The latest big WordPress release came out yesterday, and many people will now be wondering “is it worth upgrading?”
The short answer is yes, of course, but for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of WordPress 3.2 ‘Gershwin’, and you can decide for yourself.
New User Interface
The most obvious update is the new ‘improved’ WordPress admin UI. I say ‘improved’ because personally I’m not quite sold on it yet.
WordPress claims the new typography and spacing improves readability, but at first glance I find the opposite to be true. It feels crowded to me. Maybe I just need to get used to it.
One nice addition is the full-screen writing mode in the post editor, which removes everything but the write panel, letting you focus on your content without any distraction.
New TwentyEleven Default Theme
I’ve not really tested this out yet, but it looks like it has some nice features. It’s written in HTML5, and features a responsive layout so it will display fine on any screen size.
There is also a rotating header image option, and light or dark colour schemes to choose from. Check it out here.
No IE6 Support
This is a welcome update for me. WordPress is no longer supporting IE6, and any IE6 users will be given a warning message prompting them to upgrade their web browser.
There’s plenty of updates behind the scenes that you won’t even notice on the front end. WordPress now requires PHP version 5.2.4 and MySQL 5, and they have dropped support for older versions, meaning they have been able to tidy up a lot of the back end code, resulting in a cleaner and faster installation.
Despite not being bowled over by the new features in WordPress 3.2, the answer is still a resounding “Yes, you should upgrade.”
Every new WordPress release contains bug fixes and security updates, which if left unattended, could leave your site vulnerable to attack. So my advice is always to upgrade as soon as you’ve checked that your server meets the minimum requirements.
Remember to back up your site before upgrading just in case anything goes horribly wrong.