WordPress 3.4 Features – What MAY Be Coming in the Next Release

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I thought I’d post a little tidbit for all you fellow WordPress nerds and fanboys and fangirls. WordPress 3.3.1 just came out a couple of days ago but the development team is already hard at work planning the next release cycle. Read below to see a very early peek at what may be coming in the next version.

What Features are Coming in WordPress 3.4?

3.4 Might Offer Links in This Caption Space!

The notes from the latest Dev Chat gave a small glimpse of what the overall goal for 3.4 will be and some of the features that MIGHT be planned.

Overall Goal:

We agreed that 3.4′s “theme” would be, “Making it easier to make your site look how you want it to look.”

Shorthand: Appearance/switching themes. The idea is that a combination of front-end features, dashboard features, and under-the-hood improvements all tied to managing your site’s appearance will be the focus of 3.4.

These kinds of features are currently being accomplished by plugins and some theme frameworks, but having these improvements in Core is a no-brainer and welcome in my book.

It will also include smaller things that don’t live in the appearance section but are related to the overarching goal, such as making it possible to have links in image captions.

You would think that links in image captions would have been in WordPress several releases ago…I’m glad it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.


the features would likely include: a theme-setup wizard that would incorporate an option for configuring all the appearance-related stuff before activating a new theme (speaking of, Twenty Twelve is targeted for 3.4), and then specific improvements around menus, widgets, backgrounds, headers, easier static front page process, multisite appearance management, etc.

I think being able to configure a new theme before activation will be a HUGE help. I regularly change themes on both my own and my client sites and having the ability to set it up exactly how it should appear before activation will be a real time saver and take the “development server” out of the picture for me on many projects.

What would YOU like to see in 3.4 in the way of “making it easier to make your site look they way you want”?

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  1. Maybe by 4.0 they will have figured out what enhancements are really needed.

  2. Thanks for the comment Chris. What enhancements would you like to see?

  3. Thanks for the insight! You just can’t beat a whiteboard for project management. Until the cleaner wipes it off!

    Better page and post management would be cool. I quite often have to copy pages etc. it would be nice to have copy, cut and paste functionality somehow.

    On a similar vein, page categories that allow you to filter the view (like posts) would be pretty handy -especially on the bigger sites.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. I would like to see an easier way to locate images within pages ie: side by side, i find it difficult to place images in the correct positions on my posts/pages without using code. it would be nice to just drag images where you want them exactly knowing they will stay there.

    • I agree with you there Greg. I remember struggling with this a few years ago and I finally just settled on using one image to span the width of my content area and putting text above and below.

      One option is to create a simple two column table, but with that you’ll need to make the images are the same width and height (if that’s what you’re shooting for).

      Another option would be to create a two image gallery and insert that into the post. (caveat is that the Gallery feature in WP isn’t exactly user-friendly in my opinion;)

  5. Hoesntly, Theme wise, I’d like to see all the PHP code contained in the actual function calls. It would be nice if it was a modular theme system so that newcombers to WordPress could easily design thier sites using the old school style cms tags..


    Sorta like the ability to create your own widget in the admin, mywidget.. to add to your homepage, sidebar or whatever, just add #mywidget# to the theme..

    I think this is the biggest downfall to the theme system. Themes were meant to seperate the php code from the html.. Wrapping IF’s, ELSE and END’s within divs, tables or html seems to defeat the purpose..

    But I’m also Die Hard WP at heart as well.. For the bigger installs, I’d like to see added support for Caching like Varnish or Squid. Or include calls to the Scalr.net API which is also an open source system. Unlike Pressflow.com for Drupal, I don’t see much going on in terms of enhancing Performace, Scalability or Speed… WordPress 2.0 was less than 500kb zipped. WP 3.3.1 is over 3.4MB zipped? Really, all that bloat to do so little? Granted, the coding style is great, but why leave so much depreciated code?

    The Future of the Web is about Speed.. Can WordPress Keep Up?

  6. Elementary security features would be nice, like a control to limit login attempts in order to thwart brute force attacks. Or inbuilt upload file type limitation and upload directory masking that isn’t revealed in a browser location bar.

    Sometimes what the user wants is more prosaic than what a bored developer wants to play with to get his juices flowing again, prosaic stuff like good brakes and welded unibody construction as a priority ahead of more chrome and curlycue fins. Just a thought.

  7. wordpress 3.4 beta 1 is out

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