Plans Laid for WordPress 3.2

March 19th, 2011
WordPress, WordPress News

The plans have been laid for WordPress 3.2. In summary, this is going to be a much faster and lighter release with support dropped for long-outdated technologies. Here are the details:

  • Faster Release Cycle – It’ll be here before you know it, or at least sooner than other releases have been.
  • Faster and Lighter – With support for long-outdated technologies being dropped, this will be the fastest and lightest WordPress in quite some time.
  • PHP 5.2.4 Required – The team will simply be dropping support for PHP 4, there won’t be very many new PHP 5 features added.
  • MySQL 5 Required – Like above, the team will simply be dropping support for MySQL 4.
  • IE6 EOL – No more fancy IE6-only hacks. The team will be officially discontinuing support for IE6 in the Dashboard and instead providing a “use a real browser” nag screen.
  • New Fullscreen Editor – It’s time for a new fullscreen editor that’s “more beautiful, more useful, and simpler.”
  • Better Upgrades – Changed files only, yay!
  • Faster Everything – Besides the speed improvements from dropping support for outdated technologies, the team is focussing on speed improvements all around, including (but certainly not limited to) the Dashboard and admin menu.

So, with that said, what do you think of WordPress 3.2 so far?




  1. Jim (1 comments.) says:

    I think you mean 3.1 in your last sentence.

    And I’m liking it so far. Haven’t had much opportunity to play with some of the more advanced new features yet, but WordPress definitely gets better with every iteration.

    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      No, I meant WordPress 3.2. ;)

      Given the plans so far, what do you think?

    • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

      no he does mean 3.2.. 3.1 is the CURRENT release, he’s talking about upcoming features to 3.2, that hasn’t been released yet, so he was right

  2. Pothi says:

    I eagerly look forward to a faster and leaner 3.2, even though 3.1 still looks just awesome with post formats, admin menu, etc.

  3. DoktorThomas says:

    WordPress soon to up-date itself out of popularity…

    Version 3.0.5 will be the XP of WordPress.

    Except for the full screen editor possibly, none of the bullet points offer any potential value demanding up-grade.

    Vision diminished? Everything digital becomes MFST sooner or later.

  4. Patrick D. (9 comments.) says:

    I want to punch any developer in the face who uses an IE6 nag screen. My company requires me to use IE6 at work for legacy applications. Harassing me does not endear you to me.

    • MyUke (1 comments.) says:

      Have you ever heard of using two browsers?

      • Patrick D. (9 comments.) says:

        Yes, but the company says what I load on the computer, not me. I run three browsers at home.

          • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

            my question to this is..
            WHY IE 6? why not IE 5.5 or 7.0?
            whats the significance of IE version 6 specifically?
            personally I feel, and many do as well, that *ALL* versions of Internet explorer have sucked ever since I can remember. There has “never” been a time where I liked IE… ever! ….now I can see liking legacy support for Netscape 4, now THAT was an awesome browser! but IE 6? common! you guys are pulling my leg! lol

        • Aziz Poonawalla (1 comments.) says:

          why do you really need to be blogging from work anyway? but there are wordpress clients for most smartphones, and you could always setup an email-to-post in the admin panel so you can just email your posts in. Or you could use a lightweight program like Zoundry Raven or Microsoft Live Writer to post innstead.

          • Patrick D. (9 comments.) says:

            “why do you really need to be blogging from work anyway?”

            What are you, the blogging police? Maybe my office uses WordPress for a CMS and I have to do updates. My point wasn’t about ME, I’m just saying there are legacy clients using IE6. If WordPress has done their research and it’s just 11%, then kudos on them and move forward. I KNOW how to work around the limitation.

          • web guy says:


            It’s for the better… If you need IE6 that means you’re likely to run a very old system or program.

    • 29th Floor (3 comments.) says:

      Do they require you use it for everything? It’s pretty easy to set up a virtual machine with XP and IE6. Windows 7 even includes it free (you just need to download it).

      If your company is requiring you use IE6 to run a WordPress site in 2011 you might want to find a new company to work for. Or you know, just use an older version of WordPress.

      • Ike (13 comments.) says:

        I used to feel the same way as you, until I started working for one of those Monolithic Stupid Enterprise-class Companies.

        I only wish it were easy to quickly implement something as simple as a browser change, without breaking a decade-and-a-half of legacy apps and programs.

        Your comment is quite myopic. Telling someone in a down economy to quit their job so he can base future employment on a browser is pretty silly.

      • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

        well I feel the same as you 29th floor,
        but when your getting paid $20 an hour (or whatever it is) including benefits, to do a job, you use what they tell you! ….like it matters, I mean, for $20 an hour, or whatever he’s getting paid, if they told me to write wordpress themes in MS frontpage 98 I would. who gives a crap long as your getting paid, putting food in your childrens mouths.. ya know?

        having said all that, if you think thats bad, I did my internship at college for a company called “vision it now” who insisted that ColdFusion is better then PHP! ASP! or any other coding language. I’m thinking to myself.. ColdFusion? you mean that 15 year old language nobody uses anymore? common! lol but no they insisted ColdFusion was like the hottest new XHTML 5 of standards.. I was like, whatever dudes I’m just here to do a job. lol

    • Alhadis says:

      Patrick, your company’s IT department needs a serious talking with. I’m probably not the first to bring you this less-than-shocking revelation.

      But this is 2011, and we’re trying to cut ties with loose baggage. Trying to accommodate for a 10-year old browser is just adding unneeded baggage to WordPress; Try installing the Chrome Framework plugin… otherwise, it’ll be up to you to nag your IT department.

      The rest of the world isn’t going to wait on a ludite population to upgrade… they’ve had more than long enough to get their gear together. Nobody in this age should still be using an antique.

      • Feynman says:

        BEGIN RANT:
        I’m actually at a loss for words with the ignorance of some of the responses here about IE6. I agree it’s a crappy pain in the ass browser, like most of the IE family, which impedes decent web designer. But, unfortunately, it (and the IE family) is still used by a lot of people!

        It’s also obvious that many of the developers/designers here are out of touch with the reality of working in a corporate computing environment, where legacy apps are the norm. It’s great using Chrome or Safari or whatever if your a small IT/Web company which doesn’t have to worry about a couple of hundred/thosand users screaming for tech support when their systems suddenly freeze with the latest whizz bang version of your latest browser, installed because, hey it’s got neat graphics and supports CSS3 and HTML5.

        The real world is a complicated messy environment for web development/design with a complex spaggetti like web of technologies. I’ve lost count of the number of web sites I visit each week which don’t even work with IE7 or 8.

        The earlier infantile suggestion of quitting a paid job over having to use a particular web browser indicates a lack of maturity, which begs the question should you actually be working on designing real web sites for clients? I mean are you one of the many techies I’ve worked with in the past that deride paying customers (who actually make real money without needing to know how to even open a web browser!). Grow up! We can’t all pander to our juvenile wants.

        END RANT!

        • Alhadis says:

          Feynman, that’s exactly the sort of attitude that’s kept the web back from embracing new technologies for years-and-years.

          I say, let the pressure build on IT companies. Let it become a bigger priority for them to upgrade. If their business is running a WordPress-powered site, it’ll be all the more incentive to get off their butts and do something about it.

          Sure, there’s going to be a minority of people complaining about it because they’re the most affected. But try voicing your frustrations to the people responsible for making you use an antiquated piece of junk.

          Otherwise, your company can simply stop upgrading WordPress the same way they’ve stopped upgrading Internet Explorer. Simple.

        • Jason says:

          So you should use an older version of WordPress then, riddled with all the security holes, etc. to go along with your outdated browser…

    • Ike (13 comments.) says:

      Perhaps someone will come out with a plugin to disable the nag.

      • Alhadis says:

        Personally, I hope they don’t.

        The nag is only going to be from the back-end, which means only a tiny minority of users will ever be seeing that warning. And that minority can probably be afforded to be pushed into using a proper browser.

        I can’t imagine any client that’s paying to administrate a CMS that’s in no position to be changing browsers.

      • mercime says:

        I’ve no doubt someone will :-)

    • Jason says:

      I understand where you’re coming from having worked in an environment similar to what you describe. However, I applaud the push to drop IE 6 because of the obvious reason (that it’s outdated and a pain to build for) but also because it’s just another push for companies like the one you’re working for to upgrade their browsers.

      If everything dropped support for IE 6 today, would the IT department really stand there and keep IE 6 installed stubbornly? What benefit is it? It’s certainly not “more secure”, which is the normal excuse I hear for not upgrading to a newer version of a browser, even an Internet Explorer browser. What’s wrong with 8 or 9? Seriously, it’s mind boggling.

  5. david (1 comments.) says:

    It’s about time software providers (not just WordPress) let go of outdated technology.

    • Christopher Anderton says:

      Well, Google themself has dropped support for IE6.

      • FinallyFast (1 comments.) says:

        Good riddance! So tired of coming up with weird work-arounds for an archaic ridiculous browsers…My first world prob of the day. LOL!

  6. Felix Ple?oianu (4 comments.) says:

    “It’s time for a new fullscreen editor that’s “more beautiful, more useful, and simpler.””

    That better not impact the HTML editing mode. *waggles finger*

    As for IE6, removing support doesn’t have to mean making a website completely inaccessible for people who are forced to use it. Graceful degradation, anyone?

    • 29th Floor (3 comments.) says:

      At this point even graceful degradation for IE6 in a complex web application requires way more extra work than it’s worth.

    • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

      yeah “full screen editor” mode made me nervous too when I read that. I don’t put my browser in full screen mode, takes up too much screen real-estate. I still think someone needs to come out with an admin area iphone app, or for the newbies of blogging, like my fiance’, a standalone application that allows you to write an article and post it to your blog without having to go into your web browser and log in, in the first place. There used to be such an application years ago, but has since disappeared. :( my fiance’ forgets her password so much she never blogs anymore. She used to when they did have a standalone app, but now that they don’t anymore, she never blogs anymore..

  7. David R says:

    Would you rather it just fail without explanation? Requiring a modern application to keep using kludges to try to accommodate 10 year old software is not an option. You may have no control over your browser at work, and that sucks, but there has to be a line somewhere, no?

    • Patrick D. (9 comments.) says:

      @David R – It would be fine if the nag screen was just a line or two at the top of the page simply telling me the page could not render properly in this browser. The ones that really annoy me are large with big logos of the browsers that do work.

  8. Joshua Parker (2 comments.) says:

    This is awesome. I for one am looking forward to 3.2.

  9. Marger (2 comments.) says:

    Hurrah, no more IE6 support! I’m sure some of my clients’ visitors will disapprove, but wordpress helping the internet get rid of IE6 is awesome :) Nag screens are not my thing either, but I’m sure it will be optional instead of mandatory.

    • Charles F-M (6 comments.) says:

      Just because the back-end will not officially support IE6 doesn’t mean that you theme can’t still support IE6 for your customers IE6 visitors.

      • Marger (2 comments.) says:

        True, but not all websites limit their users to the front end.

  10. Ed S. (1 comments.) says:

    The expected 3.2 enhancements to speed will be welcome, particularly for either large sites or those running on shared servers. I would like to see a more robust media manager capable of categorizing images, as well.

  11. Jared (1 comments.) says:

    Looking forward to it! Any idea on when 3.2 will be released?

  12. Jenny (11 comments.) says:

    now if only they could make wordpress less bulky and more compact like habari…

  13. Ngan (2 comments.) says:

    I’ll probably not upgrade to 3.2 unless i am forced to. There are still many IE6 users out there.

    speed is good.

    • Arbetskläder (1 comments.) says:

      You got the draw the line somewhre, I do consider that IE6 is outdated browser software, if users got a bad webexperience caused by their browser I guess they are aware of the problems.

  14. zubair (1 comments.) says:

    one of the best blogging platforms. if 3.2 is all about speed then they are doing the right thing.

  15. Pat says:

    I won’t be upgrading my sites. My provider is on php 5.1 and I still have to use IE6 and XP at work until IE8 is rolled out hopefully with a new Windows 7 build next year. With 3000 machines to keep synchronised and to only use government approved software and patches, upgrades take a long time.

    • 29th Floor (3 comments.) says:

      I understand that’s the reality in some places but it’s pretty clearly a broken system. IE9 is out already and people are still waiting to upgrade to IE8 from IE6 and XP? There has to be a way to handle upgrades that doesn’t take 10 years.

      • Doggabone says:

        I’ve worked in government offices, the platform for over 99% of the workstations, in the building I worked at (and most Ontario Ministry offices) is Windows 2000. We upgraded as far as that platform would allow us to go and no farther. We ran into issues with external apps from time to time, of course.

        It’s a budget thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and if it still works don’t upgrade it was the general policy. I’ve worked in audio studios with the same policy. It’s a thought model with merits as well as flaws.

        Most of my work there (in financial administration) and even most of the record keeping in general was done in the DOS command line. IE7? You dreamer, you. IE9!!?! That’s crazy talk. ;)

  16. MC (1 comments.) says:

    well, I am very excited about the list of changes… and I’ll upgrade instantly on all my websites… What if some people still use IE6? In my country there are some people still using wagens powered by real horses… but they have no permission to go on highway… We can’t accept to stay slow because some people keep use IE6. Maybe they will keep use it forever… :-)

    All my appreciation for the guys behind the WordPress!… Thank you!

  17. Stephanie (11 comments.) says:

    Will we be able to customize this IE6 nag screen? Or customize how WP deals with visitors who happen to be using IE6?

    I’m all for encouraging people to use better software but I don’t want to alienate any readers.

    • Stephanie (11 comments.) says:

      Hmm I just followed the link to the original wpdevel post and there, they make a distinction – the IE6 EOL appears to be just on the Admin side of things. That’s a whole different thing than what is implied in the article here.

      Can someone clarify if this is correct?

      • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

        Yes, that’s the idea. I’ve added just a bit to the article to clarify. IE6 support will only be dropped on the Dashboard end.

        Browser compatibility on the front end is still handled by the theme. With that said, there are many recent themes that don’t even make an attempt to support IE6.

  18. Randy (4 comments.) says:

    Hey, I’m really looking forward to 3.2.

    And then 3.3 3.4, 3.5, etc. etc. :-)

    Keep ‘em coming!

  19. Hostau (1 comments.) says:

    3.2 will be interesting. I like the speed improvements and about time php 4 was canned.

    I’m keen to see how fast the updates are though since I’ve noticed that larger WP installs take a lot of load on shared hosting etc.

  20. David Chartier (1 comments.) says:

    Sounds disappointing if this is it. The post formats/tumblogging features introduced in 3.1 are really, really half baked. The bookmarklet doesn’t support them, and the post editor is almost useless for editing them. Ripping off Tumblr’s features for WordPress was a neat idea, but these aren’t even at a beta state, and it sounds like they’re going to be ignored in 3.2. Bummer.

  21. Lu says:

    make faster picture upload
    make customisable dashboard
    make 3.1 upper dashboard bar either retractable/invisible or optional
    Yes there’s a post search, but a simple posts site map, accessible at every post number, would be great when you have hundreds of posts!
    A media picture board with 50-70 thumbs per page would be ideal.
    Thanks for giving us a nicer post editing page.
    When will we be able to place widgets in posts, headers, footers, or anywhere?

    • alex kent says:

      faster picture upload – that depends on your internet connection (for the uploading phase) and your hosting companies server speed (for the crunching phase). Neither of these can be improved by WordPress.

      the 3.1 upper dashboard bar is optional in 3.1. In the Admin > Users > Profile there are tick boxes for ‘show admin bar’.

      widgets in headers, footers is dependent on the theme you are using.

  22. gvmelle says:

    I installed WP 3.1, but is was a big disappointment. New post took close to 3 minutes to add to the database after pushing the publish button. Moreover I didn’t see much advantages in 3.1 over 3.0.5, so I demoted to 3.0.5 again, awaiting a better version with at least a fix for the database issues.

  23. Mihai (1 comments.) says:


    Good list of improvements and I agree we have to move on regarding speed issue and to not consider the old IE6 as an obstacle… We shall look in future not in past for decisions…

    Also I wonder if is it any way to include in WP a function to list the EXIF info for a picture? There are some plugins helping on this topic but I went in trouble with them because they are badly interfering with other plugins… so this is a pain…

  24. Alhadis says:

    I’d appreciate it if there’s more hooks that’re added into WordPress’s Media Library interface.

    I’ve had to play a serious juggling game of JavaScript and precarious callbacks in order to be able to send an attachment from the Thickbox into the Edit Post screen for customised use. One plugin I’ve worked on had a very easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for a post or page’s image carousel. The problem was sending the attachment to the Metabox, and not the TinyMCE editor. The issue was worsened by the lack of hooks (filters or actions) in the Media library… I resorted to client-side JavaScript to add all the elements that should ideally have been generated by PHP. :(

    I’m endlessly relieved that support for IE6 in the admin panel has been dropped… If anybody in this day and age is still trying to manage a website using dangerously antiquated software, they’ve every reason to consult a psychiatrist…

  25. Jenny (11 comments.) says:

    If people are still using IE then that’s their loss. Don’t cater to them, make them learn to use something else!

  26. Keithius (3 comments.) says:

    I’m looking forward to the changes, and although I understand the desire to end of life certain things, the PHP and MySQL ones make me nervous.

    I run my blog on a hosted site (like many people do, I would imagine). Unfortunately, this means that control of what version of PHP or MySQL is installed is not up to me – it’s up to my hosting provider.

    It’s not that the hosting provider is technically inept or anything, but they are not going to run their servers on the “bleeding edge” or even anywhere near it – they want what works and has been proven to work reliably. (And, coincidentally, most of their customers want this as well – reliability over “cutting edge” features for a website is probably a pretty normal bias).

    Anyway, I’m rambling – I just wanted to say that changing the PHP and MySQL version requirements may alienate some people who don’t have the power to upgrade, but if usage stats show that these are the versions most commonly used, well then I guess that’s OK – as long as the PHP and MySQL version requirements don’t change again for a really long time!

    • Daryl Koopersmith (1 comments.) says:

      The decision to update the version requirements was based entirely on usage. As of last July (when the decision was made) around 11 percent of WordPress installs were running < PHP 5.2, and around 6 percent of WordPress installs were running MySQL 4 [1]. The new requirements are by no means the bleeding edge. As you put it, they are "what works and has been proven to work reliably." :)

      By announcing the switch last July, hosts have had ample time to adapt to the coming requirements (almost a year!), so hopefully the switch will impact even fewer installs.

      [1] Read the original announcement here:

    • nopalea (1 comments.) says:

      You may not have the power to perform the upgrade yourself, but I would think a simple support ticket to your hosting provider requesting an upgrade of the mysql and php version on your server would do the trick. I know I’ve never had a problem asking my hosting provider to upgrade things when necessary.

  27. Juliemarg (2 comments.) says:

    I love 3.1 – and wordpress always seems to be moving in the right direction.

    Does anyone have an estimate about what percentage of people are still using IE6?

    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      According to Microsoft’s own IE 6 Countdown, 12% of the world is still using the ten-year-old browser.

      • mercime says:

        Unfortunately, those who would be most affected most by this decision are the poor … including people from third-world countries who can not afford to purchase new computers which meet requirements for better IE versions.

        • Kevin says:

          Well thank goodness for more open source software like Firefox and Chrome, even on Windows XP – safer browsing without the cost of new kit.

          They can always run a free Linux distro on that old kit and improve all sorts of performance issues.

  28. Rado (2 comments.) says:

    I am eagerly awaiting the next faster and lighter wordpress 3.2. Sounds great, leaving out old database and php support will move whole planet much more forward, also those who slipped behind will need to move bones finally. This is a second great news I got today. My first one was; that I ordered my first ever google’s Android OS powered laptop, also smaller size, lightweight, AND it is actually faster even with not so massive hardware!

  29. Angie (20 comments.) says:

    I wonder if the real issues will be addressed or ignored like they have been from one release to another. Embarrassing gallery bug, anyone? And how about no pings for edits? I mean – how is this not an internal feature?

  30. Kasper Bergholt (1 comments.) says:

    Code cleanup and speed optimization sounds really good. In my opinion the changes you describe are hihgher on my list of priorities than the new niceties that found their way to WP 3.1.

    I’ve seen my user base double during the last six months, and a lot of opitmization has been necessary to make the server setup cope with the situation, so decontinuing php 4 and myql 4 to speed is _very_ good news.

  31. Andrew says:

    I love WordPress and use it pretty much exclusively.

    I would really appreciate it getting more sophisticated in terms of conditional placeent of widgets – i.e. ability to have widgets show on some pages but not others.

    I know there are plug-in that help but it need to become core.

  32. Naptunian (1 comments.) says:

    This is great!

    Feels like only yesterday that I was eagerly waiting WordPress 3.0 to drop :)

  33. Tom Hermans (2 comments.) says:

    Keep IE6 for those outdated stuff and use a real browser to surf the web. And voice your complaint to the IT dept. We live in 2011.
    Everytime you see the nag, nag them as well.

    Are they still keeping stencil machines alive for some weird reason… or do they keep networks, WiFi or cell phones out of the workplace as well.. ? don’t think so..

  34. jezza101 (1 comments.) says:

    Not the most exciting release from a functionality point of view! Although reading some of the comments above it sounds like a revolutionary release!

    Hopefully after the tidy up we’ll get some new toys next time.

    • Tom Coburn (67 comments.) says:

      agreed. I think this next release is meant to tidy things up for new features on the horizon. I mean, there’s alot more they can potentially do with PHP 5 only. My only concern is some web service providers are still using PHP 4 and/or mysql 4 for legacy support. I agree for dropping version 4 support, but there are some web service providers that will take awhile to make the changeover. Some companies are just paranoid, like those that don’t allow Shell access, thats just paranoid, but in practice companies are paranoid about security and legacy support for old technologies. I am looking forward to the improvements myself.

      • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

        Only about 6% of WordPress users are on PHP 4, and about 4% are on MySQL 4.

        To be honest, if your hosting provider insists on you using a version of PHP or MySQL that was discontinued almost three years ago, I think it’s time to find a new hosting provider.

        More fun stats:

  35. Robert (2 comments.) says:

    How about that “Add video” button that got chopped in the last upgrade? Will that be fixed in this version?

  36. Kalle (1 comments.) says:

    I am really looking forward to this, especially the speed up parts. The list contains good things and I believe that by making things lighter it will be much more user-friendly as well.


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