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WordPress 4.4 Release & What You Should Know About It

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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!

Embed Any URL

WordPress 4.4 Embeds

Previously WordPress was updated to make embedding videos even easier. All you had to do was drop a supported URL into a post and it would automatically format and embed the video. Well this feature just got much better since you can now embed you posts on any page or other WordPress site. Along with WordPress posts the embed feature also supports Reddit Comments, VideoPress, RevebNation, Speaker Deck and Cloudup. But if for some reason you don’t like this feature, just use the free Disable Embeds plugin to disable the related javascript on your own site and to keep others from embedding your posts.

Improved Customizer Speeds

WordPress Customizer Improvements in 4.4

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

WordPress 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

The Twenty Sixteen Theme

A Look At Twenty Sixteen

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!

Article by Kyla staff
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  1. Adam W. Warner

    I’ve been anxiously awaiting the post embed feature after testing the feature plugin. I’ve got it live on a couple of my sites and it works great.

    There are a couple things bothering me about it though…

    User cannot easily align post embeds. I’m OCD about centering every image and I was hoping post embeds would be similar to images in that you could (simply) choose to align them left, center, right.


      Twitter embeds work ok. Do you need to use URL from another site with embed only? Do URLs from wp 4.3 work. I ask because while twitter urls embed nicely urls from other wordpress sites have four dots, then the excerpt followed by 4 dots



      Nor does it embed a clip if it was part of the post one is embedding.

      Also, it appears you can only embed one URL per post.

      thanks for writing about this with more how-to as all the other sites are just reposting “news” and have not dug into actually working with it

      • Kyla Avatar Kyla

        Good questions! I just did a quick test and the post & Twitter embeds both appear to be working fine for me, but I’m not sure about embedding from 4.3 that doesn’t seem to be working for me (or maybe it’s just the site I’m spot testing with). Let me dig in a bit and get back to you 🙂 But in the mean time I’d love to hear what others’ experience with this has been!

  2. Adam W. Warner

    Post embeds won’t work from sites running versions prior to 4.4

    • AJ Clarke

      Definitely! But I have noticed sometimes it’s not pulling posts from the same site. For example we have a site running 4.4 and when doing some testing only some blog posts can be embeded and not others…I’ll have to look further into that though to see what’s really going on. Do you have any ideas?

      • Adam W. Warner

        I haven’t seen that. Unfortunately no ideas on why that would happen. I’ll keep an eye out as I use this feature more though.


    What about ability to embed more than one URL per post?

  4. Rick Miller

    “Automattic added” is a misnomer.

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      Ok, technically the huge list of people listed at the end of the release post added all the new features but I always think of it as being Automattic since they pretty much run the show over there 😉

  5. Peter Black

    I’m WordPress beginner ) Your blog inspire me. Thank you for your help! I like new WordPress version. It’s getting easier for users and more flexible.

  6. Ekrem

    thanks for everything

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