with the Theme Customizer. For the active theme, there will be a link named Customize that you can click which will open the live preview.
For those interested in finding out more here is a link to a great article on “How to Leverage the Theme Customizer in your own Themes”
Improved Custom Headers
In WordPress 3.0, WordPress added the ability add custom header images. However, all the header images had to be a specific width and height. If you decided to change things around, it would cause things to look weird. In WordPress 3.4, you can now have flexible headers. Plus, you can now add custom header and background images from the Media Library. You can see the new code in the Codex.
Image Caption HTML
In the past when adding images, you couldn’t link to the photo author in the caption. Well, in WordPress 3.4 you can. This will make things easy. Check out the example below:
Photo by Kyle McCluer and used under Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
Better Organization for Page Templates
If you ever worked on a complex site, you will find yourself creating a lot of custom page templates. Up until now, all page template files had to stay inside the theme folder along with all other files. This can get really clunky. To facilitate organisation, you can now have a /pages/ sub-directory in your theme’s folder where you can place all page templates. Starting in WordPress 3.4, WordPress will identify all page templates in the theme folder or in any sub-directory of a theme folder. We know this will be extremely handy for our theme.
There were a lot of bug fixes and improvements. Below is a list of items that we found to be very useful.
- WP_Query Performance Improvements – Developers saw 2-3x speed performance improvements.
- Post Formats will now be added under Navigation Menus
- WordPress will now redirect attempts to visit /login, /dashboard, or /admin to the appropriate WordPress pages. Now you don’t need a plugin anymore
- A lot of XML-RPC improvements
- Internal functions and classes now add “rtl”, “ie7?, “ie8?, “ie9? for browser targetting