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new features in wordpress 4.6 pepper

WordPress 4.6 “Pepper” is Here – What’s New

WordPress released a major update yesterday and called it “Pepper”. The name was given in honor of jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III.

With this release, there are some exciting new features and bugs fixes that I’m sure everyone will love.

Since WordPress 4.6 is released now, I decided to install on my localhost to test its new features. In this article, I’ll share information and screenshots of what it looks like.

If you’re upgrading WordPress for the first you might want to take a backup of your WordPress site. You can use these WordPress backup plugins to do it. Let’s learn about the new features in WordPress 4.6.

Shiny Updates

Shiny Updates is one of the major front-end change that has been brought with WordPress 4.6.

Earlier, when you had to install a plugin, you had to click on the ‘Install Now’ button. Then to activate it you’d have to go to Plugins >> Installed Plugins and go to the specific plugin to click Activate. That’s past now.

With WordPress 4.6 you can install a plugin and activate it without the need to change your web page. And this is how it works.

This works for installing a theme as well.

When you’ve to install a new theme for your site from the WordPress directory, you just need to click ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ it.

installing theme in wordpress 4.6 - shiny updates

It will also work for updating a particular theme from your dashboard.

Native Fonts are back

Earlier versions of WordPress (before version 3.8) used to have native system fonts for the admin interface. But they were removed since they wanted to keep symmetry across different devices and OS platforms.

Till now, they were using Open Sans from Google Fonts project for the admin interface. This however resulted in slow loading of the site and relying on third party projects.

With enhancements in technology and background conditions, WordPress 4.6 has again introduced native system fonts. This will make WordPress load faster on any device as it will take system fonts.

Following is a list of fonts that will be used by different platforms and operating systems:

  • -apple-system for Safari (iOS & macOS) and Firefox macOS
  • BlinkMacSystemFont for Chrome macOS
  • Segoe UI for Windows
  • Roboto for Android and Chrome OS
  • Oxygen-Sans for KDE
  • Ubuntu for Ubuntu
  • Cantarell for GNOME
  • Helvetica Neue for versions of macOS prior to 10.11
  • sans-serif, the standard fallback

The change will be reflected only in the Admin dashboard area and not in the post editor which uses theme’s stylesheets.

Editor Improvements in WordPress 4.6

WordPress has been continuously updating and adding new features in the post editor. In the last 4.5 update, we saw many new features in it. And time also they have come up with some awesome changes.

Broken Link Highlighter

I have done it and yes we all have done it atleast once – Added broken links. Well, the core developer team did a great job in minimizing the chance of adding a broken link to your content.

When you add any link to your content in the Visual Editor, WordPress will now check whether it is a broken link or not. If you have added a broken link by mistake, it will show red-dotted lines under the anchor text with link URL in red.

broken link checker

Improved Recovery and Auto-Save Feature

This version of WordPress comes with better auto-save and recovery feature. Now as soon as you type any content, WordPress will save it to your browser. If you have disabled revisions, restoring drafts or recovering it from auto-save was difficult as WordPress editor saves content approximately after every 15 seconds.

Now, that issue has been addressed.

For someone like me, who has a habit of refreshing the page for no reason, its a great feature to have.

Import Screen Changes

Import settings, as you might know is used to switch from one CMS to another and WordPress has made it super easy. They haven’t made any changes in the functionality but the design of the import page. It now looks much cleaner and fresh.

Here’s a screenshot of the new import screen.

wordpress 4.6 new import layout

One more small change that they have included with it is the shiny updates. You can install and import settings from the same screen only instead of popups which now I feel were not so impressive.

Other features in WordPress 4.6

Resource Hints

Resources hints is new addition in WordPress 4.6 and helps browser to prefetch resources and add them automatically to your styles and scripts. This will make your site load quicker.

Robust Requests

The HTTP API now leverages the Requests library, improving HTTP standard support and adding case-insensitive headers, parallel HTTP requests, and support for Internationalized Domain Names.

WP_Term_Query and WP_Post_Type

A new WP_Term_Query class adds flexibility to query term information while a new WP_Post_Type object makes interacting with post types more predictable.

Translations and JavaScript Library Updates

This version of WordPress will give preference to WordPress.org’s community translators than translations included in plugins.

JavaScript Libraries like Masonry, imagesLoaded, MediaElement.js, TinyMCE and Backbone.js have been updated and made compatible with WordPress 4.6.

Multisite, now faster than ever

The devs at WordPress have introduced WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query which help in improving caching and help carry advanced queries much easily.

Final Thoughts

Matt Mullenweg and his team of 272 contributors lead by Dominik Schilling did a great job as always. However, I feel there is nothing that out of the box in the update. That said, WordPress already is a great tool that blows my mind and millions of other people.

I would sincerely like to thank you each and everyone involved in the development team and others for making WordPress such a great CMS. I feel proud to be associated with it.

Let me know your thoughts on the latest features of the WordPress 4.6 update.

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One Comment


  1. dave bohr

    August 21, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I wish they released more fonts this update.

    Reply

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