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WordPress 3.7 release brings automatic updates, better search and other core enhancements

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WordPress is a constantly evolving landscape. The reason WordPress is so popular and the de-facto tool for creating an awesome site is their constant innovation to bring more power, security and flexibility to the software. The latest is release of WordPress 3.7 code named “Basie” in honor of Count Basie, which brings many new and path breaking features to the core. These new features are sure going to make WordPress better. Also this version has the fastest turnaround for release of new version in WordPress history. The last version 3.6 was released in August and within 2 months, there is a new release. Lets look at the features and see why it is such an important update. Shall we?

Background Updates

WordPress 3.7 makes background update a reality. With more and more apps adopting this trend of updating without user involvement, it was a much needed features in WordPress. We all are now accustomed of our mobile apps and other software updating in background and this update brings WordPress in sync with the user expectations. With this update, your WordPress sites can now automatically apply these updates. It is also understandable that not everyone would like to keep it that way and you may want to switch off the automatic update functionality. With WordPress, overriding core functionality has always been easy. WordPress is a flexible system which allows you to take control of your site and do what you wish to do. You can disable the automatic updates by including the below line in your config.php file. For more detailed instructions on disabling automatic updates of specific components in WordPress, you should read the article published by Andrew Nachin here.

Disable WordPress automatic update

Just add the below line in your config.php and save it. Make sure to take a backup of your config.php file before you do it.

define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );

Stronger Passwords

We all know the important of passwords in our life. Its everywhere and we need password to get access to anything and everything in our life. With WordPress, its even more important to have a strong password since its your first line of defense against any attack on your site. Its important for your site security to create a password which is unique and complex and meets the password guideline of WordPress. In this release, the password meter has been updated to recognize common traits of weak password and it can be really helpful for you to determine if your password is strong enough or not.

Improved Search Results

We all know that WordPress search has not been great and that is why you would see bloggers and site owners using Google custom search on their websites. Google search is more powerful and diverse than WordPress. The WordPress user community has asked about having a more robust and powerful search engine integrated into WordPress. This new release bring some enhancements in the search functionality and the search results are now ordered by how well the search query matches a post instead of ordering it by date. So far, the search functionality on WordPress has worked typically like a blog search and with this step, I believe WP is taking a step in making the search suit for other types of websites keeping in view that WordPress is a CMS software and not a blog software anymore.

Better Global Support

This release adds support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up to date.

Advanced Date Queries

Querying posts have now become easier with query for posts within a date range, or that are older than or newer than a specific point in time. This will help developers to pull content and render it in many ways such as all posts written on specific day or specific time of the day.

Multisite Improvements

For me the second most important functionality available with WordPress 3.7 is the wp_get_sites() function. It allows developers to easily get an array of all the sites on a WordPress network without resorting to a direct database query. Earlier developers had a tough time pulling out a list of sites in a blog network and with the availability of this function, I am sure we are going to see some new implementation for multi-site navigation and showing off the network blogs in creative ways. Building a navigation link with all your network sites listed in it becomes super easy with this function.

We would love to hear your comments and feedback. Do let us know if you are excited about WordPress 3.7 and which is your favorite feature.

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