August 26, 2015
2.5 Minute Read
WordPress is a growing system, full of amazing tools for developers and site administrators alike. Every now and then WordPress releases a major update that gives us some insight on where the platform is heading.
This release seems to focus on three areas: WordPress’ Customizer, Incoming PHP7 support and password security.
WordPress allows theme developers to make their themes more dynamic by allowing users to input through the Customizer. Their users can often set font sizes, styles and colours.
Specifically, WordPress has added the ability to modify menu items to menu locations through the Customizer. This allows users to preview changes to their WordPress website without having to move around the admin area and check the front end of the website for their results.
WordPress has also added the ability to add a site icon through customizer. This is great news for users looking to control more aspects of their site without touching the code to do it.
We continue to see WordPress put a lot time and energy into expanding the Customizer, expect it to continue to grow in upcoming releases.
PHP 7 is something to be really excited about. Mainly because it’s really fast. This means the same page you have now will load twice as fast when we have access to this upcoming server side update.
WordPress is built with the PHP language and 4.3 is packing a bunch of updates that will replace old PHP code. This outdated code will be replaced with PHP that meets the standards of the much improved PHP7.
Many people are really bad at making secure passwords. For example, in 2014, the top three passwords were 123456, password & 12345 (according to gizmodo). This is not a great decision for keeping sites safe. In WordPress 4.3, users’ passwords are set to a secure password initially and the user can change it later.
Also, when the user does choose to change the password, an indicator shows them if their password is a good choice. This should improve the integrity of data across WordPress websites around the world.
Should you update?
The first thing you need to check is if your theme and plugins support all of the new changes. WordPress 4.3 aims to get the platform ready for the improvements to server side technology. In order to do that, they change which code they support slightly. Which can put you in some hot water if your theme or your site’s plugins are built with that code.
The best choice is to talk to your developer! (If you don’t have one click contact on the top menu 🙂 ).
If you are looking to do it yourself, make sure you check the documentation for all the plugins and themes you use. If they say they are good to go, it should be smooth sailing into a brave new WordPress 4.3 world.