The Best Feature of WordPress 3.5

The stable release of WordPress 3.5 was released yesterday. Known as “Elvin”, it was the second major WordPress release of 2012. I wrote an extensive review of WordPress 3.5 a few weeks ago after thoroughly testing the beta versions and release candidates. It has a lot of great new features.

Although I’ve been using the beta versions of 3.5 on my test blog for a few months, I wanted to wait until the stable release to use it on my live blogs as it had a lot of bugs (as do all beta releases). So I wasted no time in updating my WordPress blogs to 3.5 when it finally came out yesterday. There was one reason why I was so keen on upgrading: the new media interface.

Whether I’m blogging for others or on my own blogs, I always insert a lot of images. I’ve written articles in the past that had hundreds of images attached to them (e.g. list style posts). As you can imagine, this can be quite time consuming. The new media interface speeds up this whole process considerably.

WordPress Media Interface
The New WordPress Media Interface

The way the interface is now set up, multiple images, audio clips and videos can be inserted at the one time. Previously, all media items had to be inserted into a post one by one, which was a time consuming process. You can adjust details such as title, alt text and caption etc in the right panel. In the centre panel you select the images yoy want to insert into your post.

The gallery can be filtered to only show images, audio, video or media that was uploaded via the current post or page. Multiple images can also be grouped into a gallery. This allows you to insert multiple photos into any post i.e. not just the one which they were uploaded to (which is how it was set up before).

In the right panel there is a new option to ‘Edit Image’.

Edit Image

Clicking on the image will take you to the interface for editing images. It’s nothing short of fantastic. You can crop images, rotate the image clockwise or counter-clockwise and flip the image vertically or horizontally.

Edit Image Interface
The Edit Image Interface

Images can be reduced in scale too. For example, if you have uploaded an image that is 600 pixels in width and 400 pixels in height, when you scale the width to 500 pixels the height will be scaled down to 333 so that the shape remains the same. Changes you make can be applied to all images, the thumbnail or all images except the thumbnail.

From time to time I upload images that are too big so this is going to be a life safer for me. Previously, I had to manually edit the image offline in a photo editor, delete the previous image and then upload the new version. Adding images to your articles in WordPress has never been easier.

Other Features in WordPress 3.5

A lot of other great features were added in 3.5. One major addition was the inclusion of the default WordPress theme Twenty Twelve. This was originally planned for release in WordPress 3.4 in June was released in the WordPress theme directory a few months later (so this marks the first time it’s been included in an official release).

A few WordPress users have complained about how basic the new default design is however it’s been well received by developers. I suspect we’re going to see a lot of child themes built using Twenty Twelve next year.

Twenty Twelve
The new default WordPress theme Twenty Twelve

Other features include:

  • Link manager removed – It’s the end of an era. The blogroll has been a part of WordPress since the very beginning however it’s not as relevant any more and shouldn’t be part of the core version of WordPress. When you upgrade to 3.5, the link manager will be removed if you didn’t have any custom links. The functionality can be added back for new installs via the new link manager WordPress plugin.
  • Install favourite plugins – Plugins can now be marked as a favourite in the official plugin directory if you are logged in. You can then easily install your favourite plugins through the admin area by simply entering your WordPress.org username.
  • New Welcome Screen – A cleaner less cluttered look for the welcome screen.
  • Improved color picker – The color picker has had some had slight changes within the theme customiser.
  • Tumblr – A new Tumblr importer has been added to the tools section.
  • XML-RPC – The XML-RPC is now enabled by default so that external applications can connect to WordPress without having to configure anything. This is a result of the increased usage of mobile apps.
  • Dashboard supports retina display – All-HiDPI is now supported for all of you who are lucky enough to have a retina display.
  • Improved comment search – You can now search for comments of a particular status.
  • Minor improvements – Improved support for keyboard navigation, screen reading and support for external libraries.

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend upgrading to WordPress 3.5. You’ll love the new media interface :)

Kevin

Link: WordPress 3.5 “Elvin”