This guest post is by Michael Scott of WPHub.com.
One of the great things about WordPress is that it never stands still. The platform is constantly evolving beyond its blogging roots, with more great features being added every year.
WordPress used to release small updates frequently, but at the end of 2009 they changed this policy. They now aim to release three major updates every year, with small infrequent updates in between to address security issues.
Today I’d like to walk you through the new features which were introduced in 2012, in WordPress 3.4 and 3.5.
I’ll be focusing on the features that are most relevant to bloggers and explaining how they can help you.
New features in WordPress 3.4
Released in June, WordPress 3.4 was a solid release that is best remembered for introducing the new theme customizer.
It also included a lot of other great new features such as Twitter embedding, HTML in captions, and flexible header images.
New feature: Live preview
Live preview enables you to preview themes before they are activated on your blog.
Browsing and installing themes and plugins directly from the WordPress admin area is one of WordPress’s greatest strengths. It’s amazing that you can modify your blog so much without even leaving your blog’s Admin area.
In the past, clicking on the Preview link for a theme would load up an overlay which displayed the theme over the current page.
But the process of browsing WordPress designs changed in WordPress 3.4. In the past, the design was listed with Install and Preview links, and a full description.
Descriptions are now hidden by default, though you can view the description of a theme by clicking on the new Description link. This may seem like a small change, but it made browsing for designs within the Admin area much more user friendly.
Themes are now previewed on their own dedicated Preview page. The page shows the theme on the right-hand side. On the left side, the theme name, thumbnail, rating and description are shown. To save you from having to click the Back button, themes can now be installed via this new Preview area.