So the final release of WordPress 3.4 is just round the corner and the recent launch of the 3.4 release candidate certainly created some buzz. The first thing to say is don’t worry, WordPress 3.4 will be great and everything is going to be fine. Some people get really nervous about WordPress updates. I guess it’s because they’re worried about legacy issues and how much work (if at all) it’s going to take to bring their sites up to date.

That being said, WordPress 3.4 is not a revolutionary update, it’s a modest evolutionary one. The main star of the update is without doubt the live WordPress theme preview function.

If you watch my video up there, you’ll see what I mean.

Live theme previews really do go a long way in making basic theme manipulation that much more intuitive and immediate. This WYSIWYG feature is targeted at general users and brings WordPress up to speed with services like Tumblr which offer similar all-in-one presentation pages.

It’s not really going to affect the hard core WP users. It will mean that theme developers have to think about how their themes integrate with the live preview options panel though and it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

I’d love to see the live preview idea applied to things like widgets in the future so you don’t have to jump backwards and forwards between screens.

All in all, I think it’s a step in the right direction for WordPress. The more simple and intuitive the platform becomes, the more people will start using it.