Welcome WordPress 4.4.
The latest version of the hugely popular content management system, WordPress, was yesterday released. This new release is version 4.4 and code-named “Clifford”, in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, is available for download here or update in your WordPress dashboard.
[mkdf_blockquote text=”Note: Remember to create a complete WordPress backup of your website before doing the update.” title_tag=”h2″ width=”100″]
This latest version is expected to be the last major release for 2015 and brings with it new features designed to keep it current going into the new year.
Among the new features in WordPress 4.4 include responsive images, WordPress embeds, the Twenty Sixteen default theme, the first half of the REST API, and a host of other minor improvements.
Responsive images on the fly
The most notable of the new features, and this my opinion, built into WordPress 4.4 is responsive images — this feature will enable images to scale to the best fit on any screen. Once you upgrade to this new version, all your images will automatically scale responsively, so nothing else is required on your part to activate it.
The benefit of this feature is the decrease in the amount of bandwidth used to load websites since smaller images have smaller file sizes.
Embed your WordPress content
Another major new feature is the ability to embed WordPress posts into other WordPress sites. In the past WordPress users have been embeding content from other sources into their posts, now with version 4.4, you have the power to embed other WordPress posts into your WordPress website.
To do this, just drop the URL of a WordPress post into the post editor, and it will automagically embed itself.
An embedded WordPress post will display the title, excerpt, and featured image. The site’s favicon, as well as links to comment and/or share, will also be included. See below.
[mkdf_blockquote text=”Note: You can disable the ability for people to embed your content by simply installing and activating a plugin called Disable Embeds.” title_tag=”h2″ width=”100″]
In addition to post embeds, WordPress 4.4 also adds support for five new oEmbed providers: Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress.
Twenty Sixteen theme
Twenty Sixteen is a new default theme designed by Takashi Irie, that was built with a mobile first, responsive approach.
It has an optional right-hand sidebar and displays author information to the left of posts.
The theme looks more like a Tumblr blog than a traditional WordPress blog. It’s designed to deliver great experience on any device, and comes with four different color schemes, dark, gray, red, and yellow which can be modified using the Customizer.
REST API Phase 1 – Core Developers
Infrastructure for the REST API has been integrated into core, marking a new era in developing with WordPress. The REST API gives developers an easy way to build and extend RESTful APIs on top of WordPress.
Infrastructure is the first part of a multi-stage rollout for the REST API. Inclusion of core endpoints is targeted for an upcoming release. To get a sneak peek of the core endpoints, and for more information on extending the REST API, check out the official WordPress REST API plugin.
Other notable under the hood improvements
WP_Network for Multisites
There are many under the hood improvements for multisite networks in WordPress 4.4. Most important one is the introduction of WP_Network class. It provides a better way to handle multisites and fixes several bugs.
Taxonomy Term Metadata
With the new version 4.4, Terms in taxonomies (like Categories and tags or any custom taxonomy) can now have metadata associated with them.
Improved Comment Queries and Output
Comment object and query is improved with the introduction of WP_Comment class.
Comment form output is now changed to display the comment textarea first and then name, email, and URL fields.
Watch the video below to see these new features in action: