Last week WordPress 4.0 was released with mixed response from the community. Nicknamed “Benny”, WordPress 4.0 promises to “bring you a smoother writing and management experience”.
WordPress 4.0 Features
At a glance it seems the major areas of WordPress that have benefitted from the update are the media library, content editor and plugin manager.
Benny certainly lives up to the promise of a smoother writing experience. The content editor now expands while you write and the formatting toolbar follows you down the page. These two improvements alone make updating to WordPress 4.0 worthwhile. I’m sure you’ve all tried scrolling to the top of the editor to make a change only to find yourself spinning through the content instead. Now you don’t have to worry because the formatting tools are always there for you.
Another useful improvement to the editor is the way they’ve been able to simplify embeds. Not only do the embeds preview directly within the editor, you can now paste the URL directly without having to worry about a shortcode. Want to embed a YouTube video? Copy the URL for the video and paste it straight in. It couldn’t be easier.
For me, the media library isn’t a big deal. I am however interested in plugins. Benny makes finding the right plugin that much easier. Up until now when you searched for a new plugin, the results were difficult to interpret. You really had to click into a few to see what they were about. Now the results display as tiles, with all the details you’d expect plus a preview image and most importantly the date the plugin was last updated.
It’s still early days for WordPress 4.0. Benny may not have the “wow” factor everyone was expecting, but personally I like the update and expect my life will be easier as a result.