Just in time for the holidays WordPress has released version 4.4, named Clifford after influential jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. If you haven’t updated yet, here’s a look at what you’ll be upgrading to. So without making you wait any longer, here’s a look at the new features in WordPress 4.4.
WordPress 4.4 Features
Automattic added a bunch of new features to WordPress that you’re sure to love. If you want to see the full list of features visit the Make WordPress Core 4.4 posts page. There were thousands of committed changes, so there’s a lot to read – but here are the highlights!
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Improved Customizer Speeds
We love the WordPress Customizer, and have used it to build-in a ton of great customization options into our Total WordPress theme. But for some users the Customizer could get a bit slow at times. WordPress 4.4 introduces a bunch of Customizer improvements, including reduced peak memory usage, deferred widget controls embedding and the addition of a single filter for Customizer multidimensional settings (you can see the in depth list of Customizer improvements in 4.4 on Make WordPress Core). What all of these improvements boil down to is a smoother and faster WordPress Customizer experience for you – hooray!
The WP Rest API
The long awaited and much anticipated WP Rest API has finally been integrated. What does this mean? Not too much for right now, but the way WordPress works is changing and this is the first big step towards using WordPress as an app (not just a CMS). If you want to learn more about what’s to come checkout the WP Rest API documentation page.
The Twenty Sixteen Theme
A new year means a new theme, and (no surprise) it’s Twenty Sixteen. I personally wasn’t a fan of the Twenty Fifteen theme and am glad that WordPress has gone back to a simpler blogging theme for next year. The clean layout and unique image widths make this one a winner in my book. Plus it comes with custom color options built into the WordPress Customizer so you can easily create a blog that suit you.
Other Little Tweaks
And as we were browsing around we noticed that 4.4 has some pretty 3d button styles, improved permalinks on posts that now link to the live post (instead of having a “View Post” button), responsive images that resize on the fly to fit mobile devices, the ability to add taxonomy options (think category colors and icons) for organization and more. Surely there is tons more, but these were just a few of the teaks that we saw and are excited about.
What Do You Think of 4.4?
Overall this was a solid update, and we’re excited to see what happens with 4.5. But we want to hear from you! How do you like the new version of WordPress, and what features are you excited to try out? Let us know in the comments below!