What’s Coming in WordPress 3.2 (Features & Screenshots)


Like we did with WordPress 3.1, we are here again to keep you updated with what might be coming ahead in WordPress 3.2. After the delayed release of WordPress 3.1, the goal in the future is to have faster release cycles. Mark Jaquith has taken command to make sure that everyone stays focused to get the job done as fast as possible. So lets check out what is exciting in WordPress 3.2.

Note: The screenshots below are very new and not even alpha version yet. Chances are that they will be changed, improved, upgraded etc by the time the full release comes out.

New Admin Layout

Through out the past, WordPress user interface has evolved (Check out our article that shows you the evolution of WordPress user interface from 2003 – 2009). In this release, we are finally seeing another major refresh of the design. The goal behind this is to make everything much more simpler and cleaner. So check out some of the images below:

Note: You can click on the image to make it bigger

Dashboard View

Themes View

Menus View

Widgets View

Plugins View

New Post View

Distraction Free Writing

This has been part of the plan for quite some time now. In WordPress 3.1, the writing interface was cleaned up a little by hiding Custom Fields and such by default. In WordPress 3.2, a new distraction Free write panel is coming along that lets you make your writing interface full screen, so you can focus just on the content rather than other tidbits on the screen. The goal is to make the writing experience more lightweight and calming.

Twenty Eleven Theme

Did you remember with WordPress 3.0, a new theme was introduced known as Twenty Ten? Well in WordPress 3.2, plans are to release a new theme called Twenty Eleven. The goal is to have new and fresh default designs for WordPress more frequently rather than repeating the Kubrick theme situation all over again. For those who don’t know, Kubrick was the default theme for a very very long time. This theme comes with two color schemes:

This new Twenty Elven theme also comes with a Theme Options page that lets you pick color schemes and layout. (Hmm, sounds like a Paid Theme but FREE, WOOT!!) – Mad Props to the WordPress UI team.

There is also new templates that are added for pages. By default the page templates are with No-Sidebar. There is a Sidebar version, and also a very interesting Showcase option that has a slider built-in. It was a little buggy on the local host, so we are not posting screenshots of it just yet.

One of the most wanted feature is added in the Twenty Eleven Theme’s Header Images area which lets you show Random Images on each page. Many users wanted to see that feature previously. This looks like a very neat feature.

Upgrade Improvements

While the upgrade system right now is not bad, it can certainly be improved. In WordPress 3.2 and further, when an upgrade is available, only the changed files will be upgraded thus cutting down slow upgrade times for some users.

Speed Improvements

WordPress still support some of the older technologies in the CORE which will be dropped in this version to make it load FASTER! Nacin is looking at PHP lazy loading. A patch is in the work to make the admin menu load faster as well as making the FTP improvements that would upgrades a lot faster.

New PHP and MySQL Requirements

WordPress 3.2 will require PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5. So if you want to upgrade to this version, then make sure your host is using it already. Quality WordPress Hosts are already using the latest technology. We recommend HostGator. If you want to check if your host is compatible with WordPress 3.2, then download the plugin called WordPress Requirements Check. This plugin will let you know whether your host is on latest technology. If they are not, then we would suggest asking them to upgrade, or switch hosts.

You can start testing yourself by downloading the Nightly Builds. It is fun and exciting to see the new features. According to the Roadmap, WordPress 3.2 is expected to be released around June 30, 2011.

Live Demo for WordPress 3.2

Upon popular request, we are creating this Live Demo site for you to get the look and feel of WordPress 3.2 admin panel, and the twenty eleven theme. Live WordPress 3.2 Demo

Let us know what you think about it.