Version 3.5 is the second major release of WordPress in 2012. It’s focused on improvements of existing features, such as the media library, plugin installations and the theme previewer. Let’s look at some things you’ll need to know about this new version of WordPress.
WordPress Moleskine notebook (Image: Nikolay Bachiyski)
Media Uploader Improvements
The biggest improvement in the upcoming WordPress 3.5 is the way that users will add photos in content. With a more simplified interface, WordPress will make the whole workflow of uploading and inserting images much easier, even for beginners.
To insert an image, click the new “Add Media” button:
A lightbox will pop up, where you can add images either by dragging and dropping or by clicking on “Select Files.”
After adding it, the image will appear in the pop-up dialog. When you click on it, the image’s settings will appear on the right, instead of opening in a new tab.
When you’re done, just click the “Insert into post” button, and the image will be added to the post.
New Default Theme
In 2010, WordPress’ development team started to use a new default theme every year. This year’s default theme will be released with WordPress 3.5 and is named Twenty Twelve.
It is the first default theme that is fully responsive. Being able to adjust well to any screen size, it is very friendly to mobile devices.
Twenty Twelve also includes a front-page template, which has its own widgets instead of a sidebar. So, you can customize the front page by setting up a single page. This feature makes WordPress function more like a CMS.
In addition, the theme is Retina-ready, which means it can be used on screens with high resolution (such as the new iPad). And it comes stocked with the Open Sans font family, which makes it more stylish.
Links Manager Is Gone
In fresh 3.5 installations, the links menu will be disabled by default, in order to make WordPress’ core lighter. If you already have links when you update, they will continue to exist.
To get the links feature back, you’ll have to install the Link Manager plugin.
WordPress’ plugins directory now allows users to mark any plugin as a favorite just by clicking a button.
In the new version of WordPress, you can access your favorites directly from the admin panel, which makes installing these plugins a lot easier. To see the list, go to
Plugins → Add New → Favorites, type your WordPress.org user name, and then click “Get Favorites.”
The welcome screen is now simpler and more user-friendly, including basic tasks that users need.
WordPress has also introduced an improved color picker:
Many other new features are invisible to basic users but important to developers:
- XML-RPC is enabled by default, which makes it easier to connect with mobile apps.
- The static front-page options under the “Reading Settings” menu have been improved.
- Child categories are no longer promoted to the top level after a minor edit.
- Some external libraries (such as TinyMCE, SimplePie, jQuery and jQuery UI) have been updated. Also, Backbone 0.9.2 and Underscore 1.3.3 have been added.
- Support for Instagram, SoundCloud and SlideShare have been added.
- Multisite can now be used in a subdirectory.
- The “HTML” tab for editing has been renamed to “Text.”
- Support for screen readers and keyboard navigation have been improved (e.g. you can navigate the admin panel with the
- Many visual elements have been converted to CSS3 elements in order to support HiDPI (including Retina) displays.
Resources Around The Web
Last but not least, here are some official WordPress links you might find useful.