WordPress 4.4 Beta 1 Released

After more than eight weeks in development, WordPress 4.4. beta 1 is available for testing. With over 1,600 commits since WordPress 4.3’s release, it’s important that 4.4 be tested by as many people as possible.

Commits are bug fixes, additional functions or filters, new features, corrected typos, and anything inbetween. As a rule of thumb, think of commits as an incremental improvement to WordPress core.

There are three new distinct user facing features in WordPress 4.4.

  • Twenty Sixteen – Twenty Sixteen is a new default theme with a simple layout and color scheme designed by Takashi Irie, who also designed the Twenty Fourteen and Twenty Fifteen default themes.
  • Responsive Images – WordPress will automatically deliver a more appropriate image to users depending on a variety of conditions like screen size, view port size, and screen resolution.
  • oEmbed Posts – In addition to YouTube, WordCamp.TV and other whitelisted providers, users will be able to easily embed content from almost any site that supports the oEmbed standard, including WordPress sites.

Scott Taylor, who is leading the 4.4 development cycle, gives developers at least four reasons to be excited.

  • REST API (phase 1) — The underlying infrastructure of the WordPress REST API plugin is included in WordPress 4.4. Plugin authors can take advantage of this by adding custom endpoints.
  • Term Metadata — Taxonomy term metadata is included in WordPress 4.4. Developers who are using a plugin to implement term metadata should read this post on how to prepare for the switch. Also, the underlying WP_Term class improves caching when working with terms.
  • Improved <title> outputwp_title() is deprecated; WordPress will handle the rendering of the document title automatically.
  • Comments — Comment queries are now split for performance. Also, the underlying WP_Comment class improves caching and introduces strong-typing. (#8071#32619)

Users are highly encouraged to test WordPress 4.4 and report bugs to the Alpha/Beta section of the support forums. Remember, the beta is software still in development and therefor not recommend for use on a production site. WordPress 4.4 is scheduled for release on December 8th.

10 Comments


  1. Anyone else having trouble with PHP7 on the WP 4.4 b1 release? I had to revert back to PHP 5.x. =(

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    1. What issues do you experience with PHP7?
      I had just some errors in customizer, what can be more related to theme. Otherwise everything works well.

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      1. I’m able to access the frontend with PHP7 and WP 4.4b1 with no problem, but when trying to access the backend, I’m presented with:

        Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function wp_installing() in /wp-includes/update.php:25 Stack trace: #0 /wp-includes/update.php(598): wp_version_check() #1 /wp-includes/plugin.php(503): _maybe_update_core(”) #2 /wp-admin/admin.php(168): do_action(‘admin_init’) #3 /wp-admin/index.php(10): require_once(‘/home/xxx/…’) #4 {main} thrown in /public_html/wp-includes/update.php on line 25

        This error goes away just by changing my PHP to 5.x

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  2. I’m still looking for something which embeds a plain text file, keeping the formatting exact. So far they rely on outside services to work, or they don’t work very well and then stop working and leave me with scrambled text. Doesn’t seem like the new oEmbed will cut it either. HTML doesn’t need to keep it’s formatting.

    If someone does know of something which would work (for ASCII art in a plain text file) I am @thatgrrl on Twitter.

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    1. CSV importers do ASCII art.

      Comma Separated Values is an ancient data-file method, also used for arbitrary text & export/import… works great for ASCII art. You need to scan the art for commas … or more like, change the Value Separator to a character not in the art.

      Searching plugins (I did it from my Dash) with ‘ascii art’ shows lots of CSV plugins. You just need a simple, barebones CSV importer.

      You will also see ASCII art generator plugins.

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  3. After a long row of boring releases, this one is looking to be one of the best in a long time, with the introduction of the REST API and term metadata. Congrats!

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  4. Responsive Images gets my vote.

    But Twenty Sixteen will be of interest; at least, its CSS.

    With active image sizing, there should now be more client-side image-options … just like with fonts and other rendering elements.

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  5. Since Automatic bought Woocommerce/Woothemes,
    why not make Canvas 6.0 the default WordPress theme ?
    And make it better with each WordPress release ?

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  6. I think the features regarding responsive images and SPECIALLY Rest API are really good news for WP globally. Because even for the users that don’t even know what this is about, having the WP community leading to that direction means WP getting bigger and stronger in areas width such future projections. You can build a simple angular.js app that consumes data from a wp site and compile it in no time for native smartphone apps. I love to see WP present in the new and upcomming workflow. Go WP!

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