WordPress 3.7 – Interesting details on this update

WordPress 3.7 - Basie

Everyone knows that the new version of WordPress, 3.7, contains an automatic update mechanism, a better password complexity indicator, better global support (language) and improved search functionality. But hey! What are better passwords, why do I want improved search functionality, what does better international support for me and what other handy tricks do I have to know? Interesting details on this update;

Better passwords

The new password complexity indicator is based on the open source library zxcvbn (which has the name of a weak password). The idea behind zxcvbn is to make up passwords that will cost a lot of time to crack and are not able to be found in any dictionary (both a normal one and dictionaries of password cracking dictionaries). So what is a better password? Combine more words that have no logical connection. For example “correcthorsebatterystaple” (I stole this from the zxcvbn example chart)

Improved search functionality

Google has a very sophisticated algorithm to find content and orders it by relevance. WordPress’s algorithm was rather primitive; Until now, WordPress searched content and displayed the results sorted by date. When you had an ‘About’ page, it was possible that a search on the word ‘about’ would not show that page on the first page with search results. Now the ordering logic is as follows (quoted from WordPress Trac):

  • Full sentence matches in post titles.
  • All search terms in post titles.
  • Any search terms in post titles.
  • Full sentence matches in post content.

Each section and any remaining posts are then sorted by date.

Better international support

If you only use an English version of WordPress with English content, you won’t benefit from this feature. From now on, language packs for WordPress Themes and Plugins are distributed separately. If you download a Theme or Plugin, no language files are downloaded. When you activate it, the correct language files will be fetched from WordPress.org and will be activated. By doing this, distributions gets cleaner and smaller.

When your WordPress installation is updated, all language packs are updated automatically, also those from your Plugins and Themes. This will only be the case for Plugins and Themes that follow the new standards.

Please note that WordPress 3.7 supports this functionality but WordPress.org does not yet support it.

Other handy tricks

Advanced Date Queries for posts: This option makes it possible for developers to make smart selections based on dates, for example ‘posts of every first monday of the month’, ‘posts between 9AM to 5PM on weekdays’ and ‘posts made over a year ago but modified in the past month’

Make shift + click selection of checkboxes work in both directions: This one you have to try out for yourself; You can select 5 post by selecting the first one, and while pushing shift selecting the fifth one. All 5 posts will be selected; This can also be done with deselecting posts.

Automatic updates

Yeah, of course I have to mention this one. WPTavern.com wrote a good article about this, so why would I?

What is your opinion?

So, am I forgetting something, or do you want to discuss on this? Please do and let me know!


Benjamin de Jong writes Smart Internet Applications based on WordPress. He is active on Twitter with several Twitter accounts about WordPress and has a day job at KPN in the Netherlands where he is an IT Consultant.