WordPress 3.4 Beta 1 Available For Mass Consumption

In what seems like forever since the last major release of WordPress, 3.4 Beta 1 has been released. You should know the routine by now. Don’t run beta software in a production environment. Instead, set up a local install or a mirrored copy somewhere else for testing. If you encounter a situation that you think is a bug, you can use the methods described within this Codex article to report it.

If you decide to give WordPress 3.4 Beta 1 a whirl, here are a couple of things to take a closer look at.

  • Theme Customizer with Previewer
  • Flexible Custom Header Sizes
  • Selecting Custom Header and Background Images from Media Library
  • Better experience searching for and choosing a theme

If you noticed that these all appear to be improvements around themes, there is a reason for that. Back in early January when the scope for WordPress 3.4 was being discussed, the overall theme (pardon the pun) for this release centered around the sites appearance.

The idea is that a combination of front-end features, dashboard features, and under-the-hood improvements all tied to managing your site’s appearance will be the focus of 3.4. It will also include smaller things that don’t live in the appearance section but are related to the overarching goal, such as making it possible to have links in image captions.

Speaking of links within image captions, this functionality should be in 3.4 beta 1 and is something I, and many others have wanted within WordPress for a long time. This little addition will make it a breeze to add attribution to images when performing an image only post. There are under the hood improvements as well but what I’ve covered here should be a good start.

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