January 7th, 2014
WordPress 3.8 has arrived. The new version sports a makeover, improved functionality, and the name “Parker” taken from famous saxophone player Charlie. But what exactly are the benefits of upgrading WordPress to the new version? What are the new features, and what can they do for you?
can they do for you?
New Interface Design
One of the most noticeable changes that the latest version of WordPress brings is a new-look interface. The makeover makes it look modern and easy to the eye, but it’s far from just a cosmetic overhaul, as it also brings significant improvements to functionality and ease of use.
The long-awaited overhaul is the result of a year’s work by a development team. At their head was Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of WordPress. Originally, many of the updates were designed to be used as a series of plugins. Instead, they have now been incorporated into the code of WordPress 3.8, giving the new version a complete overhaul to both looks and functionality.
There may be a range of practical updates in the new interface, but the purely cosmetic side of the new-look UI will still be welcomed by many. WordPress now powers 20% of the internet and holds 60% of the market for content management systems. To make sure they don’t disappoint this huge market, WordPress have worked hard to maintain a system that provides easy website management without compromises. In fact, they’ve worked so hard that some people feel they have, for a while, had to neglect the cosmetic side and let their interface slip into a rut that was both utilitarian and old-fashioned.
The new interface, by contrast, has been brought thoroughly up-to-date in appearance. It is graphically superior to the old one, and has a sleeker, more angular look. It is also a much more colourful look than the old interface. The default colour scheme is charcoal and blue, rather than the old light grey, and there are seven other colour options to choose from as well. These range from dark “Midnight” to bright-and-cheerful “Sunrise.” Overall, the new colour schemes might seem like a small thing, but they work well to give a more custom experience while editing, and one that fits with the mood and personal tastes of the user.
Even leaving the functionality aside, many will see the change to a sleeker, more attractive interface alone to be one of the key benefits of upgrading WordPress to the new version.
But what about the more practical benefits of upgrading WordPress and getting the new interface? Some of the key benefits of upgrading WordPress to 3.8 are aimed at the ways in which web design and internet use have changed since the old design was originally brought in. In line with this, many of the upgrades are aimed at providing better functionality for users of different devices.
For instance, the new interface is designed to be accommodating to touchscreen users. Those who wish to add and edit content from tablets and smartphones will now find it much easier to interact with the various functions which are (quite literally) at their fingertips. Smartphone users, in particular, stand to see huge benefits of upgrading WordPress in terms of usability.
In a similar vein, the new interface is fully responsive. When viewed on different screens, it will automatically adapt its layout to provide an optimum editing experience. Again, this brings the interface into the modern world in terms of cross-platform usage. WordPress has supported responsive website designs for some time in order to cater for people viewing the sites on different platforms, but this is a huge step-forward for those who want to actually edit and manage sites on mobile devices.
The touch-friendly design and responsive nature of the new interface work together. As screen sizes shrink, buttons grow to make sure that no device becomes too fiddly to edit with. All in all, those who use tablets or phones for working with their websites a lot will probably experience the very biggest benefits of upgrading WordPress to version 3.8.
A simple update that straddles the border between practical and cosmetic is the fact that Arial has been replaced as the default font by Google’s Open Sans. The new font provides wider spacing and better readability. This is one of the smallest benefits of upgrading WordPress, admittedly, but still noticeable. Another font-related development is that image-based icons have been replaced with font-based ones. This ensures that visual quality is consistent across different sizes and zoom levels.
Customisation and Widgets
The sections dedicated to site customisation and widgets have also had an overhaul, and are the place you can find some of the more interesting benefits of upgrading WordPress. They’ve been given the same sleek, minimalist feel as the main interface. Generally, theme management and customisation menus have a less cluttered, more user-friendly and intuitive layout.
One of the main improvements in this area comes with the way widgets are added to “widgetised” areas. The drag-and-drop system used by previous versions was fine for locations near the top of the list, but a pain when you had to scroll downwards. Wordpress 3.8 adds the option to click on a widget and then select an area for it to appear, making everything much easier.
All in all, there are many benefits of upgrading WordPress to the newest version. Brave Agency can build custom WordPress sites designed to complement your business, and keep them up-to-date with all the latest features and benefits. Every important and useful update will be carefully implemented to ensure a smooth and problem-free transition, and make sure you benefit from all the latest features, security updates, and other benefits of upgrading WordPress regularly. To find out more, call us on 01733 602020 to talk about what our web design team can do for you.