WordPress turned 10 years old in May 2013, and the annual release is upon us. Oscar, aka WordPress 3.6 has been released, and it features native audio and video support, and a slick revision control tool called time machine (above image).
10 Years Like a Million Digital Years
As we noted with the 3.6 release candidate, this update includes a responsive theme that is maximized for mobile devices, a post locking feature for collaborative editing and a stylish design called twenty thirteen. These updates and more have helped make WordPress more popular than ever, and the world of content management has undergone a sea change during its lifespan.
WordPress now runs a platform called VIP that it markets to enterprise level businesses, something that would have been laughable just a few short years ago. Just a few short years before that, WordPress was just another blogging system, and look where it is now.
There's also a WordPress book being written, Matt Mullenweg WordPress lead developer, said at the WordCamp San Francisco 2013 conference. Mullenweg is also the founder of Automattic, a WordPress services provider that was for the first time included in Gartner's MQ for Web content management this year. That's another big step for the 10 year old system. It's obviously changed a lot over the years, so let's take a closer look at WordPress 3.6.
Time Machine, Native Audio + Video Support
It's hard to show with just an image, but the time machine is a slick piece of kit. The little slider bar at the top can be moved left or right, and each version of an article can be viewed including who changed what and when. Time machine is like an auto focus. Dial it one way for older versions, and another way for newer versions. There's no clicking, searching or loading other pages.
With native audio and video support, there's no need to upload files to YouTube or Vimeo as they can be used right in a page. Now, there's an HTML5 based media player. For writers and editors, the post locking feature will open a dialog box when a currently being worked on post is clicked on by someone else. It notifies that person the post is locked, and has options for going back, previewing or taking over that post.
Post locking in WordPress 3.6.
Also for writers and editors, there is improved auto save. Post something in an article and close the tab being worked in. Disaster! The post is gone because it wasn't saved! No longer. That post can be picked right up where the person left off.
Other features are an audio/video API that provides access to metadata like ID3 tags, and the ability to choose HTML5 markup for comment and search forms and comment lists. Where WordPress still needs improvement is in its mobile apps. This release is a responsive theme for mobile Web, but the apps are much further behind. Now that WordPress service provider Automattic has been included in the Gartner MQ, perhaps that will solidify it as a viable business option for larger companies.
It's clearly very popular among hobbyists and bloggers, but it's foray into the enterprise is now at full bore, and the 3.6 release stands at the crossroads of WordPress' next 10 years journey.