WordPress 4.4 Released

Version 4.4 of WordPress entitled “Clifford”, in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, is now officially available to end users and developers alike to roll out to their websites. Here we will showcase a comprehensive guide to the set of features spanning from conspicuous changes to rather subtle tweaks within the new release.

Website End-Users

  • Classic Default Theme TwentySixteen

  • Responsive Images Capability

  • Expanded Embedded Capacity

Developers

  • REST API Infrastructure

  • Term Metadata Inclusion

  • Efficient Comment Classes

Further details of each aspect are discussed below, brace yourselves for a game-changing update!

WORDPRESS END-USERS

Classic Default Theme TwentySixteen

Twenty Sixteen features a standard blog layout, with a horizontal header and menu across the top, and a sidebar on the right. It was built with a mobile first approach, so it’s responsive and looks great on devices of all sizes. A fluid grid design, flexible header, fun color schemes, and more, will all make your content shine. Other notable features include:

  • Larger Image sizes

  • Custom color options

  • Custom post intros and excerpts

  • 2 widget areas at the bottom of posts and pages

  • Pull quotes

Responsive Images

The trending framework for websites nowadays is large images, and it poses a great deal on the page loading speed which most users would frown upon. With the latest update, it support for improved image handling attributes and the srcset tag, which defines available sizes for a given image. So that users don’t have to rely on plugins which coincidentally increase the load to obtain equivalent functionality.

A vital rule of thumb in responsive Web design methodology is that Websites are responsive to the size and bandwidth capabilities of an end-user device or browser. This is an inherent trait as WordPress already automatically creates multiple sizes of each image that a user uploads into a site’s media library as stated by WordPress developer Joe McGill.

Expanded Embedded Capacity

To embed content, the usual manner to do so is using a plugin that recognizes URL and connect to external service and ask for the relevant HTML code to embed the content into the page or post. Fortunately the new update allows content to be seamlessly embedded into posts or pages with just a simply drag and drop of URLs into the WordPress Editor. It’s called oEmbed, and they’re expanding that capability to allow embedding from almost any source.

C:\Users\Jack\Desktop\Embed.png

You can now embed WordPress posts on any sites just like Tweets or Youtube videos, using URLs or a snippet of code will work wonders. Embedded posts will display a title, excerpt and featured image, as well as a site icon and links for comments and sharing.

Further enhancements to embedding comes in the form of support for five new oEmbed providers: Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress

DEVELOPERS

REST API Infrastructure

The REST API is a specific API that was designed to get information to and fro WordPress from a variety of sources. It’s fairly novel, and was designed with modern approaches to browsers and mobile devices. It helps developers to access data in a standardized, interoperable manner which may be one of the most highly-anticipated WordPress features ever. Allowing them to build and extend RESTful APIs on top of WordPress.

The infrastructure is the first part of a multi-stage rollout for the REST API. Inclusion of core endpoints is targeted for an upcoming release. Once those endpoints are available, WordPress developers will be able to use WordPress as an application back-end without any additional plugins. That will give them the opportunity to implement their own front-ends using whatever technologies they so chooses. Integrating this API certainly make life easier for theme and plugin designers.

Term Metadata Inclusion

Metadata provides information about other data. Terms are individual objects within a taxonomy where the category taxonomy can have many terms. Taxonomy is a classification format to which it’s not a category or tag, but gets its context from the term taxonomy table.

WordPress has long allowed for meta on other types of objects, such as:

  • Posts

  • Comments

  • Users

Metadata is important as it allows plugins and the core itself to add extra data to the various objects that’s not accounted for in the main table. A prime example of this would be featured images in core that stores the image ID as metadata because there’s no field for the image ID in the posts table.

New meta wrapper functions for terms:

  • add_term_meta()

  • update_term_meta()

  • delete_term_meta()

  • get_term_meta()

All of these can be quite a mouthful, basically it enables you to arrange, manage data and content with ease, they can be color-coded for intuitive design use.

Efficient Comment Classes

Comment query improvements
  • Comment queries now have cache handling to improve performance. New arguments in WP_Comment_Query make crafting robust comment queries simpler.

Term, comment, and network objects
  • New WP_Term, WP_Comment, and WP_Network objects make interacting with terms, comments, and networks more predictable and intuitive in code.

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