The WordPress 3.8 update is scheduled for December 12th (next Thursday), and we at Oomph are eagerly awaiting its release. Promised to hold, “many terrific visual improvements to the dashboard,” 3.8 beta 1 is already available to the self-hosted (play away!), and will automatically integrate on the 2nd for WordPress.com VIP hosted sites.
Until the official release next week, we wanted to give you a quick rundown of projected features and how they’ll affect your site, as well as important tips.
Here’s what you need to know:
- WordPress.com VIP hosted sites will notice a change after the update on December 2nd. This will affect, according to WordPress, code surrounding the Admin, Dashboard, Theme Preview and Widgets refresh.
- Those with custom plugins or custom admin interfaces should start testing now to keep everything running smoothly. WordPress.com VIP recommends reading this post for more guidance.
- WordPress 3.8 brings a workflow change: features are developed first as plugins before being incorporated into Core. This means by the time features make it to the user, they’ll be fully baked and ready to go–However, if they are not ready to be incorporated, it also means they won’t hold up new releases.
- The admin console is getting a lovely makeover (see below) in an effort to keep things simplified, modern, and responsive. This has been live on WordPress.com since this summer, but will now be in Core. You can read more about the specific thought process behind it here.
- 3.8 features a “less bloated” dashboard to stay organized (mostly done by consolidating or removing widgets). It’s not a huge change, but it should contribute to the streamlined, modern look WP is going for.
- The theme selection process should be improved with the incorporation of the THX38 plugin, which you can preview here. This keeps the “user-friendly” quality of WordPress alive and well, allowing users to easily make their WP site their own.
- A cleaned up widgets tool, called Widgets Refresh, will tentatively be included, tasked with simplifying the way users manage the widgets on their site.
Be sure to email the WordPress.com VIP team with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org! If you have any questions or concerns about 3.8, let us know in the comments below.