Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

What might be coming in WordPress 3.3 (Features)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

One of the goals of WordPress core team is to release multiple major updates every year with a fast development cycle. WordPress 3.2 was released on July 4th and boy did it come with some amazing features. The talks and work on WordPress 3.3 has already been started. WordPress 3.3 release is expected at the end of this year with a target date of November 15, 2011. Lets take a look at what could be coming in WordPress 3.3.

Media Uploader Enhancements

There have been talks of enhancing the media uploader, but it always got pushed back. Finally in version 3.3, we will see an improved uploader. The plans are to integrate Plupload into the dashboard. Plupload is a highly usable upload handler that lets you upload files using HTML5, Gears, Flash, Silverlight, BrowserPlus, and the good’ol normal upload.

Plupload Features

This project is being carried by Jacob Gillespie as part of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project.

The potential new features that could be added are:

  • Multiple file transports, starting with HTML5, with a fallback to Flash, then to HTML4
  • Drag and Drop Uploading
  • On-the-fly image resizing
  • Hooks for in-browser image processing (so that a plugin could add pre-upload sepia tone for example)

This should definitely improve the overall user experience of the file uploader. This will also set a good base for future as it will progressively improve based on user’s browser and environment.

There is a good chance that we will see an improvement in our image manipulation and gallery management section. There is a suggestion to get rid of the thickbox and move everything inline, so we will see if that makes it in or not.

New User Experience

When you first setup Gmail or your cPanel Hosting account there is a first time welcome screen that guides the new user with helpful guides. WordPress lacks this much needed feature, and it will be added in WordPress 3.3. The proposal is to have a first time install welcome screen which will have introduction text and checklist of steps to get going; first time post-update welcome screen, and first time exposure popup for new features.

This is definitely good news for beginner users because the dashboard can be overwhelming for first timers.

(P.S. we are always here for WordPress Beginners as well, so don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@wpbeginner) and like our facebook page).

Responsive Admin Interface

Responsive Admin User Interface

We saw a user-interface overhaul in WordPress 3.2, and now the goal is to make it display nicely on devices with various screen size (including wider screens) and human interface mechanisms, such as touch.

Improve Admin Bar

WordPress Admin Bar was introduced in version 3.1. The goal in WordPress 3.3 is to improve the admin user-interface by combining the admin bar (in dashboard) with admin header to reduce duplication and save vertical space.

Performance Improvements

There is a huge deal around highly desirable permalink structures not being scalable. Chris Coyier had some major performance issues with his site and he explains the story on Digging into WordPress blog. Hopefully after the release of WordPress 3.3, you can have the SEO friendly URLs (Permalink structure) without any performance penalty.

A fix will be made related to the issues of special characters in permalinks using an upgrade routine. There are several fixes that will be made to improve performance of WordPress menus.

Language Packs

Provided that a translation exists, you should be able to download a language pack from Glotpress to localize your WordPress website. This would work for plugins, themes, and for the WordPress core. This is going to be derived from the work work of Marko Novakovic in his GSoC project. Here is a screenshot of what it could look like:

Language Packs

Until this comes out, you can always use Native Dashboard Plugin to change the language of your WordPress dashboard.

Child Themes in the Repository

There have been a strong push to use child themes to speed up development and make the codes more secure and optimized. However up until now, it is not possible for developers to host their child themes on the official WordPress repository. Things are likely to change in this area, as one of the most awesome WordPress developers, Otto, take charge and add this feature to the site in version 3.3.

Mixed Bag

There are a lot of updates that are worth mentioning, but don’t fit in a category of its own. So they are listed here:

  • When you change a theme, your widgets disappear. Hopefully in WordPress 3.3, we can keep our widgets and make the theme change
  • Dismissable admin notices
  • Improvements to the Settings and Meta API

Which ones of these features are you excited to see in WordPress 3.3?

Stay updated with WPBeginner on twitter and Facebook, so we can keep you in the loop with the progress.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

22 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. drale2k says

    God, i absolutely wish that too. I actually think the whole media handling in WP is one of its biggest weaknesses @dnavarrojr

  3. griffinjt says

    I am most interested in the talks about having a new metabox class. This ought to make metabox creation much, much easier and more efficient for those of us (like myself) who tend to use metaboxes heavily in project development.

  4. griffinjt says

    I am most interested in the talks about having a new metabox class. This ought to make metabox creation much, much easier and more efficient for those of us (like myself) who tend to use metaboxes heavily in project development.

  5. ryanmr says

    I’d love that HTML5 upload support built into the uploader. I recently switched to a MacBook for University. I tried to follow the No Flash doctrine but crumbled under the weight of having to upload files individually without a progress bar in Safari and just installed Flash.

    The responsive backend makes sense too since the default theme is now too.

  6. CorrindaC says

    I am most looking forward to the permalink performance so that /%postname%/ is not an issue with larger sites.

    I would also like to see them change the default display name from your user name. it seems a security issue to automatically display your user name unless you go in an manually change it.

    WordPress is great and getting better looking forward to 3.3

  7. adam.w.warner says

    This one should be at the top of the list in my opinion…

    “When you change a theme, your widgets disappear. Hopefully in WordPress 3.3, we can keep our widgets and make the theme change”.

    It’s one of the first things I warn our blogging and WordPress students about.

  8. dnavarrojr says

    I use NextGen, which is a fine plugin, but there is no reason why the built-in gallery should support the ability to organize your media. Having to click 20 times to get to an image is ridiculous. @EBarney

  9. EBarney says

    Yes, I’d love to be able to choose which images are associated with the gallery without having to upload them all at the same time. I think I found a plugin to help deal with this situation once, but I’ve been relying on outside slideshow tools b/c the galleries are so buggy. @dnavarrojr

  10. dnavarrojr says

    I really wish they would do something about the in-built image gallery to better organize images into folders, sets, and/or albums.

  11. abdelhafidcom says

    there’s one thing i’d love’em to add in 3.3 : the maintenance Mode

    gosh … we really need that in wordpress .

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.