WordPress 3.5: New Media Manager

Version 3.5 of WordPress is just around the corner (slated to be released the first week of December) and with it comes a much anticipated and needed overhaul to the Media Manager. Gone is the non-button Upload/Insert button, replaced with a proper Add Media button that is clearly a button. And once you click it you are met with a new and very different experience.

When I say the Media Manager has been overhauled I mean it. The interface has a new look and behaviours have been moved around and simplified. When you add new images you see the new images as well as existing images and assets in your site right away. This will likely hopefully result in less double/tripple/quadruple uploads of the same image and it also provides a much better user experience than the old method. The images are displayed in a gallery rather than in a list allowing for more thumbnails without scrolling, and images for insertion are selected by simply clicking on them.

With the new Media Manager comes a new and improved caption feature which allows full HTML captions. In other words you can finally use a caption to link to the original source of your images, something that is sure to please all the unattributed photographers out there.

Creating image galleries has also changed completely. Whereas before you had to restrict your galleries to the images that were associated with the current post (unless you wanted to use the unfriendly shortcode) you can now select any image uploaded to your site and add it to your gallery. That seemingly small change will solve a problem many a plugin has been built to address and makes WordPress a more powerful and useful tool for artists, photographers, and trigger happy photo lovers alike.

Other updates

Of course the Media Manager isn’t the only major change in WordPress 3.5. The new version has a slew of back end updates that will make developers happy and also brings some more obvious changes including:

  • New default theme Twenty Twelve
  • Removal of the Links post type (not that anyone would notice)
  • New hi-rez graphics to support high resolution displays like Apple’s Retina display and the new displays on Android devices
  • A new and improved colour picker to make theme customization even easier
  • A more streamlined and less cluttered welcome page for when you first start using the application