WordPress 3.5 - What You Need to Know - ManageWP

WordPress 3.5 — What You Need to Know

WordPress 3.5 -- What You Need to Know

WordPress 3.5 is officially on its way.

In a blog post published late last week on WordPress.org, the official release date of 5th December was confirmed, in keeping with WordPress’ bi-annual new release cycle.

This new version offers up an ambitious re-modeling of an existing major feature, along with a glut of less radical tweaks and improvements. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about this upcoming version of our favorite content management system.

An All-New Media Experience

When we asked a bunch of WordPress experts how they would improve the dashboard, the media library was not mentioned. It slips under the radar of not being terrible, but not being great either.

The WordPress core development team have sought to address that issue with WordPress 3.5, by stripping back the media experience completely, and starting from scratch:

We’ve made it all fair game: How you upload photos, arrange galleries, insert images into posts, and more.

The danger in such an ambitious undertaking is of course making sure that the new experience is considerably better than the old. If not, the whole exercise becomes redundant. Having said that, there is plenty of scope for improvement when it comes to media-handling in WordPress, so I am optimistic of a far better user interface.

No More Link Manager

Link Manager
Bye bye…

The removal of the Link Manager from the sidebar will not attract much fanfare, but I personally consider it a positive step forward by the core development team in singling out a redundant feature and being ruthless in removing it.

Whilst the Link Manager will still be available in plugin form (it’ll be interesting to see how many downloads that attracts), it will no longer appear by default. Given that it is the first menu item I manually remove from the sidebar when setting up a new blog, I’m glad to see the back of it.

What I would like this to mark is a more open-minded approach to keeping the default WordPress sidebar well-organized and clean of non-vital items. Who knows — maybe next we will get a crackdown on the location of plugin settings screens

Smaller Changes

Retina Display
WordPress will be retina-ready.

You are likely to notice a glut of minor changes when you upgrade to WordPress 3.5, including:

Although you probably won’t even notice the majority of them, the WordPress development team have in fact incorporated “a few hundred” changes into this newest version.

Developer Changes

For the more technically-minded amongst you, WordPress has incorporated a number of developer-centric improvements into version 3.5, including (taken directly from here):

Twenty Twelve is Now Available!

As if the upcoming release of WordPress 3.5 isn’t enough to keep your appetite sated, the new default WordPress theme is now available for self-hosted WordPress users. I covered Twenty Twelve in a recent post, and it is a theme well worth investigating:

Twenty Twelve Theme

Download Twenty Twelve here.

What Do You Think?

So what are your thoughts on the upcoming release of WordPress 3.5? Do you think the core development team have prioritized improvements appropriately, or should they have focused on other areas? Are you looking forward to the new media-handling capabilities? Let us know in the comments section!

Creative Commons image courtesy of An Phan Van and Kyle May

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy.co. He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!


  1. life_lust

    Hi! you actually predicted everything! I was tempted by WP long ago, but this final release made me freshly Pressed=) I moved along from Joomla via cms2cms.com (btw, wonderful tool, if you ever need to migrate) and so here I am.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Welcome! :-)

  2. Marianne

    The medial library does not work with the plugins I currently purchased for use on my site. Now I have the updated wordpress versions and plugins that don’t work!! Is there a way of going backwards without loosing all my content?

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hi Marianne,

      The first thing I would suggest you do is contact the plugin developer and ask them when they will be updating it for 3.5. Chances are they’re rushing to get an update out (unless the plugin is no longer supported).



  3. Robert

    I think removing the Links section is a nice move. I haven’t used this feature for years :)

  4. Thomas Townsend

    Looking forward to the update. We are moving fast to update all of our lagging sites to take advantage of the new updates and to kick off a new venue for SMBS too.

  5. Ostheimer

    Links are gone: Good. Also post_in will be a welcome change.
    I don’t know what the Media Manager change will bring but it can only get better, right? :-)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Famous last words 😉

  6. Juliahi

    It is VERY difficult to read the text in your lower footer on my monitor. You need to find a ‘brighter’ color. There’s a point of being cool. And then another point of being too cool and ineffective. You’ve gone over to the ‘dark side’ on your footer. The point being that it needs to display well on ALL user screens, not only a few.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks for the critique Juliahi — I’ll pass it along to our design team 😉

    2. jeff

      What footer are you talking about? On this page here? Why do you need to read text in the lower footer? I thought footers were just for fun… Not actually useful…

  7. Devtard

    So if I understand correctly, there won’t be any way to manage links unless I install the plugin, right? What about pre-defined links on a fresh WP installation – are they going to be there?

    1. Tom Ewer

      Correct, and presumably not.

  8. Scottsdale Computing

    Thanks for the update Tom! Always love reading your posts, and very much looking forward to WP 3.5.

    1. Tom Ewer

      My pleasure! :)

  9. prositeplease

    Location of plugin settings screens – With you 100% Tom!

    1. Tom Ewer

      Can’t see it happening any time soon 😉

  10. Kristof

    Thanks for the update. I’ve never been a big fan of the media library UI – but happy when drag and drop was introduced. Really hoping the media library UI and features (for adding, organizing, etc.) are much better. Media elements are so important and seems its always been an afterthought.

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