WordPress is the most widely used content management system on the Internet. WordPress is the defacto standard if anyone wants to start blogging on an amateur as well as professional level. The current release of WordPress is 3.3.1.
WordPress 3.4 beta 1 has been released to the public for testing. As this is the first beta, it will probably be containing more bugs which will be resolved in the upcoming betas. WordPress 3.4 comes with a lot of improvements to the core WordPress functions.This new release of WordPress comes with a lot of visual as well as under the hood changes which will be discussed below.
Let’s discuss the new features and enhancements of WordPress 3.4.
Theme Customizer with Previewer is a new feature which has replaced the Theme previewer in WP 3.3. With this new Theme Customizer, the user can customize the theme before actually applying it to the site. The user can also select the header images from the image library and then resize it according to the the size of the site. Now the user can also search for themes from the official WordPress themes gallery like the plugins.
These are the changes that are visible to a common webmaster. There are other performance changes and fixes that remain behind the scene include new support of XML-RPC API for external and mobile applications, new API for registering theme support for custom headers and backgrounds, performance improvements to WP_Query by splitting the query, Internationalization improvements and API improvements while working with the themes installed in WordPress.
According to the schedule, after the first beta, two betas are scheduled to be released and then followed by two RC builds. The final version of WordPress 3.4 is scheduled to be released in May, 2012.
It is always recommended to update to only the final stable version of WordPress on a production server. You can test the new features of WordPress 3.4 on a test installation.