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Honda “Hands” film celebrates the curiosity of Honda engineers, which has led to some of the most successful Honda innovations over the past 65 years.

WordPress 3.7 is mainly focused on improving security and stability of WordPress. One such improvement is the auto update system. Since 3.7, a typical WordPress install will now be able to automatically update itself when there is a new minor/security release available without any user input.

WordPress 3.7+ will automatically update itself from WordPress 3.7 to 3.7.1. Auto updates are not enabled by default for major releases like 3.7.1 to 3.8.

If you want to disable automatic updates in WordPress 3.7 is quite easy. Simply add this snippet of code in your wp-config.php file:


This will disable the WordPress automatic updater, but you will still get notified when there is a new version available, so you can update at your own convenience.

What are your thoughts automatic updates?

Will you keep them enabled or use the above method to disable them?

WordPress 3.7, Basie, has just been released. The WordPress 3.7 development cycle is the quickest turnaround between major versions of WordPress ever.

You may not notice a whole lot of sexy new (visible) features in this version, but the release is a huge win for the platform.

Automatic Background Updates

The new WP_Automatic_Upgrader class is likely the most significant feature for 3.7. Automatic upgrades are now available for minor versions of core, but it can also be extended to theme and plugin updates by choice. For the best rundown of the upgrade process and exceptions, definitely read Dion Hulse’s summary of the feature and also the new Codex page on the updates and various options around the feature.

Some have been skeptical of auto updates for WordPress, but I embrace them. Really projects like Chrome and iOS are pushing this concept forward to the mainstream, and it makes sense for WordPress to able to constantly improve silently as well. People just want their CMS to work. Nobody likes doing updates; no normal people at least. So long term, even major upgrades should get auto update treatment, and I think long term that’s what will happen.

Plus, the team is being super careful to make auto upgrades work well. They are performed via SSL, and in testing, the failure rate is practically zero (in fact, I think it is zero).

A Better Password Meter

Everybody needs better passwords. Bad passwords are created out of laziness or lack of education. A better password meter will help prevent both.

The new password meter uses Dropbox’s zxcvbn library, and it’s a significant improvement.

More Relevant Search Results

WordPress search has sucked for a long time. It’s not been based on relevance, but on dates. According to the primary ticket for this feature, Andrew Nacin cites the following for the new order for choosing what to return in WordPress search:

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

This enhancement solves a major pain point that nearly every WordPress user with any significant amount of content has been facing for many years.

Beter Global Support with Language Packs

The new “language packs” feature in WordPress 3.7 will allow for, “faster and more complete translations.” To get started making your themes and plugins be able to use these tools, check out Samuel “Otto” Wood’s guide. Language packs will be separated from WordPress core and maintained independently from core, themes, and plugins.

Language packs are also going to be updated silently along with minor updates, so that better support for more languages can be supported quicker. Translating WordPress to more languages is a clear way for the platform to continue staggering growth. As I noted in my primer on l10n and i18n, nearly a third of all WordPress installs are non-English. But even beyond that, only about 750 million people count English as a first or second language, so most of the world that could be using WordPress would struggle mightily without a translated version.

More goodness in WordPress 3.7

So, those are the dominant features of WordPress 3.7. But that’s not everything, by a long shot.

Date Queries

There has been significant improvement in date queries within WP_Query. You can see some code examples from Alex Mills, but essentially it’s now easy to query based on a slew of date parameters. The WordPress Codex is also up to date with the new options.


Accessibility has been improved in a few locations, including keyboard accessibility improvements on list table rows and color contrasts in the default themes.


Multisite got a bit of love in 3.7. wp_get_sites is a very handy function introduced to replaced the get_blog_list function, which has long been deprecated.

Inline Docs

Inline documentation has gotten serious attention in WordPress 3.7. There is never a better place to go than to the source code, and the team behind inline docs has been knocking out tons of undocumented or poorly documented code.

New Functions, Classes, Actions and Filters

Based on the this post by Daryl Koopersmith, though some of those items may not be totally accurate as plenty could have changed since then. But the point is that the build tools for WordPress are better than ever, and going forward will make it easier for developers.

Bug gardening

At last count, 437 tickets were closed and counted as “fixed” in WordPress 3.7. But countless more tickets have been touched this cycle. As a prominent goal of this release was housecleaning, it was a huge success.

The future of WordPress core development

This was the first iteration of synchronous major release development. WordPress 3.7 and WordPress 3.8 have been developed on side by side, as Matt Mullenweg noted would be done during this year’s State of the Word.

A major achievement

WordPress 3.7 has been a major achievement. Andrew Nacin has led development this cycle, with Jon Cave and Dion Hulse as co-leads, and they really knocked it out of the park.

Congratulations to everyone involved. 211 people have props in WordPress 3.7. Together, this community makes WordPress.

Now, go update your websites.

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