Going “Green” with WordPress 3.4 and WordPress 3.4.1
Reactive Development fully supports the latest WordPress updates. Named the “Green” release in honor of jazz guitarist Grant Green, WordPress 3.4 and WordPress 3.4.1 offers significant improvements for WordPress users and developers alike.
The biggest new feature is the “Theme Customizer” which allows you to work with new layouts behind the scenes and see the resulting changes without having to publish them. You get to play around to your heart’s content and then only publish when you are ready. Unleash your creativity! This in itself is a compelling reason to upgrade.
But perhaps more importantly is WordPress’s increased focus on security. Since 2007, the company has been making very public efforts to harden the software against attack. The speed with which a vulnerability in “Green” was discovered and patched by the WordPress Security Team is indicative of that effort. WordPress 3.4.1, released only weeks after WordPress 3.4, addresses a “critical” level vulnerability which allows for a privilege escalation attack. According to the release notes, this only affects “multisite installs with untrusted users” but there are additional security hardening features in the update which help to prevent unwanted disclosure of information about any site.
And now that those have been published, attackers will be looking for unpatched versions of 3.4. Don’t let your site be one of them — one of the vulnerabilities allows attackers to look at draft and private posts!
WordPress has also added a neat new feature for you to publish your tweets. Simply drop a link (the permalink) onto a line by itself in a post. WordPress automatically detects that it is a tweet and turns the post into a nice looking interface where your readers can reply to, favorite or re-tweet your post.
Image handling has also been improved. Captioning now allows html code so that you can, for instance, link to a photo credit. Images used as site headers can now have their own height and width set, allowing you more control over exactly how your site looks. In addition, images can be dropped into the header directly from the media library which makes it easier to update your header on an ongoing basis.
Finally, WordPress continues to offer performance and API improvements which let your site run smoother and faster. WordPress 3.4.1 is a recommended WordPress upgrade and Reactive Development stands ready to help you.
For more information, a full log of the changes made for 3.4.1 can be found at: http://wordpress.org/news/2012/06/wordpress-3-4-1/
And if you’re a developer, Andrew Nacin has released the “WordPress 3.4 Field Guide for Developers” which details API changes and how to take advantage of the new Theme Customizer in your own themes. The field guide can be found at: http://make.wordpress.org/core/2012/06/07/wordpress-3-4-field-guide-for-developers/