News - November 30, 2015

Juicy New Features of WordPress 4.4

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WordPress 4.4 is imminent, and it’s going to be awesome! Scheduled for December 8 (for now), and it has some great features in version 4.4 like the REST API, responsive images, post embedding, taxonomy term meta, and a brand new default theme (Twenty Sixteen).

Without further ado, let’s get to know the great features that WordPress 4.4 brings.

First Part of the REST API

The WordPress REST API has been under development for a few years as a plugin, and people were waiting for the API to be included in WordPress for the past year. Finally, it has been decided to add the REST API in two parts in two consecutive WordPress versions.

The first part of the REST API includes the infrastructure, meaning “the code responsible for routing requests and handling the meta layer of the API, including JSON serialization/deserialization, linking, embedding, and REST best practices”, as Jeff Chandler says in WPTavern. The second part of the REST API is going to be about endpoints, which will complete the REST API for everyone.

Although this counts as an “under the hood” feature, it’s probably going to change everything about WordPress. In time, WordPress will have the chance to be a platform-independent solution which will turn it into a fully featured application platform. Think about making Node.js applications, completely different kinds of themes or even mobile apps with WordPress. You will be able to separate the front-end from the back-end forever, how about that? Tom Ewer has a great piece on the REST API in WPMU DEV, be sure to check it out.

New Default Theme: Twenty Sixteen

With all major releases, it’s a tradition that WordPress releases a new default theme every year or so. This time, a classic blog theme will be released. It’s not really appealing the way it is (to me), but it has great potential to make awesome child themes with it. I might just make one for my own personal blog. Maybe.

Post Embedding Functionality With oEmbed

oEmbed support was first introduced in WordPress 2.9, and now it’s going to be an oEmbed provider in version 4.4. It means that if oEmbed is enabled in your website, I’m going to be able to “embed” one of your posts in my personal blog, which will look something like this:

wordpress-post-embedding

It’s a cool feature, but it created a tiny controversy over the WordPress community. Because post embedding uses iFrames from the website you’re embedding, it will cost a bit of bandwidth (around 100 kilobytes) for each iFrame view. Having said that, anyone is allowed to include iFrames of your website even today, this feature only makes it easier. Besides, you can disable this feature with the Disable Embeds plugin if you like.

Other Features in WordPress 4.4 & Conclusion

Three of the lesser-important (but still important) features WordPress 4.4 brings are responsive images, faster comment queries and “term meta” for taxonomy terms (like post meta, comment meta or user meta). All of them are going to make WordPress a bit more awesome.

For even smaller new features and fixes, check out the “WordPress 4.4: A Field Guide” post in Make WordPress.

What do you think about these new features? Tell us what you think in the Comments section below. And thanks for reading!

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