WordPress 4.6 was recently released and is the second major release this year. It brings some exciting new improvements and fixes several bugs. In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 4.6 and which features you should consider checking out after updating your website.
If you are a Purple Panda Media client we will be rolling out updates over the next few days once any minor bugs have been snagged.
Introducing WordPress 4.6
The wonderful guys at WordPress have made a short video which showcases some of the major changes that are included in WordPress 4.6, if you would rather read about the changes check out the notes below.
Native System Fonts in WordPress 4.6
WordPress started using Open Sans from Google Fonts, as the default font so that the admin interface looks the same on different platforms and devices. However, this meant a tiny compromise on speed and relying on a third party project.
Since 4.6, the WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have, making it load faster and letting you feel more at home on whatever device you use. This change only affects user interface elements inside WordPress admin area. It will not affect content areas like post editor which uses your theme’s editor stylesheet for fonts.
Shiny Updates for Plugins & Themes
Previously, when you installed a plugin or theme it showed you a progress screen. This added a page load and increased the time spent on installing plugins and themes. WordPress 4.6 makes it faster to install and update your WordPress plugins and themes without leaving a page. Themes will also be using these faster updates.
Editor Enhancements in WordPress 4.6
Each new version of WordPress brings improvements and new features to the post editor. WordPress 4.6 introduces some cool new enhancements to the edit screen.
Highlighting Broken Links in Visual Editor
Sometimes users end up adding a broken link or improper URL in a post. If you publish the post, then that misspelled link goes live too.
Since 4.6, WordPress will now attempt to check for broken or poorly formatted links when you are using the Visual Editor. If a link is broken, then it will highlight the linked anchor text with red dots, showing the link URL in red.
Better Auto-Save and Recovery
Has your internet dropped or your browser crashed while writing a new post? Have no fear, WordPress 4.6 comes with a better disaster recovery mode for the auto-save feature in the post editor! Huzzah! Previously, when users disabled revisions, it affected restoring drafts from browser cache and auto-save feature. This issue is now fixed and users will be able to easily restore posts from browser backups and auto-save.
A Better Looking Import Screen
WordPress makes it super easy to import content from Blogger, Tumblr, and several other platforms using the Importer plugins located at Tools > Import page.
It also uses shiny updates (mentioned above) to install importer plugins in the background. This means no more popup to install importer plugin and no extra page load to show you the progress.
Localisation and Translation Improvements
Translations from WordPress.org hosted community translations will now be given preference over the translations included with the plugin.
The jQuery UI date picker is now displayed with proper locale.
Declension of comment numbers, and months in different languages are now properly handled.
Under The Hood Improvements
WordPress 4.6 also brings lots of new improvements for developers. Here are some of those under the hood improvements.
Resource hints help browsers decide which resources to fetch and preprocess. WordPress 4.6 adds them automatically for your styles and scripts making your site even faster.
The HTTP API now leverages the Requests library, improving HTTP standard support and adding case-insensitive headers, parallel HTTP requests, and support for Internationalized Domain Names.
Meta Registration API
The Meta Registration API has been expanded to support types, descriptions, and REST API visibility.
Translations On Demand
WordPress will install and use the newest language packs for your plugins and themes as soon as they’re available from WordPress.org’s community of translators.
Masonry 3.3.2, imagesLoaded 3.2.0, MediaElement.js 2.22.0, TinyMCE 4.4.1, and Backbone.js 1.3.3 are bundled.
Customizer APIs for Setting Validation and Notifications
Settings now have an API for enforcing validation constraints. Likewise, customizer controls now support notifications, which are used to display validation errors instead of failing silently.