What’s New in WordPress 3.3 ‘Sonny’ ?

Written by: Muninder

Updated: December, 13, 2011

A couple of hours ago WordPress 3.3 was pushed out for a smooth release. It’s named as Sonny after the famous jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. You can directly update your blog to wp 3.3 from the dashboard or download the entire release from WordPress.org.
It’s seen as one of major releases after WordPress 3.1. Remember WP 3.1 bought an entire overhaul to the design as well as features. Though 3.2 version came with nothing major to talk about.
In this post we are going to see the new features which have been added to WordPress 3.3. Expectantly one will find a whole lost of changes in the Codex, but it’s difficult to cover each one of them. So we will stick with the important one’s only.

Drag, Drop and Upload

Drag and Drop in WordPress
Drag and Drop

People who are new WordPress may ask that, ‘This feature is added just now ?’ Yep, sadly WordPress wasn’t aware of the Web 2.0 revolution which happened a few years ago.
When most social networks, websites come with this drag and drop feature (in their alpha version itself) WordPress lacked the idea and pace. But do remember It’s never too late.
More importantly the other buttons – Add image and video have been combined into a single button named as Add Media. That is a good move right at the out-set.
Now the improved uploader will detect the file-type quickly as well. rar & 7zip are the new file formats which have been added to the allowed file types list. This will be handy for designers or developers who write tutorials and attach codes with it. So
For browsers which don’t provide support to Drag and Drag, an upload button is also placed beneath it. If flash doesn’t work on your browser or device then choose the Browser upload option instead.

Dashboard goes the Hover effect way

WordPress Dashboard design
WordPress 3.3's Dashboard design. Admin Bar & Left toolbox or menu

It’s safe and right to say that WordPress has decided to give the dashboard design a new look with every releases. This time, there have been modifications in the design but not really texture or gradient wise. Rather they’ve improved the left sidebar or toolbox of the Dashboard.

Toolbox acts more like a vertical Flyout Menu

Previously the left toolbox used to display all the sub-items without having to hover on it. With WordPress 3.3 the toolbox acts much like a menu with hover effects (to display to the sub-menu items).
This feature needs a serious thumbs up as it’s swift and looks better than ever. More importantly it saves a lot of screen space.

Admin bar sees remarkable Improvement

This new and improved admin bar (the top bar you see in the dashboard) works solidly. Again it presents it’s sub-menus when hovered over each item. Adding a new post or page has become much easier now.
If you’ve W3 Total Cache and Yoast’s WordPress SEO then you’ll see the options of those two plugins as well in the Admin bar. This bar also notifies you of plugin and theme updates (if any of them are available).

 New Alerts – Messages, Pointers

With WordPress 3.3 a new about.php page is added in the Admin panel which will show each and every feature of the current wp version. It is more like a normal About Us page (which see on blogs) along with the Credits & Freedoms (copyrights) pages.This page can be directly accessed anytime from your dashboard by clicking on the WordPress logo, which is apparently the first item of the admin bar.

Co-Editing Warning

Suppose your’s is a multi-authored WP blog which doesn’t use WordPress MU. Now when you fellow author edits a blog post which you are currently editing then a message will be displayed on his post edit page saying,

Warning : author1 is currently editing this post

This is one particular feature of WordPress 3.3 which impressed me the most. Popular tech blogs who have multiple authors & editors will find this feature really handy.

Pointer Tours

Pointer Tours
Pointer shows the new Updated Media button

When you update to wp 3.3 the first thing you’ll notice is that hovercard like pointers which tell are meant to welcome you and inform in detail about the new features. In short it’s just like touring a new thing. If you don’t like it then there is an option to disable the tour as well.
Update your blog immediately to (unless you’ve a buggy, incompatible theme or plugin) the 3.3 version. In case you have a plugin which is buggy then disable it before update and then re-enable after the updating process is completed.
If you’ve already updated to WordPress 3.3 then what is your view on it; like it or not?


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