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What New Features Are Coming in WordPress 3.7

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What New Features Are Coming in WordPress 3.7

It was just two months ago when WordPress 3.6 was released, and we already have WordPress 3.7 almost ready to go. It is scheduled to be released on October 14th, 2013. There are some important changes coming your way. WordPress 3.7 will be mainly focused on security and stability of the WordPress core. Let’s take a look at what new features are coming in WordPress 3.7.

Automatic Updates

Automatic WordPress Updates

One of the most anticipated features of WordPress 3.7 is automatic updates. Managed WordPress hosting providers already do automatic WordPress updates for their users when a new update is available.

Now WordPress will be able to do this on its own. A typical WordPress installation will be able to automatically update minor/security releases by without any user input. This means that a user does not need to update WordPress from 3.7 to 3.7.1. However, automatic updates will not be done for major releases by default, for example 3.7.1 to 3.8.

When we asked audience opinion on this using our twitter and facebook pages, we had a mixed response from users. Some really liked it and others absolutely hated it. This is why there will be an option to turn off automatic updates from the wp-config.php file. There will also be an option to completely automate the process and even auto-update WordPress to major releases by adding a define parameter in wp-config.php.

Language Packs

WordPress 3.7 will also come with better support for language packs. The current goal set for WordPress 3.7 is to separately maintain language files for default themes, importer plugins, and the WordPress core. For users, this means that if you are using WordPress in your language, then with each update WordPress will automatically fetch the language files for default themes, importer plugins, and the core.

Currently users need to find a translation ready WordPress theme and install language files. Hopefully, this feature will extend to other themes and plugins, so users will not have to worry about downloading and uploading translation files for each plugin they use.

New Password Meter

Strong password are important for WordPress security. This is why WordPress comes with a password strength meter, but it is very weak. This is why in WordPress 3.7, the core team decided to add a new password meter that will encourage users to choose stronger passwords.

Password Meter in WordPress 3.7

This will be a great addition with the force strong passwords plugin that admins can use to force users to use strong passwords.

Improved WordPress Search

Let’s face it, the default WordPress search is not the best. This is why many users rely on other solutions like SearchWP or even Google custom search for their sites.

Thankfully, with WordPress 3.7 the default search will get a little better. WordPress will now display search results by relevancy rather than in a reverse chronological order. It will consider a result more relevant if the keyword matches in title as well as content.

In line Documentation for Hooks

As an open source software WordPress is free and the source code is available for anyone to use, modify, study and build upon. All WordPress code was already documented, but there are many new hooks available.

The core team decided to streamline the inline documentation for all the hooks in the core. This will make it easier for new developers to study the code, learn, and practice. It will also help experienced developers to write better code for their own WordPress applications.

WordPress 3.7 is currently in Beta, and there is very little chance that any new features will be added to it. However it is still possible that the final release can be different. If you want to try the beta version, then you can do so by installing WordPress on local server environment and run the beta tester plugin.

Which feature are you looking forward to the most? Let us know what you like or dislike about WordPress 3.7 by leaving a comment below.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • Kris

    Change your picture “new password meter” arrow directions. WordPress 3.7 should be very weak, not WP 3.6.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      @Kris Thank you for pointing this out. We have updated the screenshot.

  • Hunky

    I have been updating it with one click, most plug-ins and themes never needed any attention for update so i dont think its a bad feature.

    I welcome it,

    better would have been an API which should have allowed the plug-ins and themes too receive auto update from their new releases.

    One thing would have been appreciated and that is a feature like Windows system restore or Apple time machine where a restore point should be created and saved for user to revert back the changes with single click, if things are broken by chance.

  • Imad Daou

    I believe we need a sandbox for plugins before activation. It would be great if I can test the plugin before I activate it, especially if this plugin would conflict with other plugin or code.

    Performance meter to monitor every code or plugin you add, that would be great to measure the impact on performance after installing specific plugin and how can this be related to server performance as well.

    Maybe because I’m new to wordpress, but I found it very hard to find the right theme. I recommend a wizard like method, ask the user few question about their website needs and popups the most related themes for the requirements.

    Finally, a setup wizard once you install wordpress would be lovely to new users once they login for the first time, especially if starts with tutorials to educate users about security and to pick the most proper settings. I think we need something similar to what Servers usually have: Roles! is a perfect word for that. WordPress can do a lot of things, it would be great to setup wordpress based on Roles, Roles might have suggestion for specific themes and plugins!

    I’m so happy with WordPress and especially WPbeginner site , I wish you Happy Eid and very Blessed Future.

    All my Best,

    Imad Daou

  • Pace

    I think the minor auto update is a fantastic feature. I’m looking forward to all these features actually. Great news, thanks!

  • olly connelly

    WordPress bloggers, with good intention, tend to tell us to always update, “asap dammit!”, upon a core update being available. That can be bad advice leading to broken sites, as we casually hack ourselves, effectively, due to incompatibilities from unkempt plugins, old themes and the like.

    This auto-updates thing will be terrific for casual bloggers with very few plugins and a basic theme …

    … but beware, everyone else, of the potential for a broken site when opting for this feature.

    I wrote something or other about this update business, BTW, and why ** it is not best advice to tell people to update the WordPress core, verbatim, ** without explaining the possible pitfalls and proper procedure. Please excuse the plug but I hope that’s handy …

    “Updating WordPress: Think First, Here’s Why”: http://wpcop.com/updates

    For auto-updates, in addition to this welcome new function, what would be really cool would be:-

    – an option of a middle approach, too, allowing us to set how long after a core update to wait before updating. That would allow potentially incompatible plugins to be updated (hopefully!) so that the core update then goes without a hitch
    – a further option, whereby the admin can choose auto-updates to be committed (again however long after the update becomes available) ONLY depending on the kind of update it is

    Regarding that latter point, for example, if WordPress has a snazzy new feature update, we could opt not to auto-update as those updates tend to be most likely to break a site. But if the update is security-related then, hey, maybe we’d want that to auto-update although, again, perhaps with a delay option.

    You could take this update option feature even further, because as we know some security updates are critical (as was 3.6.1, confronting XSS vulnerabilities, for one thing) while most are relatively minor. (This is not to say they should not be addressed as a priority. Hardly.)

    This all brings me back to one of my pet hopes: that Automattic separates out security fixes from any other updates, again to reduce (greatly) the number of post-updated, broken sites.

    Verdict: if in doubt, be old-fashioned, don’t use this (nonetheless important) feature. Instead always explore each and every WordPress update and, ideally, test it on your cloned development site before deploying it on your production site.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      We disagree with the argument as the main point of the argument is that people hack into their core files and an update could result into broken sites.

      First of all users should never hack into the core WordPress files, or core files of any plugins. If they are making changes to a plugin they should rename that plugin so that updates don’t affect it. Same goes for themes, you should always use a child theme to make changes or rename the theme so that it does not get updates for the original theme. As for WordPress core files, there is no reason to hack into them. If you want to make changes into core files you can try to submit them as patches, report bugs, or try to implement your changes in a plugin without touching the core files.

      On the other hand auto-updates can be disabled and users can choose to manually update their WordPress sites. This way they can have the time to get their changes saved as a back up and safely update to a new version.

      • olly connelly

        (Sorry for delay, just saw this, I daresay an even more important topic for many now … who have broken their sites!)

        “the main point of the argument is that people hack into their core files”

        Well, that sure wasn’t my argument :) Never said a word about it. Irrelevant. **Never edit core files!**

        Auto updates add the potential to break sites. Period.

        (The stats so far would be interesting.)

        • olly connelly

          “On the other hand auto-updates can be disabled and users can choose to manually update their WordPress sites”

          Yes. Good idea. For sites that matter … way to go!

  • Daniel Dogeanu

    Ugh… No! What are they thinking?!?! Auto-updates turned on by default? I struggle not to brake the site on every update and they’re implementing it automatically? Come on… If all plugins would keep updating at the right time, it would be ok, but sadly we don’t live in a perfect world. This feature will ruin a lot of sites. And I mean A LOT of sites…

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      In 3.7 auto updates will only be open for minor releases. There is no default auto update option for themes and plugins. We think its quite safe and the core team seems to be quite confident about it.

    • Kennth Guinto

      I think the auto update feature is geared towards security and minor releases. there is no need to worry much about breaking your site. do also take note that WP 3.7 and WP 3.8 are being developed simultaneously so if all plans go by schedule WP 3.7 would be one shortest stable release that WordPress had in terms of duration. people can read more about it at the core discussion page at wordpress (dot) org

  • Thomas Varghese

    The new features are good and waiting to see the new changes but i too think there should be some facility provided by wordpress for backup and restore without making any use of plugin for this process. Also automatic updates are fine until it doesn’t mess up the theme on the live site.

  • Gene

    Happy to hear about this!

  • Jason Skinner

    They will probably give you the ability to bypass auto updates.

  • Bjarni Wark

    Anything that improves the default search, good to see this is getting some attention, good work allround.

  • Grant

    Do you know the date of the release yet?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ WPBeginner Support

      Last we heard it was 14 October.

  • Alan Hughes

    Having a secure website won’t matter when an auto update crashes it.

  • Omega

    I wished for this feature exist some time ago… now i’m glad to know that I can focus on other task instead of go and update all the sites when there are new releases.

    :D

    ( Nice post btw )

  • Sai Varun KN

    WordPress 3.7 should have a inbuilt backup and restore functionality atleast. Automatic updates is good to keep the wordpress safe.

    • Sergiu Poenaru

      Yup, that would be useful.

    • Mike

      I vote for the backup feature too. It is unthinkable not to have a full blown backup feature built in.

  • Greg

    New security is good. But if I have less control over my site (auto updates), that sometimes makes me feel less secure for my site. Security is about consciousness and control (what goes in and out).

    Other than that, it sounds good. I like the idea of giving more input on hooks. Hooks are what make WordPress great customizable.

  • Dave Navarro

    I really wish they’d fix the AUDIO support from 3.6. The Audio Player lacks the ability to include title/track information and control of the size. It doesn’t play nice with images and floating DIVs.