After nearly 11 million downloads of WordPress 3.0 in just 42 days, we’re releasing WordPress 3.0.1. The requisite haiku:
Three dot oh dot one
Bug fixes to make you smile
Update your WordPress
This maintenance release addresses about 50 minor issues. The testing many of you contributed prior to the release of 3.0 helped make it one of the best and most stable releases we’ve had.
Download 3.0.1 or update automatically from the Dashboard > Updates menu in your site’s admin area.
Note: If you downloaded 3.0.1 in the first 20 minutes of release (before 2200 UTC), you’ll want to reinstall it, which you can do right from your Updates screen. Our bad.
Our approach with WordPress has always been to make it run on common server configurations. We want users to have flexibility when choosing a host for their precious content. Because of this strategy, WordPress runs pretty much anywhere. Web hosting platforms, however, change over time, and we occasionally are able to reevaluate some of the requirements for running WordPress. Now is one of those times. You probably guessed it from the title — we’re finally ready to announce the end of support for PHP 4 and MySQL 4!
First up, the announcement that developers really care about. WordPress 3.1, due in late 2010, will be the last version of WordPress to support PHP 4.
For WordPress 3.2, due in the first half of 2011, we will be raising the minimum required PHP version to 5.2. Why 5.2? Because that’s what the vast majority of WordPress users are using, and it offers substantial improvements over earlier PHP 5 releases. It is also the minimum PHP version that the Drupal and Joomla projects will be supporting in their next versions, both due out this year.
The numbers are now, finally, strongly in favor of this move. Only around 11 percent of WordPress installs are running on a PHP version below 5.2. Many of them are on hosts who support PHP 5.2 — users merely need to change a setting in their hosting control panel to activate it. We believe that percentage will only go down over the rest of the year as hosting providers realize that to support the newest versions of WordPress (or Drupal, or Joomla), they’re going to have to pull the trigger.
In less exciting news, we are also going to be dropping support for MySQL 4 after WordPress 3.1. Fewer than 6 percent of WordPress users are running MySQL 4. The new required MySQL version for WordPress 3.2 will be 5.0.15.
WordPress users will not be able to upgrade to WordPress 3.2 if their hosting environment does not meet these requirements (the built-in updater will prevent it). In order to determine which versions your host provides, we’ve created the Health Check plugin. You can download it manually, or use this handy plugin installation tool I whipped up. Right now, Health Check will only tell you if you’re ready for WordPress 3.2. In a future release it will provide all sorts of useful information about your server and your WordPress install, so hang on to it!
In summary: WordPress 3.1, due in late 2010, will be the last version of WordPress to support PHP 4 and MySQL 4. WordPress 3.2, due in the first half of 2011, will require PHP 5.2 or higher, and MySQL 5.0.15 or higher. Install the Health Check plugin to see if you’re ready!
The WordPress community’s growth over the years has been tremendous, and we want to reinvest in it. So we’re taking the next two months to concentrate on improving WordPress.org. A major part of that will be improving the infrastructure of the plugins directory. More than 10,000 plugins are in the directory, every one of them GPL compatible and free as in both beer and speech. Here’s what we have in mind:
We want to provide developers the tools they need to build the best possible plugins. We’re going to provide better integration with the forums so you can support your users. We’ll make more statistics available to you so you can analyze your user base, and over time we hope to make it easier for you to manage, build, and release localized plugins.
We want to improve how the core software works with your plugin and the plugin directory. We’re going to focus on ensuring seamless upgrades by making the best possible determinations about compatibility, and offer continual improvements to the plugin installer. And we also want to give you a better developer tool set like SVN notifications and improvements to the bug tracker.
We’re also going to experiment with other great ideas to help the community help plugin authors. We want it to be easy for you to offer comments to plugin authors and the community, including user reviews and better feedback. We may experiment with an adoption process for abandoned plugins as a way to revitalize hidden gems in the directory. I’m not sure there is a better way to show how extendable WordPress is and how awesome this community is at the same time.
As Matt said in the 3.0 release announcement, our goal isn’t to make everything perfect all at once. But we think incremental improvements can provide us with a great base for 3.1 and beyond, and for the tens of millions of users, and hundreds of millions of plugin downloads to come.