We are expecting to see WordPress 4.3 be released in less than a month. Once released, I will start by going through some of the new features within 4.3 so here is what you can expect from me over the coming months:
This week I went to a meetup with people from the WordPress community. Even people from Automatic was set to show up, but there was a problem with the flight so he was not able to participate and we lost the souvenirs (Sad I know!)
There was a quick presentation but they were to the point, not wasting time, they listed the following great news.
- Menus can now be managed with the Customizer
- Site Icon feature
- Better Passwords
- Editor Improvements
- Improvements for Developers
Menus can now be managed with the Customizer
With a lot of controversy, menus items can be managed now in the customizer, is that an improvement? Many people think is not, but for those, the “old” way to manage the menus will remain there.
For the adventurous the new way to manage the menu items will allow you to manage your navigation menus from the theme customizer. The live example we saw in the meetup was good, clean and simple, it will need the user to get use to it, but like any mayor improvement after a couple of days repeating the process you most likely will find it useful.
Site Icon feature
Back in the days… We had to convert any graphic we wanted to show in the browser tabs into a 16px by 16px .ico file. Horrible, that was a not nice task at all, and there was time consuming if you didn’t have a workflow already setup.
These days smartphones changed the game, and this is a feature that is coming not just to help you skip your “therapist design” every time a “favicon” is needed but also when you need to save your site in your mobile main screen, or like in iOS you add a site in the “Home Screen” Today if you do that, many themes let you setup an image, this new feature in -qp 4.3 removes that as a “Theme feature” and takes ownership of the Site Icon, so you can please a 512px by 512px image that will be used for your mobile screen, your tablet screen, and any browser tabs that shows the old “favicon”.
This is good because with the wide range of mobile screens and resolutions a 512px file will fit in all of them with great resolution, and we don’t need to have a PhD in Graphics to have an .ico file anymore (On a side note I know there were software to do that, but most of it are just to accomplish just that, and what is the point to have graphic design software AND another application to have an .ico file…? Yes I hate .ico files…)
Increasing security is always a good idea, if you are using the same password for everything just don’t! There are may options outer to have a very complex password for every situation, applications like 1Password (My choice for many many years now) Lastpass, Dashlane, RoboForm, etc. I can not recommend 1Password enough, is the one I use, and I apologize to the developers of the other apps, I’ve never had the necessity to try them, just google “Password Management” and investigate a little, any application is better than none.
Wordpress 4.3 comes to the rescue in case you need help generating those passwords, where do you store them is your responsibility, but this new feature will help you a lot at least to have a better and secure user password
In the meetup this feature was highly accepted, many of the people who attended the meeting write from mobile apps, or have clients who needs to write from mobile and fast, maybe journalist, bloggers on the go, etc.
This feature is a simple way to “trick” the editor to help you achieve a better formatted content. The shortcuts are similar to Markdown that allows you to format text using simple markup in the text, for example, starting a sentence with “-“ will create an unordered list.
These are some of the shortcuts that will help to have a faster writing. (There will be more)
- Using * or – will start an unordered list.
- Using 1. will start an ordered list.
- Using # will transform into h1. ## for h2, ### for h3 and so on.
- Using > will transform into blockquote.
Improvements for Developers
There will be a lot of improvements for developers, one of the most important is that shared terms on multiple taxonomies will now split up. Thanx to the taxonomy improvement roadmap.
More will come in the next month, the release is planned for August, so take a look of the features, and if they can break your site after the upgrade, make backups backups and more backups before to hit the red upgrade button, and please, don’t do it on business (Your client business) hours since if something goes wrong you will need a couple of hours to fix the site.