WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

WordPress 3.6 is all set to be released in May 2013 and promises to be a feature rich update. First, many thanks to all the WordPress coders who work tirelessly toward making it user friendly and feature rich for us bloggers. This latest release promises to have something for us all: bloggers who like to publish in multiple formats and publishers who manage multiple authors and editors.

This post looks at some of the important features that give users a better control over their post appearance, and make a number of things easy by lowering dependence on external plugins.

Post Formats

The Post Formats feature was released in 3.1, but it was something that only developers could use until now. WordPress users could exploit this feature only if it was included in the theme or had to specifically get developers to enable the option. With post formats available in the interface, WordPress 3.6 users can now easily differentiate the look-and-feel of different types of posts and help readers navigate the blog as they scan and skip various blog entries.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image post formatsWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release
Image Post Format – The image added here is defined as the image for the post, similar to the Featured Image option. This type of Format is well suited to share an Infographic, or if you are an artist, perhaps share your illustrations and digital art. You can add a short description if you want, or use this format to just post images as you do on Pinterest.

Gallery Post Format – The gallery post type makes it easy to insert image galleries. You can insert existing image galleries and create a post, or create a gallery on the run and publish a post in the Gallery format. This post format can be suitable for a travel blogger or a food blogger, where the blogger can create a image gallery of a recipe and put it at the top of the post.
Video Post Format – The Video post further reduces your dependence on external plugins and you do not need to get embed code from YouTube and fret over the video size and other similar parameters. You can now easily share your videos published on YouTube by copying the video link to the post and adding a brief description to the video. Similarly, you can also share videos published by others on your blog by writing a commentary for the video and express your views.

Audio Post Format – Similar to the Video post, you can add an audio file from your Media Library to your text post. You can also share free podcasts on subjects that interest your readers.

Quote Post Format – Do you like to share inspirational quotes with your readers? This post format will make your life easier. You could even start a Quote of the Day post on your blog for your regular readers and make their day a bit brighter. Write a relevant headline and just copy the quote and the source URL, no need to spend additional time on formatting the quote every time once you define the style for the post format.

Link Post – If you blog a lot about current affairs or fancy writing caustic headlines and briefs on the current news items, you will definitely love this one. The link post format allows you to link to external pages in a way that when your blog readers click the post link on the main blog page, they are directed to the original page.

In my earlier post, I talked about how content curation can help you generate traffic to your blog. With Link posts, you can easily share interesting information, provide your take on the subject discussed in the main article and direct the reader to the original article – all without violating any copyright!

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Multiple formats allow you more control on your posts and help you define how they appear on your blog. Of Course, you still need to add code to the CSS if you wish to differentiate the look-and-feel for each post type. But they do have some inherent differentiators. For example, a link post will automatically take the reader to the original web site. Similarly, an image post will display the image you specify prominently on the post.

Navigation Menu Interface

I still remember how confused I was when I started with WordPress. The Menus page had a number of options and I spent a lot of time figuring out what needs to be done first and in what order. WordPress 3.6 has simplified things in many ways.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image menusWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

They have clearly spelt out and put a link at the beginning that says ‘create new menu.’ Furthermore, when you start creating that new menu you want, all other options are blocked and this enforces a workflow for you.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image menu settingsWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release
It also wasn’t clear earlier if the menu structure could be defined on the same page. The new interface clearly lists the pages, links, and categories that you select under Menu Structure that you can rearrange. The Menu Settings options help you assign one menu to multiple locations in just one click.

Post Locking

WordPress is a wonderful Content Management System; however, it still lacks a few features such as blocking access to a post that is open for editing by other users.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image padlockWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

The new WordPress 3.6 now gives you the post lock feature that is so important if you are using WordPress in a multi-editor environment. For example, if you have an editor reviewing a post and don’t want others to get access to the post at that same time, this feature adds a padlock sign showing that the editor is working on the post.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image pad messageWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

Even if someone tries to edit the post, they are presented with a Warning to inform them of the lock status again, but do have an option to take over the post control.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image post controlWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

If they do take over the post control, the editor is then informed of the action and can work toward resolving the post control issue.

Revisions

You could restore earlier versions of your post in WordPress before, but it was a bit difficult to guess the exact date of the version and users had to try a few time before they could open the correct version to restore. The new interface to restore old version makes it very easy.

WordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release image revisionWordPress 3.6 Features – A Sneak Peek at the Latest Release

The Previous and Next buttons at the top now help you browse all the revisions with ease. The bottom portion of the screen shows the content you have deleted and added in each revision. The new interface definitely reduces the number of steps you need to go through to find and restore the version you want to restore.

In summary, this new release is full of features that will make your life easier and give you more control on how you want to style your blog posts. Other than these options, WordPress 3.6 has also tweaked the the Autosave option. The new Autosave saves the text you are typing in the browser’s memory. So if you lose internet connectivity or your computer crashes, all that content will still be in the browser memory and will be retrieved.

What feature of this proposed Version 3.6 do you like the most or have been waiting to see the most?

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