WordPress 4.0 “Benny” was released today, named for American jazz and swing musician Benny Goodman, also known as the “King of Swing.”
Development for 4.0 kicked off at the end of April, led by Helen Hou-Sandí. This release includes hundreds of refinements and a few brand new features, culminating in a more polished media and editing experience. You’ll also find some exciting new tools for developers. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new.
New Media Grid View
The WordPress media library has a beautiful new default grid view. When you click on an item, the attachment details will launch a preview that allows you to easily edit and navigate items in your library. Media is now easier to manage with the “bulk select” option which enables you to delete multiple items at once.
Improved Writing Experience
Composing in WordPress has never been better. The visual editor now expands to fit your content, instead of the awkward scrollbar you used to see within the content area. The editing experience is smoother with a fixed toolbar as you scroll, which means your tools will follow you as your content expands.
WordPress 4.0 adds oEmbed support for TED talks, Mixcloud, CollegeHumor.com, Issuu, Polldaddy’s short URL format, YouTube playlist URLs. The visual editor now displays previews of media added via on oEmbed URL. The video above is included on the 4.0 about page, demonstrating oEmbed previews in action.
Refreshed Plugin Install and Search Experience
WordPress 4.0 makes it much easier to search for plugins in the admin. The plugin installer now displays plugin as cards in a grid view. Plugin authors can add custom icons that will appear in the installer. Clicking on a listing launches the plugin details modal with a description, ratings, reviews, compatibility information and more.
Improved Language Support
What’s new under the hood?
WordPress 4.0 also includes an exciting array of new developer goodies. Here are a few of the highlights:
This release adds a new Panels API that enables developers to group customizer controls into sections. It also includes support for contextual controls that will be visible or hidden based on the page the user is viewing. The improved customizer offers a wider array of controls and parameters that allow developers to extend it for more varied uses beyond themes.
WordPress 4.0 includes a more powerful ORDER BY argument for developers working with WP_Query. Developers can now pass an array to WP_Query as the value for orderby for more flexible and precise querying.
This major release includes updates for libraries used in WordPress, including TinyMCE 4.1.3, jQuery 1.11.1, MediaElement 2.15.
You can find the full list of all the changes on the 4.0 release page, which was created by volunteers from the docs team.
WordPress 4.0 is the result of the tireless efforts of 275 contributors. If code is poetry, then this release is a skillfully-written sonnet that resolves problem spots and introduces new tools that users will love. Once you update, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without these improvements. Visit your WordPress site and navigate to Dashboard > Update to get 4.0 and take advantage of all the shiny new features.