Quick Overview of New Features Coming in WordPress 4

The WordPress 4 is major version upgrade of most popular blogging/CMS software. It’ll avaiable on August 27, 2014 but we can take a look at What’s new features will comming in WordPress 4 by testing the beta versions. 4.0 is due out next month but I’m glad to report that all the features I was excited about made their way into the final release.
So what new features should we be expecting in WordPress 4?

Update: WordPress 4.0 has arrived!
The release of 4.0 — honorably named “Benny” after jazz and swing musician Benny Goodman — was led by Helen Hou-Sandí, with the help of a whopping 275 contributors, which according to the announcement is a new high.
Here are some of the highlighted features:

  • Managing your media uploads in the library is more seamless than ever — now displaying media in a beautiful, endless grid.
  • Embedding content on WordPress is now an effortless task, and offers an expansive selection of supported default embeds.
  • There have been meaningful tweaks made to the autosave process.
  • The editor has been improved to fit your content as you write for optimized content creation.
  • There’s a new plugin browser, which makes finding the right plugin both simple and convenient.
  • New playlist for audio and video has been added to the media uploader.
  • Copy and pasting written content from Microsoft Word is more seamless than ever before.

Selecting a language when you run the installation process.

WordPress 4 will now offer the option to install in a language other than US English via the initial installer.

Selecting a language when you run the installation process.
Selecting a language when you run the installation process.

The language you select will be enabled immediately so that the installation process is easier for those using languages other than English.

Media Library Grid View
Media Library Grid View

The Media Library now has a grid view in addition to the existing list view. You can switch it by clink on the icon on the top left screen.
Clicking on an item takes you into a modal where you can see a larger preview and edit information about that attachment (Title, alt tags, etc), and you can navigate between items right from the modal using the arrow keys without closing it.

Preview Embedded URLs

Previews of embedding via URLs in the visual editor and the Add media file from URL tab in the media modal.

  • Determine whether the URL is oEmbed-able, and if so, insert the appropriate shortcode into the post.
  • Create a corresponding attachment with something indicating that it’s a video in the post_mime_type field (even though we’re not really dealing with true MIME types). That way, we can query video attachments, agnostic of where the actual video file exists.

Improvements to the Post Editor

Now, WordPress’s “visual composer” is great.

WordPress 4 Improvements to the Post Editor
WordPress 4 Improvements to the Post Editor

The most prominent of these will be the menu with all the options (Bold, Italic, etc) will stick to the top of the browser window as you scroll down the page, thereby avoiding the need to have to scroll back up the page to get to these if you’re writing a long article. If I switch to Full Screen mode, I can access the toolbar by move and hover the mouse pointer on top of screen.
Yes! This is exactly what I would have wanted.
Some improvements to how your keyboard and cursor interact with TinyMCE View mode such as the gallery preview, oEmbed contents.

Theme Customiser Improvements

Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.

Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.
Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.

With this in place, more widget area sections could be shown at a time, and potentially make it easier to reorder widgets between sidebars as well, as right now it is a bit hacky how drag-and-drop support is implemented to move widgets between customizer sections, as normally only one section is open at a time in the accordion.

Improved Plugin Install Experience

WordPress 4 Install Plugins
WordPress 4 Install Plugins

WordPress is freshening up the plugin install experience. When searching for plugins and viewing details, you’ll see some early visual changes as well as more information.
Other Changes

  • Updated TinyMCE, which now includes better indentation for lists and the restoration of the color picker.
  • Cookies are now tied to a session internally, so if you have trouble logging in.
  • Various bug fixes (there were nearly 170 changes since last week).

Conclusions

I hope that this article helped give an overview of WordPress 4. To test WordPress 4.0, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”) or you can download the beta here.

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