WordPress 4.4 is scheduled for release towards the end of this year, and it will bring with it many exciting new changes and features. The beta version is already out so you can give WordPress 4.4 a spin right now using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, however, the stable release is expected to arrive by Dec.
So, what does WordPress 4.4 intend to bring to the table? In this post, I will be discussing what exactly we can expect from WordPress 4.4
First up, the developer stuff, or, as WordPress likes to call it, what’s “under the hood.”
Under The Hood
Meta Data For Taxonomy Terms
Taxonomy term management has been a debated topic for the past few releases, and WordPress 4.4 intends to bring support for taxonomy term metadata in the core itself. In simple words, stuff like categories, tags, and other custom taxonomies can have metadata associated with them (Trac).
WordPress REST API
Another really hot topic, and something that Torque has published an entire eBook on!
The first part of the WordPress REST API will be included in core in 4.4, so developers can create new APIs or work with existing ones in their applications and projects. The API will be fully included in core in 4.5. For plugin authors, this means you can add custom endpoints, and do a lot more, with lesser efforts (More at WP Tavern).
WordPress 4.4 intends to bring faster comment queries (Trac).
Responsive web design is here to stay because mobile phones and tablets now dominate the market. We have different screen sizes and resolutions on our devices, and serving images to varied compact screen sizes and resolutions is not easy, right?
WordPress 4.4 will serve responsive images out of the box. Using the srcset attribute, responsive images will be served on the fly, making no changes to the database as such. Image galleries, featured images, and everythixng else will benefit from this feature.
WordPress 4.4 will support oEmbeds.
So far, we have had the ability to embed content from several websites in our posts: YouTube videos, tweets, and other such stuff. We simply need to paste the URL in a new line, and off we go!
With WordPress 4.4, it will be possible to embed content from virtually any website that supports oEmbeds. As such, you can also embed posts and content from WordPress.com blogs, and other WordPress websites (as long as they are using 4.4 or higher). The formula will be the same: add a plain URL in your post, hit enter, and you’re good to go.
A New Default Theme
Since each major new release of WordPress comes bundled with a new default theme, named after the current year, WordPress 4.4 will not be an exception.
Twenty Sixteen, the new default theme for WordPress 4.4, is a traditional blogging theme, with a sidebar and minimal design. The focus rests on readability and content-centric layout. It offers multiple color schemes, custom headers, two menu locations, and a fully responsive and mobile-friendly design.
Just in case you are curious, Twenty Sixteen is already available in the theme repository, and you can download it right away.
WordPress 4.4 will be released in a few short weeks, and judging by the looks of it, it’s loaded with useful and much-needed features.
You can look at the WordPress 4.4 Field Guide for further details.
What do you think of the upcoming release of WordPress 4.4? Share your views in the comments below!