The All New Post Formats in WordPress 3.6
Post formats are set to get a major shake up in version 3.6 of WordPress.
And it will be hard to miss them – post formats will be smack bang above the editor, all in a neat row of large icons.
Since 3.1, post formats have been a theme feature that allow users to add context to what they post – beautiful photos can be posted as an “image”, a quotation you’ve stumbled across on a site can be posted as a “quote”, a film clip you’ve put together on your smart phone can be posted as a “video”. You get the picture.
Essentially, post formats are a piece of meta information can be used by a theme to customize how a post looks. Using a theme that support port formats, users can change how each post looks by choosing a post format.
The “Format” box in the current version is not all that inspiring – it’s a small, flat-looking menu of radio buttons. Blink and you will miss them underneath the “Publish” button.
There are now 10 different post types for users to choose from:
- Standard – Just your typical post.
- Image – A single image. You can either upload an image or enter an URL.
- Gallery – A series of images.
- Link – A link to another website.
- Video – A single video. You can upload a video or enter a video embed code or URL.
- Audio – An audio file. Upload a file or paste an audio embed code into the box.
- Chat – A chat transcript. Just copy and paste it into the editor.
- Status – Much like Facebook or Twitter, a short status update.
- Quote – A quotation.
- Aside – A quick thought or idea.
When you click on each post type, rather than a pop-up opening where you can insert a link or image, the UI changes and provides you options. For example, when you want to add audio, the UI will shift to allow you to enter an audio embed code or select audio from your media library.
The biggest change is that now users will have to make a decision about what kind of post they want to publish before they choose a post format, whereas in the past post formats were more of an after thought.
With the new post formats in 3.6, it will be easier than ever to quickly post videos of Ryan Gosling not wanting to eat this cereal!
Now Where Have We Seen This Before…?
The new post formats in WordPress are a lot like those in Tumblr.
When you login to Tumblr the first thing you see is the colorful post formats banner at the top of the page.
The stripped back icons are clear and intuitive to use (just click the post format you want to use and the UI changes so you can insert your images/post/video etc, similar to the new WordPress post formats).
It’s no wonder WordPress is also wandering down this path, as Matt Mullenweg has previously said, he wants to “eradicate some of the complexity that WordPress is usually associated with.”
So is WordPress turning into Tumblr? Well, yes and no… The dashboard is still available and sidebar is still on hand in addition to the post formats banner. The popularity of Tumblr just goes to show how interface simplification is important in the blogging market and WordPress is acknowledging that by borrowing similar post format features from Tumblr.