What’s new in WordPress 4.7?
WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan” was released earlier this week.
It’s the last major update of the year from WordPress.org, and it gives us a new theme, new features and bug fixes.
WordPress has now cemented its popularity as the top web CMS with over 27% of all sites running WordPress. The aim is to climb towards 50%!
So with that in mind, what’s new in the world of WordPress?
New theme, Twenty Seventeen
I will review Twenty Seventeen on the blog shortly. On first glance, it’s a more business-focused theme than previous yearly offerings.
It’s also the first default theme to make use of full video backgrounds.
Starter content now available for themes
Anyone who has ever downloaded a premium theme will be familiar with the idea of demo content. It’s ready-made content to set up your theme and get it looking professional quickly.
Now WordPress has brought this idea to Twenty Seventeen and is encouraging the use of starter content in other themes. (Developers, find out how to add starter content to themes in Igor Benic’s post.)
Starter content is only available as an option on brand new WordPress installs.
Pages with images and menus are pre-built so you can get on with customizing and launching your site quickly.
Here’s a quick preview of starter content in Twenty Seventeen:
Changes to the WordPress Customizer
New edit shortcut icons on the theme preview
Not sure what the WordPress customizer settings do?
You can now see exactly which part of the theme you are changing with blue pencil icons. Click on an icon in the theme preview and it takes you to the relevant setting.
At the moment, it looks like this only works for WordPress’ Twenty series of themes. We’ll have to wait for other theme developers to support it.
Create pages quickly for menus
Need to add a page to a menu, but you haven’t created it yet?
With WordPress 4.7, it’s easy.
Open the Menus option in the Customizer and select a menu to edit. You can now add and name new pages without having to leave the customizer. The page content can be filled in later when you’re ready.
It all makes for a better user experience.
Custom CSS now lives within the customizer
This is a really nice addition. You can now add style changes to the Custom CSS section and how they change your site’s look in real time. Bravo!
This might negate the need to create a child theme, providing all you want to change is the CSS, not theme files.
New PDF uploads are added to the Media Library with preview thumbnails so that you can more easily see what they contain.
Unfortunately, I’ve tried this out and haven’t got it to work. It apparently needs the correct support on your web server – see WP Tavern’s post on PDF images previews for more details.
Search the Media Library by filename
WordPress 4.7 introduces the ability to search media by filename as well as Title.
Users can choose their own Dashboard language
Running a large multi-user site with polyglot users? Now each one can pick their own language to use for the WordPress admin from their user profile.
More developer goodness in WordPress 4.7
Posts can now have templates
Page templates have been a standard feature of WordPress for years. Now posts and custom post types can have templates too!
This creates exciting new opportunities for theme developers. Themes could have a choice of layouts for posts e.g with sidebar, full width or grid layouts.
Post templates can be created and applied to multiple post types. Find out more about creating post templates.
Developers can set their own bulk actions in the admin
Have you ever wanted a “bulk email” option for posts? Now you can write a plugin to do just that!
The integration of the WordPress REST API continues
As explained in The WordPress REST API: What it is and why you should care,
The WordPress REST API is revolutionary because it enables WP to communicate with other web properties no matter what programming language they’re written in.
Pretty cool, and there’s more to come yet!
WordPress 4.7 adds REST API custom endpoints, and version 4.8 will focus on authentication.
Excited about what’s new in WordPress 4.7? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!