WordPress 3.5 Unleashed Today

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WordPress 3.5 Unleashed Today

WordPress has just been updated to version 3.5, packing a whole host of new features for both developers and users of the popular blogging platform, whilst the UI has also been given a slight tweak with a more minimalist feel.


Max Foundry has nicknamed the latest update “Elvin”, in honor of legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones, and says that the changes make the platform more user-friendly. The most noticeable change for long-time users will undoubtedly be the ‘media experience’, which has been completely re-imagined by WordPress.

The old ‘Upload/Insert’ button at the top of the page has been replaced with a new ‘Add Media’ icon — click on this and you’ll be presented with a much larger media upload window than we’ve had before. Instead of a big white space of nothingness appearing on the screen, the new window displays the entire media gallery listed in order of the most recent images and videos uploaded to the site, allowing for faster access to these files.

WordPress 3.5 media upload window

WordPress 3.5 media upload window

The interface is also much more intuitive — simply find the image to upload, drag it and dump it anywhere on your open browser window and the file will automatically be uploaded. Another cool new feature is the inline caption editing, which makes it possible to type your captions and attribute image sources even while waiting for the image to upload. Pretty neat.

“Media has long been a friction point and we’ve listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system,” said Matt Mullenweg, a Founding Developer of WordPress, in a blog post.

Having played around with it, I can confirm that uploading images is faster than before, although perhaps not quite as streamlined as it could be. One problem that has arisen from the new layout is that the ‘Image Settings’ are now in the form of drop down menus, hence adding URLs, adjusting the size and aligning images takes a bit longer (two clicks as opposed to one before).

The new Twenty Twelve theme from WordPress

The new Twenty Twelve theme from WordPress

Aside from the media overhaul, additional changes include a new theme called Twenty Twelve, and some tweaks to the Dashboard that have attempted to enhance the overall experience by displaying the most-used features more prominently. In addition, Tumblr imports have been restarted, while support has been added for Instagram images, SlideShare and Soundcloud embeds.

For users of the new 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, perhaps the most important new update will be support for Retina displays, which has also been added for the first time. I’m yet to see how this renders the new-look WordPress with my own eyes, but Mullenweg insists in his blog post that MacBook users won’t be disappointed with the “beautiful high resolution graphics” that are now displayed.

Let us know what you think about the new updates in the comments section below!

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley is an independent freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast from the UK. A journalism graduate of Nottingham University, Mike enjoys travelling... Read Full Bio
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  • Tim

    I read a post over at the warrior forum where a member updated two of his blogs and in both cases could not create a post. Might be him, might be fixed, and it might be an existing bug. Be Careful

    • Mike Wheatley

      Just had an issue with it on another site I write for actually. I accidently clicked on something else and then the page froze on the “Do you want to leave this page?” screen. Had to restart my browser only to discover the autosave didn’t kick in, so I to upload everything again. Quite annoying!

    • HMS

      Exact same problem: cannot create new posts

  • Winithemes

    Great coverage of the new WordPress 3.5, more features could be discovered while using it hard, but it is definitely better than previous version: it’s more intuitive and user friendly, has a great option for installing all favorite plugins, and has a powerful media engine. Yet, developers have to check up all the compatibility issues with this new release.

    • Mike Wheatley

      Definitely has a few teething problems but I’m slowly getting used to it. Thanks for your comments 😉

  • Joe

    Disappointed with 3.5 Elvin. Clicking on the new media button will not open a new window for me. Major frustration. I wish the developers had left well enough alone.

    • Mike Wheatley

      I can see how that would be annoying! Hope you find a fix soon,

    • Mark Jaquith

      That is almost certainly a plugin that is throwing a JavaScript error. Try deactivating plugins until it works, then contact the author for an update.

  • Jon Loomer

    The nRelate plugin no longer works for me with 3.5. Formatting completely off, images going four vertically. Kind of sucks.

  • Mark Jaquith

    adjusting the size and aligning images takes a bit longer (two clicks as opposed to one before)

    Dropdown trick: don’t release the button. click, drag to your selection, release. Also works with menus in most operating systems.

  • Curt

    One big change that baffled me is that the image title gets dropped and disappears after you insert it into your post. The title will be there when you upload though. On the WP forum, the moderator said that this was intentional.

    “This was an intentional change made in the name of accessibility.”

    I have no clue of what that comment means, but if you’re on Google News, your image won’t get listed with your article as the Big G likes Images to have a title along with Alt and description.

    I can’t figure out why they would make the Image title disappear in the name of ‘accessibility’ as that makes no sense.

  • Anthony

    What’s better than WordPress? ProcessWire, that’s what. http://processwire.com/

  • Davis

    Yeah, seems like it will be nice in the long run, but we are already running into problems with the editor not being able to add links. We’re going to hold off a few days before updating our others sites. Hopefully the kinks will be worked out by then.

  • Helvecio aka Elvis

    I just updated a project I’m working on with WP using Multisites and the new Media Manager doesn’t work. And this site relies on images. Damn…

  • HMS

    The define(‘SCRIPT_DEBUG’, true) fix worked initially, but that proved to be short-lived, and using the Media Manager locked me out completely.

    Reverted to 3.4 until this gets ironed out properly.

  • Roy B.

    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for sharing a great article on the updates. Looking forward to trying the new version out and will post a comment on how it goes!

  • John Koehler

    WP 3.5 is a train wreck for us. An absolute unmitigated train wreck. So surprising for the WP gurus to get this so wrong. I’m on a souped up iMac. Been running WP for two years. Brilliant programmers and program. But now with the update the media window does not pop up. And my widgets are DEAD. Dead widgets. Useless plugins. Can you believe it! Wow. I assume these guys are working on fixes because we are dead in the water. I can’t do crap. I am so thankful for the volunteers. But dudes, you guys got this one way wrong. Please fix it ASAP. Thanks for being awesome.

  • Cameron J Stephen

    Media upload is broken. Initially get an error message similar to this: Error IMG_0073.JPG
    An error occurred in the upload. Please try again later. Revisiting the media gallery later and the image you tried to upload is in the media browser, but when you choose it there are no size options available….
    I hope this is fixed soon as it is extremely frustrating Love WordPress and appreciate the work you guys do, but not loving this bug.