Things To Look For In WordPress 3.3 Beta 1

WordPress 3.3 Beta 1 has finally been released for the curious at heart to get a glimpse as to what’s coming in the final version. There are quite a few visual changes that you should look out for and provide feedback on. Here are a couple things worth noting.

New Feature Pop-ups – After WordPress 3.3 is installed, you’ll see popups that display information pointing users to new features. When testing, see if the popups close upon clicking the close button. Also see if the popups reappear multiple times. There has been an issue with popups and IE7/8 with them not going away but Alex Mills is betting that those have been fixed as of ticket #18693

Feature Popups

Admin Bar Revamp – The Admin bar now sports a darker color. The biggest changes to the admin bar reside within the rearrangement of menu items. Instead of the username and gravatar aligned to the left side of the bar, it’s now all the way on the right hand side. The search box has been moved to the right of the Add New menu link. Updates has been added as a top menu item. However, your website name now shows up on the far left side of the admin bar and this is where you’ll find all sorts of administrative tasks when you hover your mouse cursor over the link. The dashboard link as well as Appearance has been added to this menu item along with an assortment of other options. The drop down menus also look a lot like their Administration panel counterparts compared to the 3.2 version. Last but not least, on the left side of the admin bar, there is a small WordPress icon. This icon acts like the HELP button in typical software. From here, you can get information about the specific version of WordPress, Freedoms, Credits, links to WordPress.org, the support forums, documentation and giving feedback.

Flyout Menus – All of the top level links within the left menu now have Flyouts where as previously, Flyouts only occurred when the menu was collapsed.

Flyout Menus

Drag And Drop Uploading – I think users will be surprised the most by the new upload media screen. Thanks to something called plUpload which has been added to WordPress 3.3, we can now drag multiple files into the editor. This has also allowed the dependence on Flash within the uploader to disappear as support for HTML 5, Flash, and Silverlight are supported with plUpload. I’ve given it a try with 5 images and it worked great. Users who upload photo sets to WordPress are going to love this enhancement.

Multiple file Uploader In WordPress 3.3
Uploading Multiple Files Or Images At Once Is Now Easier In WP 3.3

One Media Button – In WordPress 3.2.1, there are 4 icons within the post editor that allow you to add some type of media to a post. Images, Audio, Video, and strangely enough, an icon named Media. In WordPress 3.3, all of those icons have been replaced by one icon labeled Media. From here, you simply drag whatever media files you have into the uploader. No more picking and choosing since the uploader is smart enough to distinguish between different media types. You can add your typical meta data after the media has been uploaded.

WordPress 3.3. Media Icon
One Instead Of Four

WordPress 3.3. will have more to offer than what I have listed here but if you plan on beta testing the new version, you now have a couple things to play around with. If you come across something you think is broken or not working as you think it should, the best thing you can do is report it within the Alpha/Beta section of the WordPress.org Support forums while being as descriptive as possible.

15 Comments


  1. I love this release. I’ve been using it on my live site for the past month and have been really happy with the changes.

    I don’t see any annoying bloaty feature creep junk in this release, just gradual improvements and code rewrites to improve what is already there. I wish all releases took this approach.

    The new media uploader in particular kicks some serious butt, yet doesn’t added any extra functionality. They took what was already there, and made it better. I want more of that :)

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  2. @Ryan Hellyer – Upon playing around with the beta, I have to agree. Jane Wells and the UX/UI team took something that was already quite good and made it better, simpler. Less mouse clicks to get somewhere which is always nice.

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  3. Thanks for the great post! I must say, I think that adding the drag and drop feature for uploading media is my favorite new feature to come in WordPress 3.3, It’s something that’s subtle, but will make the uploading process much easier. I also think it’s pretty snazzy that the media buttons have been consolidated into one. Can’t wait for the new features!

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  4. Have they done something about letting people peek at drafts?

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  5. I always found it slightly annoying that you had to click to expand admin menus to get to sub-menu items.

    Now that you can access them just by hovering over the top-level menu item is really useful!

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  6. iuno it kinda looks more annoying then it already is xD but we’ll see when it finally gets released as NON-beta.

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  7. Thanks for info!
    When I saw admin bar I was tempted to remove it. But said to myself: wait and try to use it. Now I’ve quite accustomed to it. And “Flyout Menus” is nice feature.
    BTW it’s not still clear to me how new ideas get implemented on WordPress.org. I’ve posted one idea and it has 4 votes now. When, who and how will decide?

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  8. Thanks for the write up, I’ve been looking for this info on the web and couldn’t find it. Looking forward to the new version and the uploader is gonna make things easier.

    Thanks again for the heads up.

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  9. Another Very-Cool Feature:

    Contextual help is getting an awesome makeover that will make it incredibly more useful.

    Not-So-Very-Cool:

    The new contextual help has no backward compatibility with the current contextual help. None whatsoever. I think this is a terrible decision, and am hopeful that it will be addressed during the beta phase.

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  10. @Chip Bennett

    The new contextual help has no backward compatibility with the current contextual help. None whatsoever. I think this is a terrible decision, and am hopeful that it will be addressed during the beta phase.

    So, replying to myself: it looks like backward-compatibility has been restored for contextual help. According to Otto:

    The deprecation function call in those was commented out sometime recently, so I think they’re leaving full-conversion until 3.4 or later. So it probably won’t be deprecated in 3.3, just on the verge of deprecation.

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  11. Hey Jeffro

    A really well written article. I cant wait to get my hands on the new release and play around.
    The drag and drop is long over due and looks sweet.

    Cheers
    Bob

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  12. Sounds exciting. Looking forward to trying it out

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  13. Uh, at last media handling gets an serious update. Loving it!
    And loving the new ‘Scale images to match the large size selection in image options’ tick box. Much easier than teaching clients how to scale image for web.

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  14. Thanks for some great reading. I can’t wait to get the latest version and look forward especially to the drag and drop upload media feature, and the fly out menus. Sounds like there are some really cool features in this version.

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