Take a quick video tour of all the new features in WordPress 4.5 and learn what may break when you update.
See the full transcript, plus links mentioned, below the video.
Hello Happy Site Owners! In this MaAnna Minute, I’ll take you on a quick tour of what’s new in WordPress 4.5. There are several big changes you’ll want to know about, and be aware of what might break during your upgrade. So, let’s dive in.
Plugins May Break
Okay, I know you all want to know about what may break during the upgrade, so let’s tackle that first. WordPress 4.5 continues the march forward to bring the core code up to current standards. In this next version, major updates were made to multiple external libraries like jQuery.
A LOT of plugins depend on those code libraries.
I am not going to be the first person to update to 4.5 on my main sites because I’m pretty sure we’re going to see a bunch of older plugin breaks reported. I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for that news and will be reporting it to you on the post on BlogAid where this video is embedded. So, if you’re watching on YouTube, be sure to see the link to the post down in the description.
Themes May Not Work with Customizer
For the most part, themes should be okay with the 4.5 update. But, for any designers, whether pro or DIY, if you depend on the Customizer for making changes, WordPress has updated the way they refresh the page, and not all themes will be compatible with it.
More Customizer Changes
- One of the new features in the Customizer that you’ll enjoy is support for adding or changing your theme logo.
- The preview in the Customizer is also now responsive.
Inline Link Editing
There’s a new pop up for creating links in your content that’s pretty sweet.
Highlight the text you want to use and click the create link tool.
You’ll see the new pop up with a field to either type in the URL or enter a search term.
I’ll type in BlogAid here and you’ll see all of the posts and pages on this testing site that qualify.
If you want to access the standard link tool, then click the gear icon to bring it up.
You receive an email when a comment needs moderation on your site. That took you to the Moderate Comment screen where everything was shown in a big block with no formatting.
Now it looks like this so you can more easily read it.
Header and Footer Scripts
For those of you who run ads by placing scripts in the header and footer sections of your site, version 4.5 deals better with how they function now.
Twitter oEmbed Support
Twitter made a few changes to the URL they supply for embedding on your site, and WordPress 4.5 updated their support for it. So, be sure to test that on your site if you embed links from Twitter.
During a fresh install of WordPress, it has to access WordPress.org to generate a couple of security things such as the secret keys and SALT keys. These encrypt your login credentials. In WordPress 4.5, they will now be generated locally with a fall back to WordPress.org if need be.
And folks you want to rotate your SALT keys annually. So if you have an old install and have never checked those, they are probably not up to the latest encryption standards and may open you to a brute force hack. That’s just one of the security features I check during site audits.
The team has been working hard on how images are handled by WordPress.
In the 4.5 version, they fixed responsive images for sites with SSL.
In version 3.9, WordPress included support for the Imagick API to improve the native image editor. It works in conjunction with code called HHVM, which stands for HipHop Virtual Machine and was developed by Facebook. All of this together makes your site run faster because it reduces the load of compiling all of the code. The HHVM part of things is installed on the server side, meaning at the host.
Even though all of this has been in process since 2014, it’s still considered emerging software. And WordPress is slowly catching up by introducing support for it in 3.9 and continuing to improve it in version 4.5.
All of these improvements are on the backside of WordPress or your hosting, and not something you need to get too involved with at this point. Just know that it will be a speed improvement.
And the reason I’m mentioning it is for those of you relying on the native WordPress image editor, or you’re not concerning yourself with speed yet, learning how to do proper image optimization prior to upload is the biggest bang for the buck you can do with regard to site performance.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this MaAnna Minute tour of what’s new in WordPress 4.5. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and tutorials.