After what felt like ages of testing and release candidates, WordPress 3.6 “Oscar” (named for Oscar Peterson, a jazz pianist). Let’s take a look at some of the exciting new features released in the latest and greatest version of WordPress.
New Default Theme
One of the most obvious changes is the new default theme, Twenty Thirteen. This bold and colorful single-column theme is quite an change from the previous default themes, designed from the ground up to be completely responsive and device agnostic. It also supports all the Post Formats that were introduced in Version 3.1.
Improved Auto-Save Feature
If you’ve ever had your browser crash in the middle of writing up a big post, only to find that the auto-save feature missed a ton of your recent work (and really, who hasn’t?), then you’ll welcome the revised auto-save feature, which saves the post both online and using local storage. They have also revised the restore feature, which will make it much easier to compared saved versions of a document should you need to revert or restore something.
And if you happen to get logged out in the middle of your work, you’ll not get a login box and (hopefully) nothing will be lost.
If you work on your WordPress powered site alone, this feature won’t do much for you, but multi-author site owners will embrace it. When you try to edit a post that another person is working on, you’ll be notified that the post is being edited, and be given the opportunity to take over.
WordPress menus, which are already pretty slick (especially compared to how we used to have to setup navigation) got a bit of a facelift as well. Instead of everything being put into a single page, managing menus and assigning menus to locations have been broken out into different tabs. I’m ambivilent on this one. I can see how the workflow is a little more clear now, but it will also necessitate a few more clicks.
Native HTML5 Video Support
In the latest release, HTML5 video is no natively supported by WordPress, which will make it easier to integrate video in your posts without having to go through a third party service like YouTube or Vimeo, or using a plugin.
And Lots More
In all, WordPress 3.6 closed out more the 700 tickets, so this release made a ton of changes and improvements. Get all the details in the Codex.
Why You Should Update
As always, make sure to keep your WordPress install up-to-date. In additional to cool new features and bug fixes, every new release also patches security vulnerabilities, so one of the best ways to keep your site secure is to keep it updated.
And whenever you update your version, make sure to back up your site and database first, just in case something goes wrong.