So, I’ve been playing around with the latest version of WordPress—having updated my sites over the weekend. So far, the new features look good and I haven’t run into any problems with my existing sites. Basically, the main new features of WP 3.6 fall into these categories:
1. Revisions/Auto Saves
2. Video and Audio Support
3. New Default Theme
4. Additional “Under the Hood” Improvements including:
Improvements to Shortcodes
Improved HTML 5 Markup
New and Updated External Libraries
While I’ve yet to really explore the under the hood improvements, I have been testing out the other new features. Here are some of my thoughts.
Revisions and Autosaves
I’ve got to admit I’ve never really had a problem with autosaving or revisions, but apparently others have. In the update announcements, WordPress 3.6 is supposed to save every change from the first word you type. In my testing, most of the time this was true, however sometimes the autosave didn’t immediately kick in. Nonetheless, the autosave does appear to be improved—although when I tested shutting down the browser, my post text was saved but I lost the metadata and categories.
What is really nice about WP 3.6 is the improved auto locking features. Those sites that have multiple users working on posts will appreciate this update. When someone else is working on a post, you’ll be notified in the WordPress dashboard.
If you try to edit the post, you are informed that the content is currently locked. You do have the option to take over and edit the document—whereby the other user is then locked out.
The ability to directly compare revisions is a very nice improvement.
Video and Audio Support
With WordPress 3.6, you get the enhanced ability to embed audio and video files in your posts. You can also embed music from Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud. In my testing, the process of embedding videos was simple and straight forward. However, I was not able to get my mp4 video to play. I tested on several browsers without success. I noticed on WordPress.org there were others also having some issues with mp4 vids, so I’ll have to keep looking into this issue.
New Default Theme
While I normally don’t use the default themes, I did want to take a look at the new one in WP 3.6. I installed it on one of my other sites and it’s actually a pretty nice looking theme. I also tested it out using my smartphone and it also looked nice using that layout as well. There are certainly better themes you can use for your photo blog. But if you also have other blogs, the new default might suit your needs just fine.
So far, it looks like the users that will benefit the most from WordPress 3.6 are those with sites that have multiple contributors that need tighter revision control. I will continue to try things out and see what other results I get with version 3.6.