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WordPress 3.7 Has Been Released, And It Ships With Some Great New Features

Posted on October 26 by in General News | 49 comments

WordPress 3.7 Has Been Released, And It Ships With Some Great New Features

WordPress 3.7 has been released. This new version, which is named “Basie” after the jazz musician Count Basie, ships with some refreshing changes. This is also the first in a new wave of releases that Matt Mullenweg outlined at WordCamp SF, in which features and development teams are decentralized. We have tested all of our themes on 3.7 and there are no compatibility issues in the themes themselves. There is, however, one small bug in 3.7 that affects our ePanel navigation settings that I expect to be addressed in the next version.

Note, there is currently a bug in 3.7 related to wp_list_categories() function, which affects the “exclude links” options in our ePanel Navigation settings. There is already a ticket open on trac with a solution, and I expect this problem to be addressed in the next maintenance release of WordPress. This does not affect the Appearances > Menus system. You may want to wait to upgrade if you are currently using ePanel to exclude items from your navigation bars, or you can use the Appearances > Menus system to create a custom navbar instead.

The First Of A “New Wave” Of Releases

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Perhaps the most exciting thing about 3.7 is not the release itself, but instead the development process behind it. This new version was the first to be created using a new “plugin system” for development, which aims to make WordPress releases faster and more nimble. WordPress development has been decentralized, and what was once a huge team and a huge project has been broken up into individual projects in the form of plugins. New features are worked on individually and then integrated into new versions of WordPress as they are finished, which means a single feature wont slow down the rest. We can expect quicker and smaller releases in the future, which should lead to a healthier software.

Introducing Automatic Updates

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My favorite new feature in 3.7 is the introduction of Automatic Updates. For the first time, WordPress updates for incremental patches and security release will happen while you sleep! This makes the entire WordPress ecosystem stronger by making each individual installation more secure. In the past, when a vulnerability was disclosed to the public it has caused an “update race” between hackers and website owners. Now, when a security hole is found it can be addressed and pushed to the masses automatically.

You will still need to hit the upgrade button for big releases, but perhaps even these will be automated in the future. In fact, it’s already possible to do by making a few changes to your wp-config file. For more information about how to make your installation automatically apply any upgrade, and even how to make your plugins upgrade automatically, check out this post by Dion Hulse.

A Smarter Password Strength Monitor

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One of the most common causes of hacked accounts are bad passwords. Insecure passwords make your website vulnerable to brute force attacks. To help encourage the use of strong passwords, WordPress 3.7 has updated the password strength monitor to better-assess your passwords.

Better WordPress Search

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The WordPress Search functionality, which has long been ignored, has finally been improved. In the past, search result orders were based on date instead of true relevancy. This problem has been addressed, and a new hierarchy for search results has been implemented. Search results will now be ranked based on full sentence and phrase matches, as well as where these matches occur in the post. If you get a full sentence match in the post title, then that result will now rank very highly instead of being smothered by newer and less-relevant listings.

49 Comments

  1. WordPress finally fixing their search. That is long overdue!

  2. What took so long for WP to fix their search I wonder! That was long overdue. Hopefully this should send some plugins out of business :)

  3. Was just waiting for this post, want to upgrade all blogs to ensure compatibility with ET themes, thanks for the update. Glad to hear native search had been improved in the WordPress, had asked couple of times to Matt on his blog. :)

    • A .1 version is almost always expected. To patch up bugs that weren’t initially seen and potentially a security release if necessary. Good eye on 3.7.1

  4. I love the automated updates. This is a very useful new feature of WP 3.7.

  5. Great update. And finally they paid attention to the search func.

  6. What’s the name of the email subscribe popup you use?

    WordPress updates just means headaches.

    • Agreed!

  7. Am I the one guy who doesn’t get ET? My first foray into Nexus has given me a flawed result in Chrome and Firefox, yet ironically not in Internet Explorer. Check out the site at http://www.buffalogolfer.com

    • If you need help with anything, please open a ticket in our support forums so that our team can assist you. The themes will function just like the demos once configured correctly.

    • Seems like a tough theme to start with too…

  8. This looks like the start to some exciting times in WordPress! :)

  9. Glad to have read this before doing the update as I am a big user of the exclude function. My upgrade will be on hold for just a bit.

    Cindy
    http://scribler.us

  10. Excellent, I guess the automated updates are the best, thank you for share it Nick

  11. This is a game changing update. Looking forward to 3.8!

  12. My favorite WordPress feature in this update is an automatic updates :) I loved it.

    • I’m curious as to why? Do you realize that each of them has the potential to break a website’s theme or it’s plugins as this one has made a very small break in ET’s theme’s ePanel?

  13. Great information and I more happy to know that all your theme are compatibility with wordpress version 3.7

  14. Great news thanks. I’m always slightly wary about automatically updating WordPress websites incase any of the currently installed plugins stop working.

    Morgan

    • A voice of reason rings out for the forest of yes men! I feel the same way. themes break too, as in Elegant Themes this one update has caused a bug in ePanel. Now imagine 30 updates a year. Each of them has the potential to break a websites theme or one of the plugins on a website.

    • It is only security and bugfix releases that are auto-updated, so they should not break anything really.

      For example, 3.7 will be auto-updated to 3.7.1 in the coming days with a fix for the bug outlined above, but it will not auto-update to 3.8 as that is a major release.

      • For now, the article does say they are planning on doing forced updates in the future. I am pro forced security updates (if provide a way to opt out).

        The bug fixes are maybe okay, but people sometimes build around bugs with their own fixes and/or turn them into features.

  15. Smarter Password Strength Monitor”” its really a good move

    i wish to see more security options

  16. Be careful applying 3.7. It has bugs in it. WP is going to release 3.7.1 tonight which will fix the bugs in 3.7 so upgrade at your own risk…

  17. This is actually bad news.

    The WordPress platform needs stability, not a rapid fire pace of updates.

    Look at how many themes and plug-ins were broken by the 3.6 update, where they updated jQuery. And they want to do this more often?
    And they want these updates done by smaller teams, which means less testing and less vetting of the ideas?

    To the Elegant Themes teams credit, not a single of my clients that used ET Themes websites theme were broken. Some plugins did and themes from other sources did but not ET’s.
    Thank you for that ET!

    The 3.6 fiasco (which HAD to happen, I understand), will happen more often now.

    A rapid fire pace of changes to the function and/or interface (especially since some of them will break peoples websites), will only harm WordPress by making it less popular and giving a new product a chance to capture a large portion of the market. Worse, no clear leader would emerge and then we’d have 17 million blogging platforms out there.

    Think about what it would do to Elegant Themes if WordPress wasn’t the clear leader any longer and instead there were 7 different platforms all neck in neck in popularity. Think about plugin developers would do, and other theme developers?

    Side note:
    Thanks for listen to my non-positive robot opinion. (What is up up with those people that say something short and positive to posts even though they have bad news?)
    POST: My Children were eaten by a dragon today,
    Posi-Bot comment: I’m so glad to hear the great news! Keep up the great news!

  18. Great blog, im happy to use the right CMS

  19. How about the plugins? With auto updates of the WP installations, will there be compatibility issues with the new versions of WP? I am sure plugin authors will not update their plugins as fast as WP updates itself.

    • It is only security and bugfix releases that are auto-updated, so they should not break anything really.

      For example, 3.7 will be auto-updated to 3.7.1 in the coming days with a fix for the bug outlined above, but it will not auto-update to 3.8 as that is a major release.

      • Actually most won’t get it auto-updated so don’t rely on it to be updated. Always check to see if you’re needing an upgrade.

  20. I Nick,

    I recently noticed that additional security features have been deployed on my administrative login page. There is this mathematical function that is being added, could this be part of the wordpress 3.7 update?

  21. Great news from the guys behing WordPress project.
    Props for the updates in WP 3.7.

  22. I think you are giving us many important news. Thank for all amazing from this content

  23. This WordPress version has released very fast. Let’s try it out in localhost first.

  24. I noticed that 3.7.1 has been released. Has the navigation issue been resolved?

    • Yes, it has been fixed.

  25. A few important updates this time around thankfully

  26. This release was one of the coolest in the last time. Love the Autoupdate function!

  27. The new wordpress size is also bigger than old one its 7 mb now :)

  28. Great & important updates this time by WP. Thanks!

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