WordPress 3.4 Beta 1 Is In the Wild! Do You Have a Testing Environment Yet?

The announcement was made earlier today! Do you have a testing environment yet? If not, I’d recommend you get one! I have one set up in a subdomain off of my personal blog! I leave it open to the public (I use it to show solutions to people’s problems on the forums, or here) but Iit looks a mess right now, I have the early stages dev version of the 2012 theme on it. That being said, here’s the gist of WP 3.4:

As we discussed earlier, 2012 theme will not ship with 3.4. Kind of a shame, I was looking forward to upgrading VoodooPress, and running through sme fun stuff with you guys! But we’ll do that next version! Here’s what 3.4 is handling:

Here’s some of what’s new:

  • Theme Customizer with Previewer
  • Flexible Custom Header Sizes
  • Selecting Custom Header and Background Images from Media Library
  • Better experience searching for and choosing a theme

And some of the under-the-hood changes:

  • New XML-RPC API for external and mobile applications
  • New API for registering theme support for custom headers and backgrounds
  • Performance improvements to WP_Query by splitting the query (Please test!)
  • Internationalization improvements (improved performance and locale support)
  • Performance and API improvements when working with lists of installed themes
  • Support for installing child themes from the WordPress Themes Directory

I’ll be interested in playing around with some of these new theme enhancements! I wonder what kind of cool things all you theme developers will be accomplishing with this?

Back to the testing environment…. do you have one? Here’s what I think you should have. You can do this locally if you want, but I like having a live version as I mention earlier. Now, this install should have available all the plugins you use on any of your sites, and it should have available any of the themes you use.

I just have one install where I activate various combinations of plugins and themes. You could also have multiple test environments that are clones of your live sites, up to you!

I keep the nightly WP version on my test install. But at the very least, when WP hits a beta release, that is a good time to start testing. This will let you know if any plugins and themes have any issues. You can contact the developers early on, and try to get things fixed! Don’t forget to have some content in there. You could export/import your existing content (don’t forget to block your site from search engines in this case), but I think the best solution is to use the WP theme test unit. That’ll get you a variety of ready made content, with pretty much all the possible posting situations you are likely to run in to!

Now that you know WP 3.4 beta 1 is out, and we’ve talked a bit about test environment, have at it! See how this version of WP is working for you.

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