WordPress 4.0: What’s new

wordpress 4.0: what's new

WordPress has announced the release of the version 4.0, and in continuing with the theme of honouring the Jazz greats, its been called “Benny”, after the “King of Swing” Benny Goodman. Its clear that this version is all about making content management and publication easier, and workflows more seamless. Let’s see how the internet’s most popular content management system just got better.

wordpress 4.0 "benny"

Embedded media in posts

When you’re struggling to meet a deadline to get a post out, there’s nothing worse than hitting ‘Publish’ only to discover that all of the media items are incorrectly formatted and the layout isn’t at all how you’d envisioned it. This can be a particular hassle for non HTML savvy users. Now when you add media to posts, the content will appear directly in the post. This includes things like Tweets and YouTube and Vimeo links. So now you can click ‘Publish’ with confidence.    

wordpress 4.0 "benny"

The best media library interface yet

This UI has received a massive overhaul. No more multi-page libraries that required scrolling back and forth between pages to find one specific image that you just can’t locate. Now media is in one continuous display with a grid layout similar to many popular desktop image management application that most users would already be familiar with. And by simply clicking on an image you can see all necessary media management info fields, such as title, caption, atl text and basic tech specs like file type and size. Better still, video and audio files can played directly through the library, and doesn’t require opening external or third party applications. 

wordpress 4.0 "benny"

Scrolling toolbars

If you’re like me, when you’re publishing content you want all your tools ready at hand without having to scroll back up to the top, which has long been a bit of an annoyance in WordPress when writing lengthy articles. This has all changed with subtle refinements of the layout of the “Add New Post” screen. So now, no matter where in the article you happen to be working, the toolbar remains at the top, and the publishing bar remains on the side for quick and easy access. 

Plugins directory overhaul

This new feature is my personal favourite. Plugins are what gives WordPress so much power and functionality, but despite this the plugin directory has always been pretty underwhelming. The user interface is bland and often more time is spent on external developers sites to find out further details about a particular plugin instead of within the actual directory. This has all changed with the layout now feeling like an actual store. Now, when you click on a plugin you can see a description, installation details, change logs and reviews all with their own tabs. There’s also a sidebar for every plugin displaying tech specs, a link to the developer and a breakdown on user ratings. A massive win for both users seeking new plugins and developers wanting to show off their creations. 

wordpress 4.0 "benny"

There are also plenty of more changes behind the scenes with Benny, but the ones mentioned above are the ones that will stand out the most once you’re updated. In my opinion, this is what happens when a development team listens to the needs of their users. While these changes are new and exciting right now I can see in the not too distant future WordPress users everywhere asking themselves how they ever got on without them. Finally these “nice-to-haves” are finally something we have, and if you’re new to WordPress, there’s never been a better time to get on board. 

Prior to publishing this article I was able to successfully update several WordPress sites all running 3.9 with no issues, including using the new WordPress management tools integrated into Plesk 12. For customers on our Managed WordPress service, this latest update will be rolled out to you in the coming weeks. 


*Image Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Goodman 

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James Lake

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