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What’s New with WordPress “Billie”?

Keeping with the proud tradition of naming their versions after jazz musicians, WordPress introduced us to the latest addition in its version history. Say hello to WordPress 4.3, lovingly named “Billie” after jazz singer Billie Holiday.

Released on August 18 this year, “Billie” takes the user-friendliness quotient (that makes WordPress such a hit) to an entirely new level. Version 4.3 makes content formatting and customization a cinch. And that’s just the beginning.

Take a look.

· Frontend Customizer Features

Well of course this is the first thing we were going to talk about. There are so many little details that Billie paid attention to, we can’t help but love it all the more for it. The new Customizer is super-efficient and streamlined, because Version 4.3 added:

§  Favicon option straight to the Customizer

Site icons (or favicons) can now be added to the aptly named Site Identity tab in your Customizer. You can upload a 512x512px image to be your site’s favicon.

The Site Identity tab consolidates everything you need to leave a great first impression and make your site reflect your identity in one place. That includes Site Title, tagline, and of course, site icon.

§  Menus (and their live previews) in the Customizer

Yep. This happened. And now you can create, customize, and update your site navigation aids on-the-go and test how it all looks with the live-preview. Did we say on-the-go, because the new Customizer also happens to be mobile-friendly.

You’re never going to let the mobile out of your hands, are you?

· Editing and Formatting Shortcuts

Get everything done five times faster, at least when it comes to formatting and revising your content. You probably didn’t even realize you needed these features until Billie gave you:

§  Numerical formatting shortcuts

You know how much internet loves listicles; content divided into small packets of information that’s faster and easier to make sense of. Well, now it’s just as quick to create it.

Version 4.3 has added some admittedly awesome shortcuts for swift formatting. Here’s a handy list you should memorize now to save time later:

  • H2 headings: ##
  • H3 headings: ###
  • H4 headings: ####
  • H5 headings: #####
  • H6 headings: ######
  • Bulleted lists: * or
  • Numbered lists: or 1)
  • Blockquotes: >

Piece of cake, wasn’t it?

§  Edit links on posts/pages

Another little beauty you didn’t know you needed, or maybe in this case, you did. Billie went further to save you time by adding an ‘Edit’ button at the end of all posts and pages, and clicking it takes you instantly to that post/page’s back-end editor.

Now all you have to do is resist the temptation to keep editing every single post obsessively.

· Ability to Choose where you want Comments

We all love and live for the feedback we receive in the form of user comments. However, as Jessica Valenti rightly puts it, you don’t want your users to add their two-cents where they will do more harm than good.

With that in mind, WordPress Billie automatically disables comments/discussions on every new page created. It’s simple enough to enable them too. Just go to Pages > Screen Options and check the meta boxes to enable Discussions and Comments.

· Stronger Default Passwords and Reset Links

Billie takes an improved stance on WordPress security with stronger default passwords and reset links that expire after 24-hours. Both changes are significant upgrades from their former way (of sending passwords to users’ email). You can choose to keep the default password, or follow the reset link sent to your email to change it (within 24-hours).

The usual band of password features is kept in: strength meter and ‘hide’ password options.

· Smoother Admin Experience

The list view across the entire admin panel has been streamlined and refined. Oh, and it’s also made mobile-ready. With this, WordPress has become easier to work with and more accessible.

You really aren’t ever going to put your phone down, are you?

· Additional Attributes for Developers

While Billie does a great job adding making WordPress uber-friendly, those who created it have additional gifts for developers:

  • php is a brand new theme template for single posts, regardless of post type. It follows is_singular and comes after single.php, page.php, and their variations thereupon in the Template Hierarchy.
  • New Media Controls added to Customizer, just to make it even more stunning.
  • Outfitted for PHP7 support by deprecating PHP4 style constructors in WordPress core.
  • Old Distraction Free Writing code has been removed from the core. The old (version 4.0 and prior) DFW code had been in the code since 4.1. If you haven’t already, rewrite your plugins, or use files from 4.2.

New Releases:

By this time, Version 4.3.1 – a security and maintenance release following “Billie” has been released. This is a security upgrade of WordPress 4.3 and all previous versions. It eradicates the two cross-site scripting vulnerabilities (found in shortcode tag processing and user list table), along with potential ‘privilege escalation’ (which allowed users to publish private posts and make them sticky without permission).

It also fixes 26 bugs in 4.3 and added revised versions of some files.

Having tough time managing your website: Contact us to learn how we provide the most affordable assistance for your WordPress 4.3 Billie Theme or any other WordPress theme.

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