If you have a website that uses WordPress software, you probably know that WordPress.org updates the program several times per year. Most updates are fairly minor, but some have significant new features or changes in the interface — how you interact with it. It’s a good idea to update when a new version comes out. One reason is that each version is more secure than the last. Also, plug-ins that you have are often updated to comply with the new version, so it’s good to have everything in sync — current versions of WordPress and your plug-ins. Version 3.6 recently came out (August, 2013) and it has some nice new features that you should know about.
Easier video embedding
Embedding video has always been a hassle, but now it’s easier if you have already posted it on YouTube or another video-sharing (or audio-sharing) website. In fact, you can simply add the video to your media library in Dashboard, which uploads it to your web server. What WordPress has done is to let you use easier code — a simple URL — plus let you insert it on the Visual tab, where you work most of the time. Previously, you had to switch to the Text tab where the code is. Another way of saying this is that WordPress now has its own media player. It works for both video and audio files. For example, by just inserting the URL, I can insert a video that I have in my Media Library.
Here are some of the sites that support this WordPress embedding:
That’s a lot of options! Update: If you store videos on Amazon S3, you can use the same technique — just insert the URL of the video.
Note: Sometimes the video comes in at a size that is too big or small for your blog. But you can specify the video size with code that looks like this:
The revision comparison feature has been updated. You might want to compare revisions to revert to a previous editing step without having to remember exactly the changes you made. Here’s how to use this feature:
- Click Save Draft.
- Scroll down below the editing window to the list of revisions.
- Click a revision.
- You’ll see the current version and the selected revision side by side, as shown below. To revert to the previous revision, click Restore This Revision.
- Click the Back button on your browser to return to editing your post.
There are a few more new features, too.
- A new Twenty Thirteen theme. This is the default theme that comes with WordPress
- Post Locking is helpful for sites that have more than one person working on a post.
- Augmented Autosave stores things locally as well as on the server so you can pick up where you left off.
- The Menu Editor is now easier to understand and use. That’s where you create a custom menu.
Have you used any of WordPress 3.6’s new features? What do you think? Leave a comment!