A new version of the popular blogging software WordPress has just been released, introducing a new admin dashboard theme and the brand new Twenty Fourteen frontend theme.
As you may know, a new default theme is released each year which showcase what WordPress is capable of, and to implement modern design philosophies and web technologies.
The new Twenty Fourteen theme in particular is a responsive magazine style theme that supports two different layouts. You can display articles in grid layout mode, or as a slider on the homepage.
The theme uses a dark background and left sidebar, which may be totally different from what your previous theme uses. You may need to customize the layout and design of the Twenty Fourteen theme because of that if you want to use it on your site.
In addition, it is necessary to assign the featured tag to select posts that you want displayed on the frontend, as you end up with the regular listing of articles sorted in chronological order otherwise.
The new frontend theme is not the only change in WordPress 3.8. If you open the admin dashboard, you will also notice that its design has changed. The sidebar and top toolbar are now displayed in black with white text for example.
What is interesting about this is that you can change the default color scheme to another one by opening your user profile. Here you can select one of eight color schemes for the dashboard including the default scheme focusing on black and blue colors, but also lighter themes and others.
If you do not like black themes, try the light theme for example to change it easily in the personal options.
According to WordPress, lots of thought went into the new theme. It uses the free Open Sans font, offers cleaner styles, more spacing between elements and larger font sizes right out of the box.
The development team has introduced other changes to the release. You can now click on widgets to add them to a sidebar, make use of a better drag and drop experience or may notice interface improvements depending on your screen resolution.
You can check out all new changes on the official WordPress Codex page.
To update, either download WordPress from the official website, or use the automatic upgrade feature of the blogging software in the admin dashboard instead.
You may want to test the update first before you run it on a live system though. While I did not notice any issues while updating a dozen or so blogs, it does not necessarily mean that you won't notice any as different configurations, plug-ins and themes may cause those.
Happy updating, and let me know how you feel about the new admin dashboard and frontend theme.
Addendum: One of the interesting changes in WordPress 3.8 is a new indicator for comments in moderation. These comments are now highlighted with a colored line so that it is easier to distinguish them from regular comments.
The Activity Feed on the other hand mixes comments with recently published articles and other data.