WordPress released WordPress 4.6, nicknamed Pepper, yesterday (16 Aug 2016). And here are all the new features that were introduced as part of this release.
1. Shiny Updates
WordPress 4.6 comes with “Shiny updates” feature for both themes and plugins. This introduces a better and simple experience when updating themes and plugin. No more new page loads during updates. Instead using AJAX you will stay on the same page when you install, update or delete your plugins and themes.
The introduction of AJAX has also improved the search in the installed plugins page. When you start typing the search term in the search box, the results start appearing below without a page reload.
Here is a video with a live example from my website.
2. Native Fonts
WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have, making it load faster. WordPress 4.6 will use the following font stacks on different platforms and operating systems.
-apple-systemfor Safari (iOS & macOS) and Firefox macOS
Helvetica Neuefor versions of macOS prior to 10.11
BlinkMacSystemFontfor Chrome macOS
Segoe UIfor Windows
Robotofor Android and Chrome OS
sans-serif, the standard fallback
3. Inline Link Checker
When you use the Visual Editor to write your posts, WordPress 4.6 will notify you if you ever accidentally input a broken link. These broken links will be highlighted similar to misspellings highlights making it easier for you to identify and update such links. See an example below:
WordPress automatically sends an HTTP request to the link. If the link responds with an error 403 or 404, WordPress will flag it as a bad link and highlight it in red.
4. Content Recovery
WordPress 4.6 saves your content locally to the browser as you type. This is a very useful feature if you work in areas with spotty internet connections or you do something like refreshing the page without saving. You will see a friendly notice like below with a “Restore the backup” button that lets you restore the content saved to the browser.
5. Under the Hood Changes
5.1 Resource Hints
WordPress 4.6 automatically adds resource hints for your styles and scripts making your sites load faster. This allows browsers to prefetch specific pages, render them in the background, perform DNS lookups, or begin the connection handshake (DNS, TCP, TLS) in the background.
5.2 Robust Requests
The HTTP API now uses the Requests library instead of using specific WordPress-specific HTTP library. This improves HTTP standard support and in adding case-insensitive headers, parallel HTTP requests, and support for Internationalized Domain Names.
5.3 New Classes –
WP_Term_Query is modelled on existing query classes and provides a more consistent structure for generating term queries. It brings parity between taxonomy term queries and WordPress’s other content type queries.
WP_Post_Type object makes interacting with post types more predictable. It provides methods to handle post type supports, rewrite rules, meta boxes, hooks, and taxonomies. This changes the global
$wp_post_types to an array of
5.4 Meta Registration API
Meta Registration API has been expanded in WordPress 4.6 to support types, descriptions, and REST API visibility.
5.5 Translations On Demand
WordPress 4.6 has improved the way in which translations load for WordPress officially hosted plugins and themes that use language packs via WordPress.org’s translation platform. It will automatically scan the community translation directory for available translations and instantly load the updates.
Masonry 3.3.2, imagesLoaded 3.2.0, MediaElement.js 2.22.0, TinyMCE 4.4.1, and Backbone.js 1.3.3 are now bundled in WordPress 4.6.
5.7 Customizer APIs for Setting Validation and Notifications
WordPress 4.6 includes new APIs related to validation of Customizer setting values. Customizer controls support notifications, which are used to display validation errors instead of failing silently.
5.8 Faster Multisite
WordPress 4.6 introduces new Multisite classes
WP_Network_Query as well as their companion functions,
get_networks(). These help craft advanced queries with less effort making Multisite website even faster.
WP_Site_Queryhelps to query sites with lazy loading for details.
WP_Network_Queryhelps to query networks with lazy loading for details.
Here is a video from WordPress on Pepper.
WordPress will release one more update in 2016. The release of next version WordPress 4.7 will be lead by Helen Hou-Sandí and is scheduled to release in December 2016.