WordPress 4.0 - What's New?
Update: WordPress 4.1 has now launched, read our review of the latest version of WordPress [here](/blog/wordpress-4.1-whats-new)
On August 27thWordPress will launch their next major system upgrade, version 4.0. This latest update brings with it valuable improvements to browsing and post editing, and introduces a host of new features alongside all important bug fixes.
But what exactly can you expect from the latest version of the CMS? Well, I took some time to delve into the beta version, to discover more about some of the new features WordPress 4.0 has to offer:
Post Editor Improvements
The way in which you move around the post editor has significantly improved. The top and side menus are now sticky and the separate content box scrollbar has been removed, meaning the whole page now moves together as one.
In previous versions, you'd only discover if your video content was working as expected after you pushed your post live; now you can preview YouTube or Vimeo videos whilst editing your posts in the visual editor, so there’s no chance of accidentally posting any broken links.
Changing How You Browse
WordPress 3.9 brought some alterations to the theme browsing UI; 4.0 takes this one step further. Plugins are now displayed in a grid, with an increased number of filters lending to a more accurate search result. A star rating of each plugin is now included as a ranking signal within the search algorithm, so those with poor ratings should drop towards the bottom of your results list.
There’s also a grid view option to help make navigating your ‘Media Library’ easier. Selecting a file opens it in a full size modal window, letting you add and edit details like the file name, description and alt text. The new drag and drop feature makes adding lots of files to the Library much faster than before, no longer do you have to upload files individually.
Colours Within TinyMCE
4.0 heralds the return of a much missed feature: customised colours! WordPress’ built-in content editor, TinyMCE, once again lets you tailor the colour of your website’s text, background and link, so they can all exactly match your branding.
Under the Bonnet
It’s not just the front end that’s received a makeover; there’s some major upgrades behind the scenes as well. Any changes to actions or filter hooks are now documented, in case you make any errors whilst working on the back end; and thanks to a lot of changes to the ‘API’ you can also add your own panels within the ‘Customizer’ feature.
All database connections are now more resistant to potential faults; whilst there’s also increased compatibility with PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6.
WordPress 4.0 will be available to install using the Cloud's 1 click auto installer shortly after it launches. For all existing WordPress users you will be prompted to update to 4.0 when you login after the launch date, in the mean time if you are interested in trying the beta for yourself then it’s available to download now; however because it’s still in development we only recommend trying it out if you’re a developer using a test site.