WordPress 3.8 Development Heats Up With Discussion of New Core Features

WordPress versions 3.7 and 3.8 have been under simultaneous development. This is the first time the project has undergone a tandem release cycle and the results so far have been very positive. The project’s momentum is at an all time high with a successful 3.7 release and some exciting core updates right around the corner in 3.8.

Matt Mullenweg is leading the 3.8 development cycle, which is now at the stage where core plugins will be selected for inclusion in the core. Last week Sam Sidler called for developers to begin preparing their features for the 3.8 merge.

The new “features as plugins” approach to WordPress core development has enabled teams to work quickly on their features and get valuable feedback from the community.

Plugins Presenting for Consideration: DASH, MP6, Omnisearch and THX38

There are currently four plugins in the feedback stage, where they will be evaluated based on the following questions:

  • Does the feature belong in core?
  • Is the feature ready for core?
  • Should the feature be in this release?

Project team leaders with features ready for 3.8 have presented their plugins on the core make.wordpress.org blog. Each has provided a written overview of the problem that their plugin solves.

Here’s a quick look at the four plugins that are being considered as new features for WordPress 3.8:

DASH – Dashboard

New Dashboard for WordPress
New Dashboard for WordPress

The DASH project aims to improve the WordPress dashboard by reorganizing it to prioritize the sections that people actually use. This plugin adds a responsive design and merges the sections for recent comments and recently scheduled/published posts into a new activity widget that will lay the foundation for an activity stream that developers can hook into.

For a closer look at the DASH project, check out our interview with designer Joen Asmussen. Read the DASH project proposal and contribute to the discussion.


MP6 WordPress Admin Plugin
MP6 WordPress Admin Plugin

The MP6 project aims to modernize the WordPress dashboard. Many WordPress users have already added this plugin because they couldn’t wait to have their sites using this admin design. MP6 vastly improves the contrast and readability of the WordPress admin. It uses the Open Sans font, incorporates more whitespace and cleaner styles. MP6 also includes a new widgets page design.

Check out the MP6 project proposal and leave any feedback from your experience with the plugin.

Omnisearch – Global Admin Search

Omnisearch Plugin
Omnisearch Plugin

The Omnisearch plugin provides a global admin search. It provides three new ways to search everything in the admin: a dashboard widget, a new admin search page and a search box on the adminbar. Searching data within the dashboard requires you to navigate to the correct screen for the data that you’re looking for. But what if you’re not sure whether you should be searching posts or comments? Omnisearch solves this problem by letting you search everything.

If you want to chime in on this project’s name or how it’s implemented, feel free to leave feedback on the Omnisearch plugin proposal.

THX38 – Theme Experience

Improved Theme Experience
Improved Theme Experience

The THX38 project aims to improve the user’s experience when viewing themes on the themes.php screen. This plugin streamlines the presentation of themes and moves the description to a details overlay. THX38 speeds up the performance of theme browsing and search. It also adds a fully responsive design for a better experience on mobile devices. One of the most visible improvements includes support for multiple screenshots per theme and a bigger display.

View more screenshots and details on the THX38 project proposal.

Matt Mullenweg, as the 3.8 release lead, will decide which features make it into the release, but community feedback on the make.wordpress.org blogs is strongly encouraged. Just remember that even if a feature doesn’t make the cut for WordPress 3.8, that doesn’t mean it won’t ever be included. Some features may need a little more time to be polished. We’ll be following the discussions surrounding these plugins and will let you know which are selected for inclusion in the upcoming 3.8 release.


  1. These are all great plugins i have been testing them on my staging site, mp6 will be a huge change for my non technical users but since it is mostly a new look i think they will adjust quickly.


  2. Agree that all four are great although whether all four willbe ready in time remains to be seen. Out of the four, the Omnisearch has got to be the most useful as adds much needed functionality but the other three all improve user experience as well – roll on 3.8 release !


  3. @Paul – It’s the same feature, ported from Jetpack into core. Once (or if) Omnisearch becomes part of core, Jetpack’s Omnisearch will get retired.


  4. All are quality additions to WP. I think MP6 would have the broadest benefit for inclusion into core as the speed improvements are significant and would benefit everyone, where as the others are great but may be of more limited appeal.


  5. Some nice inclusions, but I feel that the editor is long overdue for some changes and I know its included in Jetpack, but a contact form should be a core feature…


  6. It’s good to see that they finally got to work on the design of the dashboard! I love all the new features and changes that are coming in the 3.8, also the grid media library is also nice.

    Andor Nagy


Comments are closed.