News today announced the debut of WordPress 3.7.   This latest version is a feature and bug-fix release for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Dubbed “Basie” in honor of American jazz pianist and composer Count Basie, WordPress 3.7 is the first release that uses the company’s new plugin-first development process that results in a much a quicker development cycle. explains it gives much more autonomy to plugin leads and allows the organization to decouple feature development from a release.

New Features

New features in WordPress 3.7 include:

Updates while you sleep:

With WordPress 3.7, you don’t have to lift a finger to apply maintenance and security updates. Most sites are now able to automatically apply these updates in the background. The update process also has been made even more reliable and secure, with dozens of new checks and safeguards.

Stronger password recommendations:

Your password is your site’s first line of defense. It’s best to create passwords that are complex, long, and unique. To that end, our password meter has been updated in WordPress 3.7 to recognize common mistakes that can weaken your password: dates, names, keyboard patterns (123456789), and even pop culture references.

Better global support:

Localized versions of WordPress will receive faster and more complete translations. WordPress 3.7 adds support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up to date, a boon for the many millions who use WordPress in a language other than English.

Background Updates are Scary

So called background updates are probably the biggest feature of the new version. This adds an option to WordPress to install maintenance and security updates automatically in the background without an Admin initiating the update.

While most WordPress webmasters may not want to use the feature, as it can very well break a website, without them knowing about it for some time, it may make sense for sites that do not use many customizations or plugins, or sites that just sit there and are not maintained anymore.

The automatic-updates feature will only apply security or stability updates automatically, while feature releases, those from 3.7 to 3.8 for example, won’t be applied automatically.

Note: The feature is enabled by default and there is no way to “turn it off” from the admin.  Mind you, it can be done.  Here’s how:

  1. Locate your wp-config.php file (it’ll be in the site’s root)
  2. Add the line define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true ); to the file and upload
  3. Confirm the change has been made by going to /wp-admin/about.php

Future Releases

WordPress 3.6 was released in August. If this faster release cycle sticks, we’d expect to see WordPress 3.8 before the end of the year. Version 3.8 is in fact currently scheduled for December.

You can check out all changes in 3.7 on the WordPress Codex.

Mikko Saari, 10/25/2013

Looks like Relevanssi is incompatible with the new WordPress 3.7. Attempt to search ends up in an error message. So, if Relevanssi functionality is important to you, please hold on with the WordPress update. I’ll try to get a compatible Relevanssi version out as soon as possible, hopefully during the weekend.

I’ll have to pass some of the updates planned for the next version in order to get this fix out as soon as possible, so don’t expect the next version to actually include any fixes I’ve promised for the next version.
Their time will come in the next next version.

chtrede, 10/25/2013

Just updated my WP installation to 3.7 and All-in-One Event Calendar stopped working. This is the case on all my installations!

Jacob Gotwals, 10/25/2013

On my WordPress site, I have been using the theme Atahualpa, the plugin “Ecwid Shopping Cart”, and the plugin “WordPress SEO by Yoast” together for about a year with no problems—until this week. Within the last 14 days, “Ecwid Shopping Cart” 1.4 stopped working on WordPress 3.5.2 when Atahualpa 3.7.12 and “WordPress SEO by Yoast” 1.4.12 are also installed and activated—specifically, the Ecwid store does not load, apparently because one of the Ecwid shortcodes stops working.

Today is 2013-6-29. Based on the info at, here are the dates when the plugins/theme were last updated:

Atahualpa: 2013-04-15
Ecwid Shopping Cart: 2013-6-17
WordPress SEO by Yoast: 2013-6-28

Since this problem started in the last couple weeks, I’m assuming the problem is related to a change in either Ecwid Shopping Cart or WordPress SEO.

Andrew Nacin, 10/25/2013

I’d argue that “I don’t want them” is not a compelling reason for disabling updates. If you don’t keep your site up to date, you are making the web a less safe place for you and everyone who visits your website.

Background updates are incredibly, incredibly safe. Sites already running WordPress 3.7 have attempted more than 110,000 updates without a single critical failure, thanks to a number of verification steps that have made updates that much more reliable. A background update for a minor or security release (which is all they are enabled for, by default) means downloading and copying over just a few files. We’ve gotten really good at that. We’ve also spent years honing our craft of shipping stable and targeted fixes in minor releases — we don’t indiscriminately backport bug fixes. They must be serious bugs, and fixes go through additional levels of review, including at least two lead developers. And, we have the ability to roll out an automatic update over a period of hours or days. For 3.7.1, we’ll likely see how a few hours of user-initiated updates go before telling about 1% of sites to update, then steadily increase that percentage.

All that being said, here’s my “definitive guide to disabling auto updates in WordPress 3.7.”

Justin Downey, 10/25/2013

According to the plugin author, there’s a fix:

“Some users are experiencing troubles after upgrading to 3.7. The problem is that WordPress deletes one of our files when upgrading and we are checking with them why this might happen as we are not in control of this.

For the Ai1ec_File_Not_Found exception the solution is to copy one file which is deleted when wordpress upgrades. Look here

Another solution is to upgrade to 1.10.1 standard which can be downloaded from performing a manual upgrade – REMEMBER TO FOLLOW POINT 2 OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR EVENTS – Sorry for shouting but we get complaints that all events are lost from people who do not follow point 2.”

Justin Downey, 10/25/2013

Plugin author just uploaded v3.1.9 – this version will at least fix the obvious MySQL error.

Update your plugin and test. See support thread here if you have any problems:

Justin, 10/30/2013

Did anyone notice that we’re up to 3.7.1? That’s why it’s often a good idea to wait a week or so before a major core update…

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