If you’re in the process of planning your next website, looking to switch content management systems, or are seeking more reasons to use the WordPress content management system for your next project, this information is for you. Recently, the folks over at WordPress released WordPress version 4.1, named “Dinah” after the jazz singer Dinah Washington. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the cool new features you can enjoy with this latest version.
A Shiny New Theme
The new version of WordPress ships with a shiny new default theme called Twenty Fifteen. The theme design is focused on the blog and uses the Noto font from Google which supports various languages and covers more than 30 scripts. Visually, the theme is clean, simple and elegant, as well as being mobile responsive for optimal display on tablets and mobile devices.
Distraction Free Writing
For administrators and writers, the new Dashboard features a completely revamped writing screen aimed at minimizing distractions. This revised writing screen reinforces the team’s commitment to providing content creators with a better suite of tools. That said, it does requires little getting used to. However, it’s good to see additional commitment to refining the content creation process.
Updated Language Support
Since version 4.0, users have been able to choose their own language preference upon installation, possibly one of the most powerful features as of late. The addition of more language support is good to see and WordPress 4.1 has been translated into 40 languages with more to follow. If you want to change your language settings, you’ll find them at the bottom of the ‘Settings’ and ‘General’ tab.
Version 4.0 greeted users with a new Plugin management experience which allowed users to browse a grid of tiled plugins. This made it easier to access key information about each of the plugins, and easier to find out if they’ve been tested and are compatible with your current version of WordPress. In the new version 4.1, there’s a filter to show ‘Recommended Plugins’. This will display a list of plugins used on other sites which make use of similar plugins to yours.
Other Notable New Feature Additions
While delving into each of the new features is beyond the scope of this quick highlights package, there are a few other noteworthy developments in the new version of WordPress. Firstly there’s the ability to log out of all other sessions in the event of leaving yourself logged in on another device. I can also hear Vine users rejoicing thanks to the inclusion of an easy embed feature so users can share Vine clips more easily. Finally, one awesome feature is the improvement to image alignment, something which drove many users a little crazy before. The new image alignment feature makes it quick and easy to align images exactly where you want them, rather than having to open the media embedding interface or editing the HTML to do so.
How to Get It
The great news is that you get all of this shiny new functionality for free as WordPress remains open-source software. If you’re already running WordPress, you’d have received a dashboard notification to tell you that it’s available and you can utilize the auto-upgrade feature to bring your installation up to date. If you’re new to WordPress, or prefer to handle installations manually, you can download it from WordPress.org. If you are one of our shared customers you have access to a one-click installation via Softaculous inside your Cpanel.
Reminder: Whenever you’re upgrading, remember to back-up your files and database and check the compatibility of your plugin and themes before doing so to avoid problems.