WordPress 4.1 “Dinah” Released

photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image
photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image

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

New Default Theme For 2015
New Default Theme For 2015

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.

Plugin Recommendations

Plugins Recommended To Me Based on Data of Sites with Similar Plugins Installed
Plugins Recommended To Me Based on Data of Sites with Similar Plugins Installed

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

Distraction Free Writing in WordPress 4.1
Distraction Free Writing in WordPress 4.1

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 Session UI
WordPress Session UI

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

Inline Image Editing Tools
Inline Image Editing Tools

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

WordPress 4.1 has oEmbed support for Vine which hosts short videos that continuously loop. Sharing a Vine is now as easy as copying and pasting the URL into the Visual editor.

Choose a Different Language at Any Time

Site Language Picker in WordPress 4.1
Site Language Picker in WordPress 4.1

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.

Developer Items

Metadata, date, and term queries now support advanced conditional logic, like nested clauses and multiple operators. There are a couple of new Template tags and a major improvement with Title Tags in 4.1. There have also been several improvements to the Customizer API, including contextual panels, sections, and JavaScript templates for controls.

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.

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