WordPress 3.2 Beta Released, What’s New?

WordPress has open the doors for testers, developers and other early adopters to try out the next major release cycle of the their popular blogging cum content management engine – WordPress 3.2. WP 3.2 is expected to graduate out of beta by the end of June, and it include several exciting new features.

Before we begin, I would like to inform you that from version 3.2 onwards, WordPress will drop support for Internet Explorer 6, and the minimum system requirement to run WordPress has changed to PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. If you plan on installing it for fun sake, please make sure your host supports the above requirements (most popular hosts like Dreamhost, Hostgator already do).

What’s new in WordPress 3.2?

New Default Theme: Twenty Ten has been replaced with Twenty Eleven as the default theme. Twenty Eleven is based on the popular Duster theme. It’s sleek, minimalistic and eye-pleasing in comparison to the older default theme. Supports rotating image as header, post format and few more (Remember kubrick? WordPress has come such a long way!)

Twenty Eleven WordPress 3.2

[Click to enlarge screenshots]

Face-lifted Admin UI: WordPress Dashboard has been polished and it looks good. Unlike the overhaul in 2008, this one is just a minor rework in the admin panel sidebar. You’ll still feel at home, if you are used to the older WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress 3.2 Dashboard

Improved Writing Interface: Fullscreen visual editor has been improved. New icons used for visual editors, doesn’t take long to get used to it though. HTML editor is also available in fullscreen mode. Not so useful for average joe, but certainly a plus for those who use HTML to fine tune the formatting of their blog posts.

WordPress 3.2 Fullscreen EditorWordPress 3.2 Visual Editor

Better Admin Bar: The Admin Bar which was introduced in WordPress 3.1 has been upgraded with a few more links to make things easier.

Outdated Browser Warning: WordPress 3.2 will warn you, if you happen to be using outdate version of your browser. They like to call it Browse Happy!

WordPress 3.2 Outdated Browser Warning

Improved Performance: Under-the-hood improvements to the overall performance of WordPress. We didn’t feel the difference since we installed on a local machine.

I think WordPress 3.2 would be the quickest jump in the release cycle of WP. It had only been three months since the stable version of WordPress 3.1 was publicly released. WordPress is celebrating it’s 8th birthday on May 27th. You can download WordPress 3.2 beta and play with it until the final release arrives. Do not use it on your live site. It’s still half baked, and might possibly include some bugs here and there.

This post was published by on May 13, 2011

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak