What Do You Want to See in WordPress 4.4?

Scott Taylor, who is leading the development cycle for WordPress 4.4, published a post on the Make WordPress Core site asking people what they’d like to see in WordPress 4.4. The post has generated a number of comments from the community. Some of the most popular suggestions include:

  • Fields API
  • Term Meta
  • Shortcake UI
  • Ticket 31467 Images should default to not linking
  • RICG Responsive Images
  • Posts 2 Posts

Most of the items suggested are at various stages of development and there’s no guarantee any of them will make it into WordPress 4.4. However, the comments provide insight into what a lot of developers want in WordPress.

If there’s a ticket, feature, or plugin you’d like to see in WordPress 4.4, please leave a comment on the post.


81 responses to “What Do You Want to See in WordPress 4.4?”

  1. While I love a lot of the awesome ideas, I hope that we’ll see term meta at some point. This is a feature that’s been holding back a ton of developers for years. I get feature requests several times a week for things that would easily be solved with a term meta table.

    For client sites, it’s easy enough to install one of the available term meta plugins. But, for publicly-distributed plugins, there’s not going to be a good answer until it’s in core.

    • +1

      Also: the ability to do multi-select removal of menu items, or something else that makes it less tedious to remove them in batches. Two clicks per item isn’t the end of the world, but the “remove” button is way too far from the expand button, and at a diagonal no less. Multiple removes requires zig-zagging the cursor across the screen, plus a non-trivial amount of waiting for the expand/delete transitions to finish before being able to locate the next click target.

  2. My only request is to *NOT* listen to people who demand putting font, font size and other theme-related stuff into the visual editor.

    I only read one commenter who mentioned this, but she insisted on it to the point where I thought she felt personally offended that she couldn’t change the font size in the editor.

  3. I’d prefer to see term meta most of all. I maintain two plugins which make use of term meta, and I currently have to ask users to install a taxonomy meta plugin for that functionality to work. I’d much rather something were implemented in core to handle that. Or short of that, a plugin which is recommended by the core team would be fine too, just to prevent us plugin developers from implementing multiple different routes to handling taxonomy meta.

    • Not to come off negatively, but I disagree with this feature request. Simply due to the fact that WordPress needs to stay as trim as possible. I feel adding site specific features is how WP ends up becoming a bloated behemoth of code, leading to performance issues.

      I’m a bit naive on the subject, but what’s wrong with other wiki platforms?

  4. From a backend admin perspective, I’d like to see
    1. allowing using CDN as a backup image URL for post images in case the original images fails to load, to put it this way 1 prime image url & 1 secondary url. This way will also help users from different regions to load post faster based on their ip address, e.g. US visitor load the local images, China visitor load the Chinese-based CDN images.
    2. Better default script of cron.php, for a high-traffic site with loads of plugins, cron.php hooks up with every plugins on each visit and eats up much of the queues on CPU usage. I didn’t notice this until one of my tech-savvy user said my site began to load slowly and did a manual twist on cron.php. WP should put sites traffic into consideration and rewrite the rules. Just updated to V4.4, as I checked the Cron it is the same old.

    • I’m sorry to tell you that there is no way either of your requests goes into the core. They sound more like what your client needs and not what’s good for the community. Specifically the CDN thing, does every wordpress website use a CDN? I bet CDN using wordpress websites won’t make upto 5% of all the wordpress websites.

      P.S. Um, actually, v4.4 is not out yet, not sure how you updated to it

      P.P.S I know v4.4 was a typo but I waned to say “Um, actually”.

      • Yeah Should be V4.3.
        Thanks for telling me this is a developer-centric post and my personal request are fairly my own preference, indeed. They are easy to tweak, just wish WP could include it so user don’t have to do the tweaks after each updates. I use CDN exclusively for image heavy sites, the way WP generates various thumbs is just not neat.
        P.S. Um, actually, ‘waned’ caught my eyes but I got what you meant ‘wanted’
        P.P.S I know waned was a typo but I still wanted to say ‘Um, actually’ : D

  5. 1. Term and Taxonomy Meta Fields (Especially Featured Images)
    2. Ability to group sidebars (or widgetized areas) or create separate pages (or tabs) to better separate sidebars.
    3. Two up-to-date built-in meta fields that update with Page View Count (One for Google Analytics and one for WordPress.com Analytics)

  6. I also vote for Term Meta. It would be a big plus for developers. And it keeps the consistency of data types in WordPress (post – post meta, comment – comment meta, user – user meta and now term – term meta).

    I also vote for minimum requirements of WordPress is PHP 5.3. Currently, it’s 5.2 which lacks lots of features and bad for performance.

  7. Removing default linking would be a quick win. REST API seems close. Personally, I’d like to see responsive images make in. Shortcake UI would be nice. I haven’t used it, but I imagine the mountain of testing against a myriad of shortcode data would be huge.

    • Honestly as a developer, I feel that WordPress should simply stop trying to add structured data by default. Much of the data is dependent on the content of the website. SEO data should be left for themes and plugins to handle. Themes and plugins tend to better suited for contextual data instead of using very general data that may not have relevance to the website.

  8. My word — it’s 2015. Native content type creation and relations, please. How is this even something that needs to be requested? I don’t know of a single modern business-related website that isn’t needing these features to operate with any manageable scalability or logical organization of content. WordPress needs to grow up and move on from the whole “blog” identity crisis it’s had since day one.

  9. The ability to turn OFF auto updates WITHOUT an extra plugin.
    I like doing my own updates thank you very much.
    These constant updates are a pain, beginning to wonder why I even stay with WordPress.
    The last one completely destroyed my site

  10. So many of the requests are developer-centric, but I’d like to see a lot of improvement to something users encounter on WordPress sites every day…. comments. We shouldn’t have to switch to a 3rd-party commenting system to get good functionality. We’re in WordPress 4.x… this should have been something taken care of in the 1.x days.

      • Like the comment system here. It’s, at least, using WordPress.com or a 3rd party to notify for responses (which some blogs don’t setup). Otherwise, what good is commenting? But, the notifications don’t take you back to the conversation, which is a problem for busy blogs. And, when I leave this reply, there isn’t any indication it’s successful and I’ll see it after it’s moderated. I might leave a dozen more thinking it didn’t post. I could go on and on…

    • Why that? I am satisfied with the WordPress commenting system except for the missing customization for the recent comments widget!

      I agree very much with Steve Wilkinson who says that many of the requests are developer-centric, and to Aman Deep Singh who says that a lot of requests sound more like what some clients need, and not like what is good for the community.

      • Just to clarify… what’s good for the developers is probably good for the community, ultimately, as it will enable them to make better plugins and themes, etc.

        My point was more that it seems like a crude comment system was initially built, and then everyone moved on.

        Regarding the recent comments widget, Ronald, I ran across some code a while back that allowed exclusion of trackbacks and pingbacks…. but I haven’t used it in a while (you can probably find it via a Google search). I tend to just delete them (trackbacks and pingbacks), which takes care of it for me. Do you mean more customization than that?

        Anyway, I think I’m moving to Disqus for my sites, as I’m kind of sick of waiting. But, unfortunately, I often have to leave comments on sites that use WordPress comment system, which is the main driver of my complaints…. as an actual reader of blogs who leaves comments, it’s a major pain.

  11. I am a total non-tech person, but use WordPress for my genealogy blog. I hate the new feature that, like Word, automatically adds a number to the next item in a list of numbered items. I create a list of favorite posts during each week, separated into categories. I had been numbering the items (and revising those numbers) as new posts were added to the list. The new update automatically adds in the next sequential number, but I can’t click and delete an incorrect number without either deleting the whole item and starting over or having the number become part of the link to the blog post in the list. It’s very, very annoying. I guess I won’t number anything anymore until I finish the list at the end of the week. There is also some kind of new blue box that appears at the same time to edit the text, not the number, and that is also very annoying. Can these features be turned off by clicking somewhere? I know nothing about code, HTML, or any kind of programming.

    • They are supposed to be new things to ‘help’ you… which they probably will for a lot of people. But, I agree, you should be able to turn them off (if you can’t). I’ve heard that you can just hit the backspace once when it creates the bullet, etc. and it will go back to non-auto-formating for that element. But, still annoying if you’re doing lots of that kind of stuff and don’t want it to ‘help.’

  12. Thank you for your answer, Steve, but I didn’t mean deleting track- or ping-backs at all! If I would, I could manage this within my dashboard.

    I do a lot of self pinging to related posts because in my experience it is more helpful for readers than the related or similar posts plugins I tried (and deleted again: I always wondered how they come to their results!). Of course, I want those links after the posts but not in my recent comments widget! Understand?

    Some time ago, I found some code to prevent this but using it messed up my whole blog! Fortunately, I could restore it. So, I think it is not a task for the users to search for extra code but for the WordPress developers to support them in not needing any extra code for (in my eyes) normal customization possibilities.

    • Thanks for the clarification, Ronald. I understand what you mean now, but it is a type of request I’ve never heard of before or wouldn’t have thought of. :) The part I’m not understanding, is why you don’t just add your own ‘related links’ to the end of the article (i.e.: just add the article title or a sentence about the article and link it). IMO, that would be more clear to the reader anyway, than a ping-back comment (which often appear more like spam).

      Re: adding code – Agreed. You do have to be careful and do some testing with that kind of stuff, or hire someone to add it, etc. If that kind of thing is wanted enough, often a plugin will be developed for it. The discussion here is more about what should be added to core and why.

      My argument is that the comment system, in general, is sub-par for a platform primarily used for publishing content and inviting discussion. And, it seems improving it has been left to 3rd parties, which creates non-uniform, ‘clunky’ behavior, or outright replacement (i.e.: Disqus… which comes with other concerns).

      My conclusion seems to be that the people actually working on WordPress must not very actively use it (in terms of posting many comments on various WordPress blogs around the Web). Otherwise, the flaws would become quickly obvious.

  13. I would like proper timezone support. On one side for the wp users to be able to indicate the timezone they are in. On the other hand for plugins : it is ridiculous that wp allows you to set the timezone but still forces utc in the backend ( even if your php.ini says different ), forcing plugin writers to use all kind of tricks or classes to make sure the correct timezone is used while needing to avoid the use of default_timezone_set

  14. I also agree to a better interface for custom posts (or an interface at all), and terms. Complete with UI, options, settings and proper documentation.

    I would also like checkboxes to switch on or off various features, such as the new Markdown filter.

  15. I really doubt any of the features in the original post will make it into 4.4, with the exception of the “images should default to not linking” ticket, which is fairly easy to fix. My prediction is: more customizer features, a reorganization of the top admin bar, a new twentysomething theme, the removal of a feature that will piss some people off, and a few layers of paint.

  16. I’m not a coder or an overly tech-y person, just your average Joe WordPress user, but I would really Really REALLY like to see the Plug Ins page go back to the way it was before, before all those useless graphics started taking up so much room on the page. So many of them are just pretty pictures, and the ones that ARE actual logos really don’t make me want to select them over the ones that are just pretty pictures, since I look more at the ratings and number of users anyway if I’m looking for a particular plugin.

    And definitely miss the ability to click on the link to the “Newest” plug-ins that USED to be on the same line as the “Featured” “Popular” “Recommended” & “Favorites” that disappeared several WP versions back. Hate having leave the wordpress backend when I want to see what new plugins have been released, but at least I’ve saved a link in my browser directly to “wordpress.org/plugins/browse/new/” when I want to see what new plug in might have been released that I didn’t realize was just the thing my site was looking for. Still would be easier to do that from within WP though like it USED to be.

    • Agreed! The new plugins page is a bit more pretty (if you consider a bunch of generic colored squares prettier… or maybe hope to a future with proper logos and such), but it’s far less useful to anyone adding plugins to their site. That said, if they were to add back in a few more bits of info (version number, # of users, etc.), would that fix the problem? (The only downside then, I guess would be just the space taken up by the new format.)

  17. Top items?

    Comment control – comments really need to have an option of “no comments on this site at all”, this is particularly relevant to corporate information websites or to bloggers who do not directly invite comments on their postings (sending discussion instead to twitter or facebook, example). This really should include disabling all of the comment direct methods for posting comments, possibly using htaccess to kill access to things like wp-comment.

    Inactive plug ins and themes access restrictions – Via htaccess or similar, make it so that plugins and themes which are not active on a site are blocked or diabled so that they cannot be accessed directly. This would take away the incentive for script kiddies to scan wordpress sites looking for exploits in old themes and such.

    Treating tool as plugins – There are often packages which are used in themes and plug ins, such as sliders, which may appears numerous times on sites. These things seems particularly prone to security issues, and moreover, because they appear repeatedly they require that all themes using them are spotting and fixed. These code libraries really should be moved out of the theme packages and turned into “required service code” and treated similarly to a plug in. In this manner, if a slider has a security problem, then you need a SINGLE update to fix it, rather than having to try to figure out where it was used.

    Login restriction by IP / Country – in an attempt to lower the brute force access attempts and to better secure installations, I think that IP / country restrictions on logging into Wp should be part of the admin panel, or perhaps set in wp-config. Most WP sites are single admin or single source admin (everyone in a given office or workplace, example), and making it so they are the only ones who can log in would be a big move to secure WP sites.

    Fuller support for Cloudflare and similar services – Many of the answers I get to tech questions are “block them in htacecss”. Yet, if you use cloudflare or similar caching services, blocking things in htaccess is just not possible as most users arrive from a small list of IPs as a sort of proxy. Cloudflare server tools do allow you to read in php the actual user address and country code, but there is no current support in WP to allow that data to be used throughout wordpress (ie, comment IP address, IP address for accessing the site, etc).

    Access logging – Simple access log to allow you to see the IP address, date and time, and other information related to every successful login to your WP site.

    Can you tell that I am all about securing stuff? On an average day I see tens to hundreds of thousands of attempts to log in to or spam wordpress sites that I maintain. The current options are not flexible enough to handle sites that don’t have any comments, have a single administrator, have a single source of updates, and so on. The nature of WP is open to everyone, but that does seem to create some headaches.

    • Comment control, I do not understand that: in the dashboard, there is already an option to disable comments in general!

      Inactive plug ins and themes access restrictions: okay.

      Login restriction by IP / Country: what, if you are on holidays?

      • Ronald, there is actually no way to just turn comments off period. Rather, it’s a series of questions that more and more narrowly restricts comments. You can disable comments on new posts (but not as easily on pages),but the comment system itself is still in place, and still functioning – and still a huge target for comment spammers. They don’t check to see if their comments post, they just slam comments at you.

        “Login restriction by IP / Country: what, if you are on holidays?”

        Ummm, add the country you are going to? ;)

    • WordPress login – block by country/IP: Ineffective and potentially giving a false sense of security. If users rely on this, they are already letting hackers/bots from unwanted IPs get to a point where they cause WordPress or other server side code to run, be it to attempt crack login, exploit known vulnerabilities, or run code to cause Denial of Service.

      You mention that most sites are “single admin” – so why not password protect your client’s wp admin directory? This will not only prevent the login script running, but is also highly effective in mitigating against many Denial of Service attacks as it only results in a response of a “few” bytes and NO server time processing WordPress login or other “admin” scripts.

      If you must restrict by IP then, as you mention has been suggested to you – do it at the perimeter gate, this means htaccess (for most) . If you want to do it for selected countries you can use either country IP range deny OR allow blocks, and 403 before any scripts are run. If you’re using Cloudflare then you can tell Cloudflare which countries to block saving your resources

    • I suppose it was somewhat useful in terms of knowing a bit of something about how WordPress is used (or, maybe how directly involved WP-using-people are with WP). Aside from that, IMO, it was a waste of my time and theirs. If you don’t ask the right questions, you’re not going to get the right answers. Seemed more like a source for some stat-fodder for a keynote to me.


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