Another WordPress release is just around the corner, version 3.7 — this has been a short cycle between versions and while the list of new features and changes may seem a little short … it packs a punch!
Automatic Core Updates for point releases
Beginning with 3.7, WordPress will automatically download and update itself with point release and security updates. For example, this means that 3.7 will automatically update to 3.7.1, but not to 3.8. This is a fantastic new addition to help keep WordPress secure and testing so far shows that it is very reliable. Through a number of additional settings it is also possible to set WordPress to apply major version updates too (3.7.1 to 3.8) and even update plugins and themes — though none of these features are enabled by default in 3.7.
Once 3.7 has been released we will be reviewing how auto update works and will make an announcement about how this will impact our Managed WordPress customers, and what our policy will toward WordPress auto updates going forward. I note with interest that WP Engine have stated that they will not support WordPress auto update and will continue to manage and update WordPress installs with their own systems.
Better Search Results
WordPress search “out of the box” is not great. With 3.7 search results are now ordered by relevance, rather than just by date. When your keywords match post titles and not just content, they’ll be pushed to the top.
New Password Strength Meter
The password strength meter in WordPress gets a major overhaul and is looking mighty fine. For the details, see this great post on WP Tavern.
Advanced Date Queries
One for the developers … WP_Query now supports advanced date queries which opens up all sorts of new possibilities for querying and displaying content.
Of course, our Managed WordPress Hosting customers will be updated to 3.7 shortly after it is released.