In the second half of 2013, WordPress began using a plugin-first development approach in order to rapidly push out new versions. Basically, this means that development of new WordPress features is entirely separate from core bug and security fixes. At least, until features are fleshed out to a point where they can be safely added into the WordPress core and integrated in preparation for a release.
I’d like to touch on a few features of the new releases since they adopted this new release cycle, and why they’re important for many users.
WordPress 3.7 introduced automatic security updates, meaning that many WordPress website owners around the globe will not have to worry quite so much about WordPress security bugs. Websites will be automatically updated for security bug fixes, but not major feature releases (i.e. upgrading from 3.7 to 3.8). The distinction is important, because of the potential for sites to break when themes have incompatibilities with new WordPress features.
3.7 also included a stronger password recommendation engine to help users pick more appropriate, stronger passwords. You can read more about the additional features of WordPress 3.7 in the official release blog post.
WordPress 3.8 brought with it a much updated admin dashboard that included a new, clearer typography. The new dashboard and admin bar also made great strides in responsiveness, making it much easier to use WordPress from your phone and your tablet, as well as your desktop. You can read more about the improvements to the dashboard in the official WordPress 3.8 release blog post.
These new features only serve to make WordPress a stronger platform for websites, both as a content management system and a blogging system. The WordPress community is thriving, and we’re proud to use WordPress as the platform of choice for every website we develop. So if you’re considering which platform to build your website on, I can’t recommend WordPress highly enough.