After nearly four months of development, WordPress 4.1 “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington, is available for download. Led by John Blackbourn, 4.1 contains several improvements such as a new default theme, an improved distraction free writing experience, and plugin recommendations.
Twenty Fifteen is a two-column theme with a focus on content. In sharp contrast to Twenty Fourteen, Twenty Fifteen is light in color with a left hand sidebar and content in the right column. It’s designed with a mobile first approach and looks great on various screen sizes. Twenty Fifteen looks best when using large, featured images. It also ships with five different color schemes, ranging from dark to pink that are accessible from within the theme customizer.
When you browse to the Add New plugins screen, you’ll see a new Recommended tab. Recommendations are based on data from thousands of WordPress sites about plugins that are commonly used together. It’s similar to an online store’s “people who bought this also bought this” feature. Because of the strict data set used, plugins that are 3-4 years old or older won’t be recommended.
Improved Distraction Free Writing
When you enable Distraction Free Writing mode, the surrounding interface disappears as you type leaving important actions and menu items just a mouse movement away. This mode minimizes distractions without having to go through a clunky transition to access the admin menu or meta boxes. To bring back the menu and meta boxes, move the mouse cursor to the left or right of the editor.
Log Out of Every Session With One Button
WordPress 4.1 includes a new Session UI. The UI shows up on the profile page when WordPress detects more than one active session. When pressed, the button logs out of every session except for the active one. This is useful for those times when users might have forgotten to log off from a laptop, phone, or public computer.
Inline Image Editing
When editing an image using the Visual editor, a set of inline editing tools appear above the image. These tools provide a quick and easy way to align an image or access additional editing options.
oEmbed Support Added For Vine
Choose a Different Language at Any Time
You can now choose a language for your site at any time by visiting the General Settings screen. Choosing a different language installs the required language pack.
4.1 Represents Continued Improvement
WordPress 4.1 is the product of dedicated developers and 283 contributors. The ability to choose a language without having to touch a line of code is a great improvement. The default theme is refreshing compared to Twenty Fourteen and users have an entire year to manipulate the design. While some users will see the new Distraction Free Writing mode as a distraction, others will enjoy its convenience.
This is one of the first major WordPress releases in a long time that doesn’t have a video walk through. To take its place, here is a video featuring songs from Dinah Washington in 1954.
What do you think of the new default theme and will you try out the new Distraction Free Writing mode? Let us know what you think of 4.1 in the comments.