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WordPress 4.5: Everything You’ll Love about “Coleman”

WordPress 4.5 Coleman

After 4 months, just as many betas, two security releases for rather alarming vulnerabilities later, we finally have WordPress 4.5. And we love how it turned out after all.

Yes, it’s named after a jazz prodigy (it’s a WP tradition) Coleman Hawkins. I would suggest you pull up ‘Body and Soul’ on iTunes and keep reading to familiarize yourself with the latest improvements to WordPress web development core:

• Inline Linking

This one’s a huge Hi-5 to SEO-junkies everywhere. Inline linking is now as easy as selecting your text. The brilliant feature will pull up a list of suggestions (previous posts) in a drop down menu, one of which you can link to.

• New Text Patterns in TinyMCE

Encouraging text legibility and good old writing habits are the latest additions in formatting shortcuts in the TinYMCE text editor.

There are two new inline patterns:

1. Code Snippets: <code> Place snippet here </code>

2. Horizontal Line Break: Three or more ‘dashes’ ( — ) will automatically change to <hr>, so save yourself the trouble and just type that instead.

• Improved Customizer

Yes. We were hoping for this.

The team did indeed deliver exactly what we were keeping an eye out for: faster, friendlier, and responsive Customizer. Check out:

1. Responsive Previews: Responsive previews for everyone. Now test your theme changes in 3 different (read: prevalent) device sizes – Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop.

2. Faster preview loading: Selective Refresh is the middleman that now cuts out the need to reload an entire preview just to display the minutest of changes. Now with complete theme and widget support on this feature, only parts of your review will ‘refresh’ translating directly to faster previews, even for…

3. Custom Logos: If your theme has registered support and declared the required parameters properly, you’ll now be able to add and style a custom logo right in the Customizer.

A peek Under the Hood:

• Improved Image Performance

There are three performance enhancements, all of them awesome, in the image department:

1. Increased Compression: A change that’s not even perceptible in default image quality of WP_Image_Editor (from 90 to 82) resulted in dramatic reduction of image size. Images now load up to 50% faster.

2. ImageMagick’s resizing settings: PHP extension users will now have images that load even faster thanks to careful resizing (default) and less image metadata.

3. Introducing wp_get_upload_dir(): The new function is a performance improvement coupled with the wp_upload_dir(). This will now show upload information at front end, great help when creating the URLs for the images in templates.

• Introducing: NEW Embed Templates (and more features)

After the raging success of oEmbed auto discovery in 4.4, Coleman brings us a whole load of customization options to help show off those embeds in style.

In addition to minor changes in <iframe> embed code, embed response restriction (150kB) to prevent timeouts during discovery, the default embed-template.php has now been split into 5 different templates – Base, 404, content, header, and footer; all of them integrated into the revered hierarchy.

They can be overridden by themes of course.

• New External libraries and Script Loader enhancements

Bundled libraries to receive upgrades are jQuery, jQuery Migrate, Backbone, and Underscore. Also to get a makeover were the Script Loaders: the most notable being the new wp_add_inline_script() that lets you add custom code to registered scripts.

And there’s more…

WordPress 4.5 Coleman has fixed over 372 bugs. It has added dozens of new hooks and new parameters to previously existing hooks. So there’s that.

The Upshot

As with every update, the improvements enhance WordPress core’s responsiveness and user-friendliness.

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” was released on 12th April, 2016 and is brought to you by a brilliant crew of 275+ developers. It is available for download at WordPress.org. If you haven’t updated yet, make sure to do it now.

Don’t forget to share your tales of how the latest update improved your WordPress experience in the comments section below.


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