Benny Goodman was a famous jazz clarinet player from the early-to-mid 20th century – there’s a good chance you’ve heard some of his music in the background of old-time video. Now, alongside his fame in music, he’s the namesake for the latest version of WordPress.
Despite the round number, WordPress 4.0 doesn’t rock the boat in the same way 3.9 did. There are plenty of updates (419 tickets closed on the development of 4.0), but they don’t jump out at you the way the changes to the user interface did. What the improvements do, however, is help make the content management experience in WordPress much smoother and easier to operate.
What’s new in WordPress 4.0?
Improved Media Management
The media library and photo management experience have been overhauled. All uploads to your platform will now be accessible in a seamless grid (think Pinterest), and more information will be available, reducing the search for the perfect photo and easing the hunt for images which still need to be optimized.
Changes to Content Editor
The content editor now expands to the length of your content, instead of forcing you to scroll. It’s the little things.
Plugin Library Optimization
The plugin search feature received a face-lift, which will make it easier and more useful to search for plugins within your own site instead of going somewhere else.
Dynamic Content Embedding
You now can embed videos and dynamic content from sites such as Twitter, YouTube, TED, Flickr, and more, simply by copying and pasting a URL instead of an embed code. You can see the full list of supported embeds here.
Before you update WordPress to 4.0…
WordPress 4.0 is a major core release update, so you will have to trigger the update from your dashboard instead of relying on it to happen automatically (a feature introduced in WordPress 3.7). Even though this isn’t as intrusive as updates in the past, it’s always possible for things to go wrong when blindly updating your WordPress install.
Before you update WordPress, be sure to cover your bases:
- Backup your website
- Backup your database
- Confirm plugin compatibility
For security and usefulness, we recommend updating to the latest version when you feel comfortable. If you find that you’re stuck, or have a question, don’t hesitate to give us a call or email.