Alright, alright, alright! It’s WP update time, baby!
Well, not quite… but almost!
The WordPress 4.3 update is scheduled to roll out sometime in the month of August and if the beta tests that have been hashed out are truly coming to this latest update, then there is quite a bit to look forward to with 4/3.
Changes to Customizer
The Customizer is Getting Moved
Since the release of the WP Customizer, the button to access it has been tucked away inside of the main dashboard access menu.
However, the new update proposes to moving Customizer access to it’s out Top-Level Menu option.
This small change will streamline accessibility and give a better overall user experience.
Editing Navigation Menus is Added to the Customizer
The last few major updates of WordPress have slowing been adding things to the Customizer to make front-end theme editing a little easier.
For example, the ability to change a theme from within the Customizer was added not too long ago.
With 4.3, you will also have access to menus and editing their order using the Customizer.
Favicon Made Simple
WordPress has never made it easy to add a site icon. One of the ways to work around this was to use a plugin like Jetpack. But now the development team has made adding a Favicon a simple part of WordPress.
As part of the Customizer, WordPress 4.3 will allow you to easily upload add an image that will become your site’s icon.
New Text Shortcuts for the Editor
Formatting your blog posts in the Post Editor isn’t hard to do, but it can eat up quite a bit of time when you consider all the extra highlighting and mouse-clicking involved in formatting things properly.
4.3 plans to help streamline this by adding what is being called Inline Keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts quicken the pace for your editing process:
- The asterisk (*) or hyphen (-) will turn the next few things you write into an unordered list
- A pound sign (#) with change your text into a heading tag (using # equals an H1 tag, using ## like this will make an H2 tag, and so on)
- Starting a sentence with 1. will create an ordered list
- Using a greater than symbol (>) with start a blockquote
WordPress already has a set of Keyboard Shortcuts (pictured above)which can be found under the Questionmark in the Post Editor, but I have yet to find out if these will stay or be done away with in the latest update.
However, judging from the article on WP Tavern, I’d say that it will replace the old shortcuts.
Text Editor Added to Press This
The Press This feature has yet to catch fire in the WP space, but that’s largely due to the lackluster experience it gave — ’till now that is.
4.3 will finally add a visual text editor to Press This which will significantly add to the UX of the interface as a whole.
Automatic Strong Passwords
This is another great feature that I’m happy to see added to WP.
The WordPress 4.3 update will now send a password reset option to new users on your blog that when clicked, will bring them to the Reset screen with a strong password already filled in so that things are tighten down for security purposes.
Wrapping It Up
I like the direct that WordPress is heading with the Customizer and the additional features that they are putting in place.
This doesn’t feel like a major update, however, the seemingly small tweaks feel like these are getting set up for some bigger changes in the future.
Overall, I like what’s being polished off, and it will be nice to have more front-end control of certain features like the order of the navigation.
What do you think of the latest features in this update?