On September 4, 2014, WordPress released version 4.0 (aka “Benny”, for Jazz great Benny Goodman), offering the release for download on the WordPress site and for update via the WordPress dashboard.
Besides providing hundreds of behind-the-scenes program refinements and improvements, WordPress version 4.0 also includes some great new features aimed at enhancing the writing and editing experience and improving the overall WordPress management experience. The following list summarizes these useful features and enhancements.
1. More Intuitive Writing & Editing Experience
The WordPress visual editor has been improved and enhanced to save the user time and effort. Abandoning the scrollbar that appeared within the content editor, the editor now expands to fit the content as its being written. Also, the implementation of a fixed toolbar and publishing tools keeps the formatting and publishing tools in view at all times, removing the need for unnecessary scrolling.
2. Expanded, Seamless Media Embed Options
Version 4.0 introduces a visual embedding experience. When links to YouTube are pasted on a new line in the content editor, the link instantly becomes an embedded video, allowing the user to preview their media content instantly, without having to navigate off the content editor page. With Version 4.0, WordPress has also expanded its embedding capabilities to include videos from TED talks, Mixcloud, CollegeHumor.com, Issuu, Polldaddy’s short URL format, and YouTube playlist URLs.
3. New Media Library Grid View
The new grid view allows users to explore thumbnails in their Media Library in an endless, scrolling grid. Clicking a thumbnail opens the updated Details view, which allows users to caption, edit, and update their media within the Media Library itself. Video and audio files can now be played from within the Details view, which also features new scrolling buttons that allow users to move back and forth through the detail pages of each media file in their Library instead of having to close the individual file details and return to the Library list to view details on another file.
4. Updated Plugin Browser
Plugin options can now be explored with ease. Displayed as cards on a grid, with a quick summary, average user rating, and number of downloads, the user can also click through to reviews available right from their dashboard. WordPress 4.0 also introduces new metrics for an improved plugin search function that further enhances the plugin exploration and install process.
Offering some great enhancements for WordPress writers and editors, and improved management tools that all users will appreciate, “Benny” provides a more intuitive, time-saving user experience that will more efficiently serve their wide range of users.