The Benny is out. So WordPress 4.0, named after jazz clarinetist and bandleader Benny Goodman, was just released and I am more than delighted to test it out and report to you on all the changes and new features.
This is not a milestone release and according to the official version numbering WordPress 4.0 is not more or less important than 3.9 or 4.1, it’s just a major version as any other. So without further ado, let’s get down to business.
A New Media Experience
Explore your uploaded rich media files with the new beautiful, endless grid. This will make the browsing and editing of your media faster, easier and more pleasant.
The best of it all is that the media files open in a lightbox and you will be able to edit most of their details from the same window. You will also be able to flip through your media and manage lots of files with a few clicks.
A New Embed Experience
Previously you had to paste an embed link in the text editor of your post to embed a video, tweet or something else. When you switched to visual editor however, you would see a gray rectangle instead of the embedded content and had to preview the post to see how it would actually look like.
Not anymore. All you have to do now is paste the link in the text editor and it will automatically embed the content, show it in your visual editor, and even display it or play it for you. How neat is that?
A New Post Experience
This one is my favorite change. Your post toolbar now acts like a fixed navigation and scrolls with your post so that you will be able to access it from anywhere.
Everyone in the office sighed with relief when seeing this one. It was literally a pain in the neck to have to scroll up and down your post just to do mundane things like bolding a word. Definitely a life and time-saver.
A New Plugin Experience
Searching and adding a plugin is now easier and more convenient than ever. With larger presentation cards with more information, a new Featured Plugins tab, and reviews/metrics right in your WordPress, everyone will enjoy the sleek new look and functionalities of the Plugin Section.
Not to mention that the plugins are now displayed in a nice-structured grid for more visual appeal.
If you installed WordPress previously through an auto-installer like Softaculous, which is included in the cPanels of all of our accounts, you have been able to choose your language, theme or even some plugins to be installed along with your WordPress for quite some time now.
Choosing your language before installing WordPress is now possible with the manual installer as well as this is the first screen you will see when try to install the new 4.0 version.
Under the Hood Changes
Customizer API: Panels, contexts, and a wider array of controls are supported now in the customizer.
Query Ordering: Developers have more flexibility creating ‘ORDER BY’ clauses through WP_Query.
External Libraries: Updated libraries: TinyMCE 4.1.3, MediaElement 2.15, jQuery 1.11.1.
WordPress 4.0 is a solid update and I already updated all of my websites to it without any issues. It brings lots of usability and visual enhancements that I am sure many people will like.
As the WordPress team said: “This release brings you a smoother writing and management experience we think you’ll enjoy.” I can totally vouch for that, give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Don’t be afraid to upgrade to WordPress 4.0 and share with me your experience down in the comments.