Here you will find all of the WordPress updates in one place. I have been building websites on the WordPress platform for 9 years now and in that time I have seen an awful lot of change. The thing that stands out the most is that WordPress just gets better and better with age a bit like a good wine!
If you have a maintenance contract with me your site will have already been updated by the time you read this.
Otherwise please make sure you update your site straight away to keep it secure.
WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”
Theme Starter Content
When you see a theme advertised online it looks beautiful and then when installed it can look quite sad with all of the images and widgets missing. Now, to help give you a solid base to build from, themes can provide starter content that appears when you go to customize your brand new site. Visible icons appear to show you which parts of your site can be customized while live previewing. View big atmospheric videos as header images with the Twenty Seventeen theme.
PDF Thumbnail Previews
PDF documents used to upload into the media library and all show the same blank thumbnail. Now they will generate thumbnail images to make it much easier to manage and distinguish between your documents.
Dashboard in your language
Just because your site is in one language doesn’t mean that everybody helping manage it prefers that language for their admin. Add more languages to your site and a user language option will show up in your user’s profiles.
WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”
Here’s the video from WordPress …
Streamlined Updates for Plugins and Themes
Don’t lose your place: stay on the same page while you update, install, and delete your plugins and themes. Everything happens in the same screen.
The WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have on your machine, making it load faster and letting you feel more at home on whatever device you use. Previously WordPress used to load fonts from Google Fonts, risking slower page load speeds, not any more!
Inline Link Checker
Being able to add links inline since 4.5 below is great but if you made a broken link you should never know. Now WordPress will check your links as you add them and highlight them with a red dotted line to let you know they are broken.
As you type, WordPress saves your content to the browser. So if you lose your connection to the internet, you will not lose your work. I love this, the number of times I have lost work on a train does not bear thinking about.
WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”
Here are the highlights of WordPress 4.5 known as Coleman …
Inline link editor
It’s possible now to add links to your page text without needing to open a new window. Type the first few words of the title of a post or page and the intuitive interface will find it for you.
You can now upload your site logo directly to WordPress via Appearance » Customise. This is great because it gives users flexibility to change and update their logo themselves as required.
Mobile Responsive Checks
You can now check to see how your website looks on various devices directly through the customiser. That is good particularly if you don’t have all of the devices yourself.
WordPress just gets better and better.
WordPress 4.5 Coleman
WordPress 4.4 “Clifford”
Here are the highlights of the WordPress 4.4 update.
WordPress now takes a smarter approach to displaying appropriate image sizes on any device, ensuring a perfect fit every time. This is fantastic, there were so many arguments over how best to code images for different devices it was getting very hard to follow. Now it is all done for us, expertly.
I love this, embedding it’s all so easy now. You can embed videos, tweets, Instagram images, pretty much anything.
Plus the latest is that you can embed your posts on other WordPress sites. Simply drop a post URL into the editor and see an instant embed preview ….
WordPress 4.3 ‘Billie’
Here are the highlights and below is the detail. This was quite a major update.
Menus in the Customiser
Create your menu, update it, and assign it, all while live-previewing in the customizer. The streamlined customizer design provides a mobile-friendly and accessible interface. With every release, it becomes easier and faster to make your site just the way you want it.*
You can now build and update your navigation menu from within the Customiser interface, allowing you to preview any changes to your menu as and when you make them. I really like this feature, for a very long time Menus have been one of the most difficult things to manage. Users are going to find it much easier through the customiser. I think all of these advancements with the customiser will eventually lead to a complete front end editor for WordPress. Being able to login and edit your content in the live page, rather than the back-end admin.
Formatting shortcuts and Visual Editor Improvements
Your writing flow just got faster with new formatting shortcuts in WordPress 4.3. Use asterisks to create lists and number signs to make a heading.*
So how does that work? There’s a new set of formatting shortcuts:
Start a line with * or – to start a bulleted list;
Type 1. or 1) to start a numbered list;
Use > to start a block quote;
And use a series of # for header tags. ## for H2, ### for H3, #### for H4.
For those who love shortcut keys this is a real boon. It is so much easier to start a line with an asterisk or a dash to create a bulleted list. Putting in numbers with a full stop or a bracket after it now automatically starts a numbered list. I love the 2, 3 and 4 hashes to indicate which header tag you want to use, I will be using that a lot!
Site Icons – AKA Favicons
Site icons represent your site in browser tabs, bookmark menus, and on the home screen of mobile devices. Add your unique site icon in the customiser; it will even stay in place when you switch themes. Make your whole site reflect your brand.*
Navigate to Appearance > Customiser > Site Identity then head to the Site Icon section. You can either upload a new image or select an existing one from your WordPress Library. You can crop your uploaded image if you choose. When you’re done, you’ll be able to see your newly added site icon in your browser tab.
Keep your site more secure with WordPress’ improved approach to passwords. Instead of receiving passwords via email, you’ll get a password reset link. When you add new users to your site or edit a user profile, WordPress will automatically generate a secure password.*
This couldn’t come soon enough for me. People seriously underestimate the potential threat to their site if they don’t use a good strong password. Unfortunately, hackers will attempt to exploit any vulnerabilities. WordPress will no longer send you emails containing your password. If you forget your password, WordPress will instead send you a reset password link which will expire after 24 hours. I used to be lazy and use passwords that were easy to remember. I even use the same one in multiple places. Until I got hacked and lost my whole site. Never again!
- A smoother admin experience – Refinements to the list view across the admin make your WordPress more accessible and easier to work with on any device.
- Comments turned off on pages – All new pages that you create will have comments turned off. Keep discussions to your blog, right where they’re supposed to happen.
- Customize your site quickly – Wherever you are on the front-end, you can click the customize link in the toolbar to swiftly make changes to your site.
For developers the new stuff going on with the WordPress REST API is going to be amazing. Basically it means that we can display the contents of a WordPress site anywhere, not just within the WordPress website itself. This makes WordPress a content distribution platform, the possible applications are endless.
It just gets better and better!