What’s new in WordPress 3.7

Welcome to WordPress 3.7.  In addition to a few security improvements, and other additions to the code, WordPress 3.7 will be most notable for the introduction auto-updates – or as the WordPress core team is calling them background updates – for security and minor releases.

Background Updates

With WordPress 3.7 maintenance and security updates can be applied in the background. It’s important to note that these automatic background updates only apply to minor maintenance and security releases (like an update from 3.7.1 to 3.7.2). You’ll still need to manually upgrade to major releases like WordPress 3.8. Further it’s possible to configure and disable background upgrades.

Updated Password Strength Meter

Your password is your site’s first line of defence. It’s best to create passwords that are complex, long, and unique. To that end, the password meter has been updated in WordPress 3.7 to recognize common mistakes that can weaken your password: dates, names, keyboard patterns (123456789), and even pop culture references.

Improved Search Results

Search results are now ordered by how well the search query matches a post, instead of ordered only by date. For example, when your search terms match a post title, that result will be pushed to the top.

Better Global Support

Localized versions of WordPress will receive faster and more complete translations. WordPress 3.7 adds support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up to date. This makes sense: WordPress powers around a fifth of all websites and a large number of those won’t be using English.

Under the Hood

  •  Advanced Date Queries – You can now query for posts within a date range or match certain criteria. Or get really fancy: all posts written on Friday afternoons? Not a problem.
  • Multisite Improvements – The new wp_get_sites() function allows you to fetch an array of all sites on your WordPress multi-site network without needing to use direct database queries. It won’t be useful to everyone and there’s no documentation yet, but it’s there should you need it.

What’s next?

All going well, WordPress 3.8 will be released at the end of 2013. We may see a new dashboard, themes page and search facilities.

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