If you use WordPress for your business’ website – rejoice, for WordPress 3.7 is here, and in lightning-quick time compared to the somewhat troubled release of 3.6…
In this post, we’re going to run through the new features of the update.
WordPress is the most widely-used website platform online, which unfortunately makes it a great target for the ne’er-do-wells of hacking and other forms of cyber-crime. Thankfully, in this update, the developers of WordPress have implemented an auto-update feature for the website software, that – depending on how your website hosting is configured – can automatically apply security fixes and point releases.
For the Average Joe, this means less frantic calls to your website developer or IT department to ensure your business site is up-to-date. The new feature does not apply to milestone releases that add additional features (such as 3.7, 3.8 etc.), but alleviates some of the concerns for those without the technical know-how to comfortably apply updates to their own website, or the desire to hand over cash to a third-party to apply what is most likely a five minute fix (for them).
Security – Passwords
In WordPress 3.7, it’s nice to see that the strength indicator on passwords has been updated, and its fairly interesting to see what constitutes different strengths of password:
- Up to three short words (e.g. donotfall) = Very weak
- Common names/pop culture references = Very weak
- More short words (e.g. donotfallforlies) = Weak
- Including numbers and symbols in your passwords still (expectedly) garners a better rating. The above example with some numbers and symbols mixed in generates a ‘Medium’ score.
Surprisingly, our own preferred method of password generation results in a ‘Strong’ score:
You can’t argue with the maths, and they are very easy for users to remember.
The on-site search algorithm has been improved, and searching for a specific article’s title will now push that specific article (if it exists) to the top of the results, making it much easier for visitors to find the stuff they want. Happier users are more likely to stay on your website for longer, so this can only be a good thing.
Better localisation. We’re not sure how the WordPress team manages their localisation process, but they are promising faster and more complete translations for the language pack downloads, should you operate a non-English website.
Lots of ‘under the hood’ updates to keep your website developers happy – from fine-tuning the auto-update feature to advanced date queries and improvements the multisite functionality. Don’t know what all that means? Don’t worry, because your developer probably does.
Far be it for us to say which solution you should use for your business’ website, and while WordPress 3.7 has some great additions to the platform, its worth noting that there are some excellent alternatives out there:
- Joomla – A very popular and flexible content management system (CMS). Although its had its ups and downs in the past, the more recent 3.x releases have come on leaps and bounds, especially for content authors.
- Drupal – Sporting a famously convoluted ‘hooks’ system for plugin and theme development, Drupal is excellent for more complex sites that still need to have that content management feature attached.
- SilverStripe – Its no spring chicken, but the lesser-known CMS has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, and the 3.x releases have seen vast improvements in the administration UI. SilverStripe also comes bundled with its own framework, and is ideal if you want either a very basic CMS website or a solid foundation on which to build more complex functionality.