On Tuesday, April 12th the newest version of WordPress went live. The update has been nicknamed “Coleman” to honor jazz musician Coleman Hawkins, the King of the Jazz saxophone. While WordPress 4.5 doesn’t do anything as dramatic as taking jazz from the world of Swing and into the realm of Be-Bop, it includes some great improvements that will save content creators, editors, and developers time when using the platform.
Streamlined Content Creation
If you create the content for your website, you know that the faster you can get both words and coding on the page, the sooner you can get that content up and running for the readers. In this version, WordPress has made a couple of seemingly minor tweaks that could save you tons of time and keep your momentum going when writing.
To begin with, adding inline links to text just got easier. In the visual editor, there is now a less obtrusive modal for adding hyperlinks so you can place links faster and “stay in the zone” with your writing. Just hit CTRL+K (Command+K on Mac) to bring it up. But don’t worry. The older, more extensive modal is still there. Just click the gear icon to bring that up.
And who couldn’t use more formatting shortcuts? You can now use a back tick (`) before and after content to display code, or add three or more dashes in a row to create a horizontal line.
Easier Testing and Previewing
Tired of hitting the refresh button to check out your newest changes? Problem solved! WordPress 4.5 allows a Selective Refresh, which creates a live preview for developers.
Version 4.5 also makes it easier to test your website once you’re ready to hit publish. Now, with just a few clicks, you can get a glimpse of how your page will appear on various size screens right there in the customizer. No need to dig out your tablet and mobile phone to test your latest changes.
Improved Branding and Graphic Features
Now adding a logo to your website theme is easier than ever. For themes that define a logo, there’s a new section in the customizer called “Site Identity” that allows you to add your logo with just a few clicks.
Additional improvements on the visual side of things include optimized image generation performance. You can now create image files that are up to 50% smaller without losing any noticeable quality. This will help you build more efficient and responsive pages.
Other Improvements Include:
Improved Comment Moderation
A visually-streamlined comment approval screen helps you manage comments more easily. In addition, comments pending approval can now be viewed in an editor.
Tired of forgetting your password? WordPress 4.5 now makes it easier to log in without it. Instead, you can type in your username and email address. Since you’re less likely to forget either of those nuggets of personal information, this feature makes for a smoother log-in experience.
Lastly, there are a few features that make life easy for developers, including:
- Embedded Templates
- Term Edit Page Changes, including the addition of wp-admin/term.php
But, Before You Update…
While WordPress 4.5 does have some great new features, we urge you to use caution when updating to the new version. It’s possible that an undiscovered bug or incompatibility with third-party plugins could put you in quite the pickle when you update. Functionality of your website could suffer. So before updating to a newer version, Vordik always recommends backing up your site’s database and files first. That way, you can just roll back to the previous version until a solution is found, no harm no foul. And if you can set up a staging environment for testing the new version, that’s even better
Need help implementing WordPress Version 4.5 on your site? Simply drop us a line, and our development team is here to help.