Late last week, WordPress 3.8 was made available for updating. This latest release from WP is all about improving the look, feel, and usability of the software for WordPress site owners. After updating my websites with 3.8, here are my thoughts about the new features.
New look for the WordPress Dashboard
In WordPress 3.8, the typeface and layout of the dashboard have been modified for a simpler, more streamlined look. For even more customization, you can even change the color scheme of your dashboard by editing the user profiles. Although I never had a problem with the old dashboard look, I do like the new version. Below is a screen shot of my dashboard after the upgrade.
Improved Functionality in the Theme and Widget Sections
The other notable change in WP 3.8 is the revamped look and functions when you go to the Theme and Widget areas. On the Themes screen, in addition to the activate button, you can now mouse over each of your installed themes to access functions to view the theme’s details, customize your theme, and be able to see a live preview of the theme before you actually activate it.
Likewise, the Widgets screen has also been redesigned to allow for an easier working interface when adding or changing items. In fact, if you’re using a tablet computer, you can just tap a widget to add it.
Mobile Computer Ready
Which leads to the next improvement with WordPress 3.8: Improved appearance and functionality on all types of devices—including smartphones and tablets. And by switching to vector based icons, your WordPress site will load faster with higher definition.
New 2014 Theme
The new Twenty Fourteen theme that is included with WP 3.8 gives your blog a magazine look that could be useful for some photo bloggers. Normally, I don’t use the “yearly” themes, however, I did take a look at a live preview of Twenty Fourteen and it looks pretty good.
So far, I have to say I’m impressed with this updated version of WordPress. I encourage all WP site owners to back up their sites and upgrade to WordPress 3.8.