WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” Released, Streamlines Plugin and Theme Management

Photo of Pepper Adams taken by Abdulx999

WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” is now available and is named after Pepper Adams who played the Baritone saxophone and the clarinet. This release doesn’t have any jaw-dropping features, but rather a collection of incremental improvements.

Managing Plugins and Themes is Faster

Building on the work introduced in WordPress 4.2, this release makes updating, installing, and deleting plugins and themes even faster. Gone are the days of watching a progress screen each time you install a plugin or theme.

Native System Fonts

One of the most striking changes users will notice is the switch from Open Sans to native system fonts. Open Sans was used at a time when the choices for fonts were small. Over time, native fonts have dramatically improved on modern devices.

Using native fonts not only increases WordPress’ performance, it also gives it a consistent look and feel. Developers are encouraged to note the specific changes to the font-stack and update accordingly.

Firefox on Windows using Segoe UI Font
Firefox on Windows using Segoe UI Font

Automatically Detects if a URL Has the Correct Syntax

WordPress 4.6 will automatically detect if a link contains the correct syntax. If a link is malformed, a red dotted outline is displayed. It’s important to note that the URL checker only works if you insert links via the button as pasting a URL onto text bypasses the check.


Improved Disaster Recovery Mode

By default, WordPress saves the post title, content, and excerpt in the browser every 15 seconds on the edit post screen and prior to submitting the form. Since content in the browser is newer, WordPress 4.6 will recover it first before resorting to an auto save.

Other Noteworthy Updates Include:

This release was led by Dominik Schilling, with Garth Mortensen as the Release Deputy. There are 272 individuals who contributed to WordPress 4.6. If you run into any issues or think you’ve discovered a bug, you can report it on the WordPress.org support forums where volunteers are ready to help.

Listen to Pepper Adams While You Update

While updating your sites, listen to Pepper Adams as he plays “Once Around” at the Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland in 1974.

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  1. Held my breath and clicked update. No issues. :)


      1. Can’t say that impresses me much to be honest. :)


      2. Is it actually supposed to look different? As far as I can tell, it’s the same visual behavior as always: the update page sits there for a while, and then updates once with all the success (or failure) results for all the plug-ins.

        Not that I would normally notice anyway: I always switch away to another tab to do something and then come back to the updates page later to see if anything else needs my attention.


      3. When you update a theme or plugin, it’ll update without reloading the page.
        But that’s not that fun. Try to install one. Even installation doesn’t require a refresh now.


      4. The new installation process is very slick. As a WP writer, I may install/uninstall more than a dozen plugins any given day. I, for one, very much like both the new search and installation processes for themes and plugins.


  2. What happened to finishing the REST api integration. Did that get pushed ahead again?


  3. I have successfully updated my site. All is OK. I like it because to find broken link I don’t need to use any external plugin. It’s awesome.


  4. The priority change for translation files is welcome for non-english written sites. Thanks.


  5. JEFF

    Thanks for the article!

    Hardeep and the rest, thanks for the work: I appreciate the tweaking and keeping WordPress sharp.

    Question: Does 4.6 make the Broken Links Checker plugin redundant? Can I delete it?




    1. Don’t delete it. The link checker in 4.6 just checks for malformed URLs.


  6. Many issues have been reported with users not seeing posts correctly or at all.

    I believe the WordPress are aware of this, but they have not said whether then intend to fix it or not. My advice is not to upgrade until you are sure there are no issues with your theme or server.


  7. Hi, we just upgraded to 4.6; I am wondering whether it has any data audit functionality updates that will help us with this issue – we need to find out when were some revisions deleted on a few of our posts. (It will help us in probing whether there was unauthorized access to our site). We don’t have any automatic plugin that deletes revisions nor a security plugin that tracks user activities (beyond the base WordPress setup). My question is where in mysql tables can one see the revisions delete requests and will there be dates there and possibly source IP or user data… many thanks.


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