WordPress 3.5 gets a media management makeover

WordPress 3.5 comes with a new media management console and a new default theme

WordPress, the world's most widely used blogging software, has made it easier for people to share photos and videos of their cats. Enterprises that use the software for content management system (CMS) duties might find the improved multimedia capabilities helpful as well.

In development since last July, WordPress 3.5 comes with a revamped media manager, as well as a new default theme that offers a more sophisticated page layout.

"Media has long been a friction point and we've listened hard and given a lot of thought into crafting this new system," said WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg, in a blog post announcing the release.

The most heavily used blogging platform today, the PHP-based WordPress is used by approximately 17 percent of all Web sites on the Internet, and by 55 percent of all sites using a blogging and CMS platform of some sort, according to an ongoing survey conducted by W3Techs.

WordPress 3.5's new media manager provides an easier way for users to insert images and videos into their posts. Users can now drag and drop images and video files from their desktops directly into a drop zone for each post. Adjusting the settings for each image -- such as adjusting image size -- has also been streamlined. And importing and embedding multimedia from other Web sites, like YouTube, has been eased as well.

WordPress will also come with a new default theme, Twenty Twelve, which will add a more sophisticated style to the standard blog layout, compared to WordPress' previous default theme, Kubrick.

Twenty Twelve offers a fresh set of fonts, as well a home page template that can be easily customized through additional widgets. Through its Post Format feature, Twenty Twelve offers more ways to customize posts, so they can be dedicated to sharing single photographs, or for posting individual links or quotations. Twenty Twelve also works better with mobile devices, with its ability to automatically size each page to fit the screen size.

A number of updates in WordPress 3.5 should please administrators as well. The new version will allow blogs to be posted on high definition displays, such as the Apple iPhone's retina display, without pixelation. A new page for cataloging plug-ins will allow developers to keep shortcuts to the plug-ins they use across multiple sites. And the dashboard has been simplified. For instance, the link manager that appeared on the upper left side of the screen has been rendered redundant and removed.

WordPress is available as a free download and Automattic, which maintains the WordPress code base, offers a hosted version of the software as well.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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