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Almost 5 Months Later… We Get WordPress 3.3

It has been almost 5 months since the last WordPress update. That is unheard of since the past couple years WordPress tends to release updates every month or couple months. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In talking with Matt and other WordPress developers at WordCamp earlier this year, they explained to me that WordPress 3.0 was one of the most successful releases they have ever had. In fact, it was strange because they pushed the button to go live and then sat back waiting for complaints to start coming in. When you have a service that affects millions of websites, it’s not unlikely that you will have people complain about features, bugs, or something that breaks their site.

But they just kept waiting…

WordPress 3.0 was relatively bug-free (at least any major issues) and so they didn’t have to release a lot of immediate fixes. But the small, incremental updates continued until July of this year and then they stopped. I continually watched for updates but WordPress just kept releasing something they call “Release Candidates” for developers and other daring people to test before they pushed Version 3.3 out to the public.

Today 3.3 went live today!

I was pleasantly surprised today to see a post in my Google Reader feed announcing that WordPress 3.3 was finally released to the public. And there are several cool features that people might enjoy…

  • The new drag-and-drop uploader and combined media upload button above the editor bar
  • Hover menus for the navigation (to minimize the dropdown movement of the navigation bar on the left)
  • A new toolbar
  • Improved co-editing support to show when someone else is editing on the same page as you
  • New Tumblr importer.
  • And possibly most important for new users… they have improved the usability and help tips when you first log in. Version 3.3 has significant improvements there with pointer tips for new features included in each update, a friendly welcome message for first-time users, and revamped help tabs throughout the interface.
  • Improved dashboard experience on the iPad and other tablets with better touch support.

You can read the whole story and watch a cool video on the official WordPress news page.

There are, of course, multiple ways to upgrade your site and it is HIGHLY recommended that you always maintain the latest version of WordPress for security fixes.

  • Log into your WordPress site and upgrade when you see the message regarding upgrading (or go to Dashboard –> Updates –> Check for updates)
  • Use a service like SimpleScripts or Fantastico that might be installed on your host
  • You could of course download the latest version from WordPress and manually upgrade through your server (this is by far the hardest way of upgrading)

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