My beloved WordPress has dropped a new version and it’s not only getting better and better, but it’s getting sweeter and sweeter. WordPress 4.4 has been codenamed “Clifford” in honour of Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. I guess that’s because Scott Taylor that led the WordPress 4.4 team is a great music enthusiast. I’m just guessing though. Don’t quote me please. 😀
I worked on my blogs till about 1a.m. this morning and then went to bed. However on waking up later and doing a quick check on one of them I found out that “Mr. Clifford” has dropped. Wow! That got me really excited because I know that a new version means more exciting features and I wasn’t disappointed.
So, what’s new?
1. Twenty Sixteen Default Theme: WordPress 4.4 Clifford came with a new default theme that is a good improvement on the older themes like twenty fifteen, twenty fourteen and so on. The new default theme is totally responsive, which means irrespective of the kind of device or size of device that a visitor of a site running the theme is using, the site would resize and rearrange it self to fit in perfectly on the screen of the device. So, whether you are viewing it on a computer, tablet or phone even if in portrait or landscape, the site would display perfectly.
2. Responsive Images: Clifford is wise enough to display images on WordPress sites responsively and would therefore fit in to a screen and be displayed at an optimal dimension. This simply means that when you insert an image into a post or a page and you set the size to 1200px by 650px for example, a visitor of your site making use of a screen with just 320px width would see the image fit in perfectly on his/her screen as the image would resize itself to fit on the users’ screen.
3. Wordpress Post Embed: This really got me excited as it stands out on the feature list. It is now possible for you to embed posts from a WordPress site into another WordPress site by simply pasting the link in a post. Clifford would automatically fetch the title of the post, the featured image attached to it, excerpt, the site icon and links for sharing and commenting on the post. Isn’t that great? This particular feature is demonstrated below. I merely pasted the link to the post below inside the editor and the preview was automatically generated to embed the post here.
4. More Embed Providers: You can now embed pages from more websites much more easily. Five(5) such sites that support oEmbed have been added to Clifford. They are Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress.
5. REST API is now part of the WordPress core: For those that don’t know, REST in this context means “Representational State Transfer”, while API means “Application Program Interface”. It is a means by which other third-party applications can interact with a WordPress site to perform different actions that a logged-in admin would perform like create a post, create a user and so on. Site visitor actions like posting comments can also be performed via the API. If you don’t understand how APIs work, you may begin to raise an eyebrow and say “how can a 3rd-party application be able to do that on my site?”. Don’t get yourself worked up friend, there’s an authentication structure in place for all of that and a 3rd party application would only be able to do that when you have authorized it to do it. The main point here is that the WordPress REST API is now part of the WordPress core and you don’t need to install the Jetpack plugin to enable this for your site anymore.