On April 12, 2016, WordPress released version 4.5, “Coleman”, named for jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Aimed at streamlining the WordPress experience, version 4.5 is the first major WordPress release of the year, and is available for download on the WordPress site and for update via the WordPress dashboard.
Theme Logo Support
Until now, WordPress users could only upload a custom logo by running a theme that supported custom logo uploads. In version 4.5, WordPress moves this functionality to the core, adding logo support for those users with themes supporting logos, allowing users to set the logo for their site via the customizer.
Responsive Preview in Customizer
Considering the widely varied conditions under which today’s websites are viewed, WordPress 4.5 introduces device previewer buttons that allow users to preview responsive versions of the website from the customizer. Device icons appear at the bottom of the customizer, allowing users to preview desktop, mobile, and tablet versions of their website right from within WordPress, eliminating the need to use the actual devices to preview how your website might look.
Enhanced Shortcuts in Visual Editor
WordPress 4.5 improves the writing experience in the visual editor, with some enhancements to the inline text shortcuts that were introduced in version 4.3 to allow users to quickly format content using simple shortcuts. Version 4.5 includes an update to the insert link shortcut (CTRL + K), replacing the previous (distracting) insert link popup with an inline insert link field that allows users to simply type in the URL and not worry about having to close a popup when they are done. WordPress 4.5 also introduces more inline text shortcuts, including inserting three or more dashes to add a horizontal line, and enclosing text in backticks to turn it into code. For users who don’t wish to use these shortcuts, this feature can be disabled.
Login in Using Email
Many online services (ie. Facebook, Twitter, etc) allow users to login using an email address. Where some WordPress users have already implemented a plugin that allows this, version 4.5 eliminates this need by introducing the ability to login using either their username or email address. Plugins that previously provided this functionality can now safely be deactivated.
Optimized Image Generation Performance
WordPress 4.4 introduced responsive images, providing users with smaller screens with images more appropriate for their screen. Not only does this feature improve website performance on smaller screens, it also saves users money on data plans. In version 4.5, this feature gets even better, with enhanced image generation, loading images up to 50% faster with no noticeable loss of quality.
Improved Moderate Comment Screen
Comment moderation is an important part of the WordPress experience, necessary for combating comment spam on WordPress sites. Version 4.5 cleans up the comment moderation screen, making it more user-friendly, recognizing plain HTML formatting within a comment, and allowing users to edit comments before approving them.
The first major WordPress release of 2016, version 4.5 provides both bug fixes and some great enhancements, as always working to increase the ease of the user experience. Version 4.5 further adapts to the ever-growing importance of responsive websites, enabling WordPress users to create sites that work well for today’s wide-ranging users, who access websites from many different devices. As with previous versions, 4.5 aims to make WordPress more user-friendly than ever before, considering the user’s valuable time by making things quicker and easier to accomplish. As always, WordPress is dedicated to making the user experience better and better with each release, and they’ve succeeded once again.