WordPress 3.2 is now available as both as an update in your dashboard and a download on WordPress.org, not a bad way to celebrate Independence day huh? 3.2 is the 15th major release of WordPress and comes just four months after 3.1, showing that Automattic is also adopting a more accelerated development approach. They even dedicated this release to famed composer and pianist George Gershwin.
But you don’t really care about that right, you wanna know about improvements. With 3.2, their goal was to make WordPress lighter and faster. The first thing you notice after the update is refreshed dashboard, it has a new typography (which sadly looks rather old school) and a new streamlined designed that reminds me of some of the admin panels I have seen on different advanced themes. It also comes with a fully HTML5 new Twenty Eleven theme, which comes in handy if you’re starting a new blog. The post editor got a bit of a facelift to and you can now use the full-screen button in the editing toolbar to enter the new distraction-free writing or zen mode. All of the widgets, menus, buttons, and interface elements fade away to allow you to compose and edit your thoughts in a completely clean environment conducive to writing, but when your mouse strays to the top of the screen your most-used shortcuts are right there where you need them.
Under the hood there have been a number of improvements, not the least of which is the streamlining enabled by our previously announced plan of retiring support for PHP4, older versions of MySQL, and legacy browsers like IE6, which allows them to take advantage of more features enabled by new technologies. The admin bar has a few more shortcuts to your most commonly-used actions. On the comment moderation screen, the new approve & reply feature speeds up your conversation management. Going forward with every update after 3.2 they will only be updating the files that have changed with each new release instead of every file in your WordPress installation, which should make updates significantly faster on all hosting platforms.
If you haven’t updated already, hit it up in your admin panel and if you are thinking of trying WordPress download the latest version here.