It's Jazz Friday again. Happy new WordPress release everybody! WordPress 3.6 is live and the list of improvements, new features and bug fixes seems to be endless. Since you may have already looked over the official post at WordPress.org I'll try to highlight only the most important changes and skip those 700+ fixes and minor UI changes. SiteGround uses WordPress to power up this blog and our knowledge base, and I have already updated both instances without any issues along the way.
New Default Theme - Twenty Thirteen
WordPress 3.6 now comes with a new default theme, focused on blogging. It's a beautiful, responsive piece of design that comes with many new features and different layouts at your disposal. Among the most interesting things you'll find in Twenty Thirteen are the different supported post formats, single column layout with widgets in the footer and the font-based icons (Genericons) that look neat both on your huge home monitor and your mobile phone.
How often have you clicked that bookmark on top of your browser losing the last few sentences of pure written genius or an application has opened its website right on top of your tab for editing posts? Fear no more, the Autosave feature is here! In WordPress 3.6 every few seconds the content you create will be automatically saved so when you reopen that tab you will see a line notifying you that there is an autosave available.
If you are the only one using your WordPress this feature may not be very important for you. However, for people like me that are part of a team that manages a WordPress site together it is a life saver. No more incidents like having my great styling changes from the last half an hour been deleted, because a colleague of mine decided to fix a small typo she noticed at the same time! Now, when I am working on a post, no one else will be able to touch it 🙂
Improved Version Control
Revisions aren't new to WordPress but now they are much more visual and easy to use. With the new improved versions UI you can simply slide through different versions, compare the latest version with a previous one or compare any two revisions of your post or page. The new interface that handles this is clean and intuitive - you can see the changes and differences between revisions at a glance and restore each one of them with a single button click.
In-line Login For Expired Sessions
If you leave your WordPress tab unattended, at some point your login session will expire. This means that the next time you click on a link you'll be brought to the login screen. In WordPress 3.6 a great new feature named In-line Login is introduced. If your session has expired and you have to re-authenticate yourself, you won't have to go through that annoying process anymore. Simply type in your username and password and continue your work.
Improved Media Embedding
If you want to add video or music to your posts WordPress 3.6 makes it easier than ever. Simply paste the path to the mp3 file for example in the WYSIWYG editor and it will turn into a nice player on your front page. In addition, with the improved Media Manager you can drag music or video files and the player options will appear on the right side. No need for those embedding plugins anymore - embedding at its best is now all included.
Should You Upgrade Right Now?
In one word - yes! WordPress 3.6 is a great update that makes a fantastic piece of software even better and I simply can't list all the new goodies and improvements introduced in this version. If you have enabled the WordPress Autoupdater in your SiteGround account, your site will soon be updated to WordPress 3.6 and you'll be able to benefit from all that great new stuff! However, if you think that the new version may cause some of your plugins to malfunctions, and you want to update manually you can always cancel the scheduled updated from your cPanel. For more info how to use our AutoUpdater, refer to our WordPress Auto Update Tutorial.