WordPress continues to get even better! The latest edition of the wildly popular content management system is out including several exciting improvements in version 3.4. Most of the changes are improvements to the WordPress core functionality and will require your theme developer to update your theme with the new functionality. Or if you would like to play with the update yourself, you could always just install a test version of WordPress and use one of the included themes such as “Twenty Ten.”
Check out this video for a short overview, and then we will discuss exactly how to update your WordPress install to 3.4.
Let’s Get You Updated!
Assuming that you already have WordPress installed (if you don’t, head over to our contact page and we may just be able to help out!) log into the admin area of your website, likely by typing “/wp-admin” after the core address. For example, if our domain was “www.testsite.com” we could log into our WordPress installation by typing “www.testsite.com/wp-admin”, entering our username and password and poof, we’re in!
Once you have logged in to your WordPress site, there will be a yellow alert bar on the top of the screen suggesting that you update to the latest version of WordPress. (Disclaimer: Before you update, please make sure that you have access to a backup of your site’s content) Now, click “Please Update Now” and proceed to the next page.
Notice that you should now have a couple of places to update the WordPress install. First, simply click to update the core install of the software. Once WordPress has successfully updated, return to the updates page and proceed to update any applicable themes.
Congratulations! You are up to date and ready to take full advantage of everything that WordPress 3.4 has to offer. Let’s dive in for just a moment.
That’s a nice theme you’ve got there
First, head over to the “Themes” area and click on the link that says “Customize”. If you are using the latest version of the Twenty Eleven theme then you will be led to an interface where you may customize the site to your liking. Backgrounds, custom header images, real time layout control … yeah, we’ve got you covered.
How about one more incredible new feature, automatic twitter embeds. In the post editor, simply drop in the embed url from a tweet the you would like to show off anywhere in a post. Simply click publish and Bam!
There you have it, an interactive twitter element for your published page. Here your users will be able to follow you directly, reply, retweet or favorite your tweet without ever leaving the site!
There is a mountain of improvements baked in to WordPress 3.4. I would encourage you to set up a testing site and tinker around as much as possible. Hopefully this post has familiarized you with the process of keeping WordPress up to date and will encourage you to try out its new functions. If you would like to read more about 3.4, check out the post over at WordPress.org