WordPress 3.4.1 appeared on most of the WordPress sites I work with over the last couple of weeks (this site included!). It brings with it a number of great new features, including:

  • Live Preview for themes. This is going to make theme changes SO much less painful–you’ll be able to customize the new theme via the CMS before you launch it, reducing the ‘growing pains’ awkwardness of not having your theme look perfect on launch.
  • Flexible headers: one annoyance I run into pretty often when working on a lightly customized theme is that the header size has to be changed in a part of the theme code that the typical user can’t access, and even for the experienced user it’s not very user-friendly. Now themes that support it will have flexible sizing for headers built into the CMS! This is one of those features that if you don’t need it, you are thinking ‘who cares?’, but if this is a frustration you’ve had a few times….you care!
  • Twitter integration. I’m not a big Twitterer myself, but it’s a great tool for many businesses, and integrating it into WordPress will be a great feature for many people.
  • SECURITY. I (and all good developers/site managers) recommend that you update your WordPress install whenever a new version comes out, because they typically include bug fixes that will improve the security of your site. It’s easy to forget about site security until you get hacked or virused…but no site is so small as to be ignored by hackers. Everyone loves an easy target.

So in sum…Update WordPress! If you need some assistance doing so, or if you’re looking to migrate your current site to WordPress, please contact me. I’d be delighted to help you with your site and provide you with as much (or as little–it’s not for everyone!) education as you’d like so you can become more involved in the management of your site.

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