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What’s coming in WordPress 3.3 (Features, Screenshots, and Live Demo)

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As always, we are back to give you the update on the new WordPress 3.3 release. Not too long ago we talked about what might be coming in WordPress 3.3 but now, after the feature freeze and the beta version, we can show you what is actually going to be there. So lets jump in and check out some of the new features that are coming in WordPress 3.3!

O for those of you who are curious, the expected release date is November 29th, 2011. So to keep it safe, we should have WordPress 3.3 before Christmas :)

Flyout Menus

It used to be that flyout menus would only appear when the menu was collapsed, but this has been changed in the new release. Now you get flyouts even in the full menu which is sure to save you an extra mouse click.

Flyout Menus

Some folks in the community did not like this feature. While talking with @Otto42 at WordCamp Louisville, we too saw some of the issues people can have with this menu. For majority of the folks, this is a great feature. But there are some of us who have a lot of items in one tab (for example our settings tab). We have a lot of custom plugins that are under there. So our flyout menu takes up the whole screen height in that sense. If you are one of those folks who like the ability to vertically expand and collapse menu items, then thanks to Aaron D. Campbell you can do it with his plugin called Expanded Admin Menus (Your browser must support JavaScript, which most do anyways).

Admin Bar Revamped

The new admin bar is also much more responsive and easier to use. It features dropdown menus that respond onhover, once again saving valuable clicks. The menu has also been rearranged making it a lot easier to find what you are looking for. Several things have been added as well, the most obvious of which is the WordPress icon on the left side of the bar. This icon drops down a menu with many useful links including the Codex and Support Forums.

Admin Bar

Previously, you could disable the admin bar while reviewing the dashboard by simply unchecking a box in your user’s profile area. In WordPress 3.3, that option is removed for the good. The core team decided to reduce the vertical space and increase functionality by combining the Howdy area and admin bar together. Quite frankly, we love this new admin bar design. It is simple and elegant.

More Efficient Media Uploader

One of the coolest features that is coming in WordPress 3.3 is the new drag and drop media uploader. The WordPress team has made it incredibly easy to drag files from your desktop and just drop them in the installer. Not only this but they also took all the “add media” buttons and combined them into one to make the interface a lot more simple and clean. The new uploader also has support for HTML5 and Silverlight.


New Feature Tooltips aka Pointers

Whenever there is a new feature added in WordPress 3.3 tooltips will notify users of the addition. This should be a welcome addition especially for those of you whose clients are not very WordPress inclined.

Admin Tooltips

We have already seen plugin developers using these pointers to their advantage. Yoast recently came out with a newer version of his plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast. You can see how he is leveraging these pointers to guide the users throughout his plugin:

Yoast WordPress SEO Pointers

Responsive Admin Panel

Although a lot of the responsiveness has been left to WordPress 3.4 it is obvious that steps have been made toward making this release responsive. Its worth playing around with but essentially the widgets are resized and the admin panel adjusts whenever you decrease your browser window size (or screen size).

Permalink and Performance Issue

So you have seen sites all across the web referencing to SEO Friendly URL structure in WordPress. Mostly those articles either refer to simple %postname% or /%category%/%postname%/. The fact is that up until 3.2.1, these permalink rules could cause serious performance issues if your site has A LOT of pages. Heck this forced @chriscoyier to change his site’s entire permalink structure. Andrew Nacin (@nacin) brought up the point that a lot of users are using these permalink structure, so we should figure out the issue and fix it for good. And lo’ and behold this is FIXED! In WordPress 3.3, the core team decided to add Post name as one of the suggested permalink option.

New Permalink Rule in 3.3

Live Demo For WordPress 3.3

There are a lot of us developers who just simply setup a local install of WordPress and test things out ourselves. But this whole process intimidates beginners. Therefore just like last time, we are providing a Live Demo Site for you to try out all of the new features and get yourself acquainted with WordPress 3.3. Live WordPress 3.3 Demo

Let us know what you think!

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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.

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Reader Interactions

26 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. jgarciacl says

    @wpbeginner thanks. waiting formulario 3.3 ….. hope that most of the plugins will be comp atible

  3. Michael Aulia says

    Can’t wait for it to go live and official! I have it on my other blog to play around and loving it. Though I install the Fluency Admin to achieve similar roll-over and normally publish my blog from Windows Live Writer, these additions are still welcomed!

  4. TravelWithAMate says

    @artofbackpackin Was hoping the media updates would be more than just a better uploader. Still it’s a start.

      • TravelWithAMate says

        @artofbackpackin I was hoping for better ways to categorise media, better organisation, more online editing :)

  5. dnavarrojr says

    I wish there was media management, similar to NextGen Gallery that works with all types of media. Organization is WP’s major achilles in my opinion.

    • seancojr says

      @dnavarrojr I am hoping that’s coming in a later release. NextGen sounds appeasing but I’ve felt it was too bulky for using with certain client projects.

    • wpbeginner says

      @Claverhouse Note, you still have the option to remove the admin bar on the front-end…. so they are not defacing your site…. Its only the backend that will have the admin bar, and it is for the good…

  6. Streamingdb says

    I can not understand why you are working on aesthetics. We must improve the search engine, which is really disgusting, and requires a lot of CPU and developers persist in integrating the various tooltips and other crap.

    • jpmartin says

      @Streamingdb Totally agree on this and SEO. Also flyout menus… I hope we can switch that off like the admin bar! Performance should be the focus…

  7. emte69 says

    Whether there are “Flyout Menues” or the WPm admin headline is painted green – these are in my opinion NOT the questions, WordPress users are most interested in!

    I most agree with Dragon Blogger: improve the media upload mechanism most! – I.e. drag’n’drop as well as manageing the upload items: updating all post in case of using different directories for the media items – to mention only one issue.

    Another issue: WP is problably THE most used infrastructure for blogging. What the heck, the WP people waist effort in painting the GUI green, instead of integrating SEO issues?

      • chriscoyier says

        @wpbeginner Totally. There are way more links in the wild to my site in the old format than the new, I think it makes sense. And even if WP doesn’t handle the 301 on the way back (it probably will) the .htaccess regex to do it shouldn’t be too hard.

  8. AlexDenning says

    Those tooltips look kinda cool, but I’m going to be one of the ones installing the menu expander plugin :)

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