This release is code-named “Benny” in honor of jazz legend Benny Goodman, and saw a record number of contributors during this cycle — 275 volunteers from all around the world.
New features in WordPress 4.0…
Here’s a quick rundown of the new features we think you’ll love in this version…
Better Support for Languages
For years, WordPress has supported localization — running the WordPress dashboard in other languages. But until now, the process has been confusing and beyond the reach of most beginners. Thankfully, that’s now ancient history, because WordPress 4.0 presents you with a choice of languages during the installation process, making it a breeze to start using WordPress in whatever language you prefer!
Support for i18n has been expanded and improved throughout other areas of WordPress as well, making it easier than ever to use WordPress in other languages.
New Media Grid View
The Media Library now includes a gorgeous, endless grid view that allows you to browse your uploaded images more easily than ever. Plus, the new details preview (shown below) makes viewing and editing your media files a snap.
Better Plugin Discovery and Search
There are now more than 30,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory, and it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your needs. WordPress 4.0 makes this easier with an improved search and browsing experience. Plus, search results will return plugins translated into your language first!
Post Editor Improvements
The editor has been revamped in WordPress 4.0, and now automatically expands to fit longer content as you write. And if you frequently write longer posts, you’ll love the way the formatting toolbar now “sticks” to the top of the editor while you scroll up and down the page, ensuring your editing tools are always visible!
Real Preview of Embedded Video and More!
Finally, you can simply paste a YouTube or Vimeo URL on a new line in your post, and instantly preview it directly in the editor! It even works with Tweet URLs. Say goodbye to the ambiguous grey box; now embedding is a more accurate experience. The functional preview of your embedded content saves you time and enables you to preview precisely what your content will look like before hitting the publish button!
Plus more changes under the hood…
As always, there are also dozens of bug fixes and tiny improvements that you may never see, but provide more options and flexibility for plugin and theme developers. These include:
New Customizer Panel API — The new Customizer API now allows plugin and theme developers to add contexts, panels, and more controls to the Customizer.
More oEmbed Providers — Auto-embeds now support more services than ever before. You can now embed videos from CollegeHumor, playlists from YouTube, and TED talks. Check out all of the embeds that WordPress now supports.
Updated External Libraries — TinyMCE 4.1.3, jQuery 1.11.1, and MediaElement 2.15
SSL Improvements — You’ve probably heard that Google is assigning (slightly) higher rank to sites that use secure, encrypted HTTPS connections to transmit pages and other data. WordPress now takes a smarter approach to enforcing SSL.
For a complete list of what’s new, check out the official page on the WordPress Codex.
As always, our WordPress 101 videos are already updated for 4.0!
As we’ve done with every release since WordPress 2.7 in 2008, we began updating our video tutorial series as soon as WordPress 4.0 hit the “Release Candidate” phase of development and testing. This means we’re able to release our updated videos the same day the newest version of WordPress makes its official debut, ensuring you’re already up to date with the latest improvements in WordPress!
HINT: Parts 4, 10, 11, and 17 highlight the newest features!
The official release video…
So, what’s your favorite new feature?
If you’ve upgraded your WordPress site already, what’s your favorite feature so far? Feel free to share in the comments below…