News is already out that WordPress 3.7 is set to be released on October. Although this comes barely three months after the release of WordPress 3.6, the number of new features is quite impressive. Below are some of the catchy features that WordPress 3.7 promises to bring.
Automatic WordPress Updates:
A recent study revealed that 70% of websites that run on WordPress still run old versions of the CMS despite the ease of updating the WordPress core. These websites are highly vulnerable to attackers and are often used as the launching ground for malicious attacks on other websites. This means that a weakness on one website can wreak havoc to a whole VPS.
With the new WordPress 3.7 release, the engine will be able to update itself automatically without any input from the user. Security updates and other minor updates such as from 3.7.1 to 3.7.2 will be easily automated, with an option to turn them off. Whether or not this will apply for major updates remains to be seen.
A Smarter Password Strength Meter:
This tool is meant to consider certain factors that make user passwords easy to crack. Although such a tool is already available in WordPress 3.6, the new version will be smarter and stricter such that common yet hard-to-crack passwords such as ‘pa22w0rd’ (password) are flagged as very weak. Why is this? The trend of replacing letters with numbers is too common nowadays that it is no longer considered secure. However, the password meter only advises the use rather than enforce strong passwords. The user will therefore have the final say and may opt to use a simple password.
Improved Default Search:
The default WordPress search falls short in many things as it fails to get simple keyword searches. Although there are several solutions around this, it is great to know that the default search has seen some improvements. The search results will be more organized in terms of relevance and more accurate. Let’s wait and see if it’s worth ditching third party search tools such as Google custom search and SearchWP.
Improved Support for Language Packs:
The current WordPress version does not have a very good support for language and a lot of work is involved when updating the WordPress Core or plugins. Version 3.7 however maintains language files in a separate location such that updates will easily pick them. However, this is so far only applicable for default WordPress themes but it is expected that the full release will support the other themes.
With the main focus being on the security of the WordPress core, there is speculation that there might be support for collaborative publishing. We also expect it to be more stable than all the other releases. You can try out the beta version using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin and let us know what you think about these features. Should WordPress enforce the security features or should users retain the power to decide whether to use them?