WordPress 3.5 Features & Comparison To WordPress 3.4.2

 

Well I decided to dip my toe into the WordPress 3.5 waters. Guess what? It was quite warm, a comfortable temperature, not too hot and more than certainly not cold. So what can you expect from WordPress 3.5 what’s the diff? I mean what goes down yada yada.

Well I have just downloaded the latest Release Candidate from WordPress here. I have installed in a site I am playing with and so far signs seem to be more than positive.

3.5 Dashboard

First things first the above box greets you upon installing. We have a box with a number of pointers to aid you in getting your WordPress powered blog up and running. All fairly easy to understand, bear in mind what you can’t see is the dismiss X button (trying to keep the image as clear as I can you know!).

So first up we have Customize Your Site, Write your first blog post, Add an About page, View your site, Manage widgets or menus, Turn comments on or off & finally Learn more about getting started, which incidentally takes you to WordPress.org to learn more about getting started.

So lets take a quick look through and see what we can expect from 3.5 then. Lets take a closer look at Customise Your Site.

Theme Customization WordPress 3.4.2 & WordPress 3.5

3.4.2 V 3.5 customization page

The main thing you (might notice) is the difference in the buttons gone are the oval like buttons and replaced with more up to date curved rectangles, a minute difference but overall it looks more aesthetically pleasing and cleaner.

color settings

In fact all the options are the same save for one, and one that I am grateful for! The color settings, WordPress 3.4.2 on the left, WordPress 3.5 on the right. I was never a big fan of the color wheel and great to see an improved user interface for color selection here, in my opinion a welcome addition for ease of change. Score one 3.5.

How About Adding A Page On WordPress Any Difference?

Page comparisons

Well yes their is. As you will see from the images above the TinyMce editor bar has a new look, and if you look carefully the boxes are as mentioned elsewhere rectangle with minimal curve.

side bar option 3.4.2 3.5

The page sidebar has changed also, the above shows the little subtle differences between the two. Cleaner look and those lovely boxes showing themselves again. 3.4.2 on left 3.5 on right, excuse the cropping by the way!

adding media

Well no doubt you will have noticed the add media box is significantly different. One of my bug bears was adding media to WordPress, as much as I love it it was a bit of pain sometimes.

So what can we expect from WordPress 3.5 to make us site owners and bloggers that little bit more happy then? After all we are all up for an easier life and streamlining this process will help everyone out wont it?

Adding Media Settings in WordPress 3.5

Thankfully those lovely peeps at WordPress have come up with something a little special when it comes to adding media to your WordPress powered blog.

adding media

I have to say this for me is one of the most exciting features in WP 3.5 so far. Upon clicking add media we are given an iFrame with add media. Whilst the same principle applies we are given a much cleaner box with some options.

The old add media box was a pain in the ass (sorry WordPress) but it was, often adding time to a blog post adding images that could be better spent elsewhere like adding more posts! Thankfully, things have changed (massively so).

media added in 3.5

I have taken the liberty of uploading a couple of images well actually I dragged and dropped them in! Notice the side bar on the left? Upload files, media library, and from URL. Lets take a look at each one in more detail, apart from upload as that’s not very exciting for you guys n girls.

So after I have added some images via the drag and drop interface (loving this so far) then you will note the box on the right which gives you details about the image itself. Don’t worry I will go into a little more depth on this!

Image detailsImage details in WP 3.5, I have to admit already writing this post on WPin on WordPress 3.4.2 and looking at WordPress 3.5 I have no doubt time will have been dramatically reduced. But hey that’s me moaning, ignore me. I digress, image details for WP 3.5 are a lot easier.

You will note from the image to the left the Attachment Details. Giving us a more easy to read format for image details date added, size etc. Also adding a title, caption and the all important Alt text.

It just flows so much better, it’s almost ridiculous. Other options such as alignment, link for the image and size can all be changed.

Worth noting that the link to image option gives you the following options:

  • Custom URL – link your image to point elsewhere (choose this and an option for inputting a URL loads up)
  • Link to attachment page
  • Media file – link to the physical file itself
  • None – (self explanatory)

In terms of image sizes this new upload media section gives you 3 predefined sizes for your image. One slight gripe and it is a slight gripe there seems to be no more image editor for cropping or scaling.

This was one of the things I liked about the old image upload editor, however it appears now to have gone. In fairness I think a lot of us use image editing tools for posts anyways to get the right look and feel for our media inserts.

 Adding A Gallery With The New Media Upload in WordPress 3.5

adding a gallery
Inserting a gallery could not be easier in WordPress 3.5 at the base of the right sidebar in the media upload you can click and insert a gallery.

new gallery 3.5

Doing so gives us a new screen in the sexy media box. As the above shows we have a way to drag and drop images, to set order preference and of course Gallery Settings, here we can select where we want all the images to point to either attachment page or the media file itself. As well as selecting how many columns we wish our image gallery to have.

Another pretty cool feature is adding a description to the image right there in the new media upload system, a time saver indeed.

media overview

Other options for the new media upload facility for WordPress 3.5. Well as the image above shows, we have a few options, such as Uploaded to the page/post, Images in general, audio & of course video.

Adding media is a breeze via the new WP 3.5 system, in fact dare I say it the old system let WordPress down to a degree. However this new revised system is a massive boost for inserting media into a post. The biggest failure for me was how small the media box was when you were adding images etc to a post. Searching through images etc trying to find the right one, clicking on the pagination (because you forgot the name of it and couldn’t search for it, been there done that) and going through each section.

Well no more, a nice big interface with an mini image preview all on one page (pagination would come into effect for thousands of images) however it’s a damn lot easier to use than the current system is that’s for sure.

image from a url now even easier
Even adding an image from a URL is now EVEN easier thanks to the UI in WP 3.5. Simply paste the link and choose alignment, where to link it to, add a caption etc. It just looks better and has a real feel of a high end CMS. No doubt some of the above will not be to everyone’s liking in the WordPress community, you can’t please everyone unfortunately.

However I think it will be well received, it’s been made more intuitive it looks better, it flows better need I go on? The guys n girls who developed this are on to a real winner. I believe WordPress 3.5 could end up being a real winner for bloggers/website owners who rely on on strong images.

Photo bloggers, graphic designers and more will all love the new way WordPress manages your media. I for one have had a lot of fun digging into WordPress 3.5, and if the above is anything to go by I will be upgrading the minute it hits the web.

Have you played with 3.5? What are your thoughts, likes/dislikes? Do let me know!

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