What New Features Are Coming in WordPress 3.7

It was just two months ago when WordPress 3.6 was released, and we already have WordPress 3.7 almost ready to go. It is scheduled to be released on October 14th, 2013. There are some important changes coming your way. WordPress 3.7 will be mainly focused on security and stability of the WordPress core. Let’s take a look at what new features are coming in WordPress 3.7.

Automatic Updates

Automatic WordPress Updates

One of the most anticipated features of WordPress 3.7 is automatic updates. Managed WordPress hosting providers already do automatic WordPress updates for their users when a new update is available.

Now WordPress will be able to do this on its own. A typical WordPress installation will be able to automatically update minor/security releases by without any user input. This means that a user does not need to update WordPress from 3.7 to 3.7.1. However, automatic updates will not be done for major releases by default, for example 3.7.1 to 3.8.

When we asked audience opinion on this using our twitter and facebook pages, we had a mixed response from users. Some really liked it and others absolutely hated it. This is why there will be an option to turn off automatic updates from the wp-config.php file. There will also be an option to completely automate the process and even auto-update WordPress to major releases by adding a define parameter in wp-config.php.

Language Packs

WordPress 3.7 will also come with better support for language packs. The current goal set for WordPress 3.7 is to separately maintain language files for default themes, importer plugins, and the WordPress core. For users, this means that if you are using WordPress in your language, then with each update WordPress will automatically fetch the language files for default themes, importer plugins, and the core.

Currently users need to find a translation ready WordPress theme and install language files. Hopefully, this feature will extend to other themes and plugins, so users will not have to worry about downloading and uploading translation files for each plugin they use.

New Password Meter

Strong password are important for WordPress security. This is why WordPress comes with a password strength meter, but it is very weak. This is why in WordPress 3.7, the core team decided to add a new password meter that will encourage users to choose stronger passwords.

Password Meter in WordPress 3.7

This will be a great addition with the force strong passwords plugin that admins can use to force users to use strong passwords.

Improved WordPress Search

Let’s face it, the default WordPress search is not the best. This is why many users rely on other solutions like SearchWP or even Google custom search for their sites.

Thankfully, with WordPress 3.7 the default search will get a little better. WordPress will now display search results by relevancy rather than in a reverse chronological order. It will consider a result more relevant if the keyword matches in title as well as content.

In line Documentation for Hooks

As an open source software WordPress is free and the source code is available for anyone to use, modify, study and build upon. All WordPress code was already documented, but there are many new hooks available.

The core team decided to streamline the inline documentation for all the hooks in the core. This will make it easier for new developers to study the code, learn, and practice. It will also help experienced developers to write better code for their own WordPress applications.

WordPress 3.7 is currently in Beta, and there is very little chance that any new features will be added to it. However it is still possible that the final release can be different. If you want to try the beta version, then you can do so by installing WordPress on local server environment and run the beta tester plugin.

Which feature are you looking forward to the most? Let us know what you like or dislike about WordPress 3.7 by leaving a comment below.