wpLogo2011.png Popular web content management platform WordPress has announced a new release. Version 3.3, affectionately code named Sonny in honor of jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt, provides notable improvements to overall usability and support for the iPad.

WordPress 3.3

The latest release is the third major enhancement to the 3.0 release stream, and it will likely be as popular as its predecessors. It isn’t just the codename that’s jazzy in version 3.3, the team really focused on making WordPress intuitive for first time users. The release features an updated welcome stream, more efficient navigation, better contextual help and streamlined drag-and-drop uploading. In addition, WordPress has enhanced its content collaboration capabilities with improved co-editing support and a better notification system. Other notable improvements include:

  • Improved editing experience for touch-based tablets like iPad
  • Support for importing Tumblr content
  • Consolidation of navigation menus

New WordPress 3.3 menu

Although the release is heavily user-focused, the release also includes improvements for developers. There is a new editor API, an updated jQuery version and updates to the help system interfaces. A detailed list of features in the release is available at wordpress.org.

Criticism of WordPress is almost as prolific as praise. Many developers criticize the platform for introducing too many technical constraints to achieve ease of use. Whatever your opinion, what WordPress is doing has been successful. The software has been downloaded over 65 million times since the 3.0 release; the last release, 3.2, has already had 14 million downloads.

Getting the Updates

WordPress 3.3 is available now via a download from Wordpress.org. Alternatively, users can update the software from the WordPress dashboard.