2016’s final version of WordPress is released on 6th December with new REST API content endpoints, a new default theme, many customizer features and much more. Used by more than 27% of the websites over the internet, WordPress is the most widely used open source and free Content Management System in the world. With aim of making life easier for people and non-programmers, greater than 170 enhancements are served in this release as requested by the users.
Let’s look at major improvements of what we consider the most important and noteworthy, but it is by no means all-comprehensive:
- Twenty Seventeen
- Custom CSS
- PDF Thumbnail Previews
- Theme Starter Content
- Video Headers
- Edit Shortcuts From Customizer Preview
- Post Type Templates
- Editor Improvements
- Dashboard in your language
- WordPress REST API
Looking at the first impression of the default Twenty Seventeen WordPress theme, facility to edit the site title, description, header, control menus and themes are already available, in 4.7 an entire page can be edited at par and even changing themes is allowed with starter content component.
REST API architecture was added in 4.4 version of the software and rollout is still going on. As part of upgradations, the Content Endpoints are shipped with 4.7. Implication is that developers will be able to interact with all major types of content objects like posts, comments, users etc. RESTful web services concept is in existence since quite long time, it is cross-platform in nature, standardized and spans all major technologies rather just PHP, and therefore it is matured. So many facilities are silently bundled with it which WP developers can now leverage like using WordPress as a content store, completely bypass the templating engine and creating a custom writing interface.
As part of WordPress core, Custom CSS is a newly added tab in the Customizer interface and you can see live preview without making actual changes and executing in the browser. We have often faced problem of opening exact PDF quickly without trying one by one that contain similar kind of stuff. 4.7 release enlightens us by showing thumbnail views of PDF files.
UI facilities in this number one PHP based CMS has reached a huge milestone. The new Theme Starter Content gives theme authors the ability to make customization easier and faster with dozens of unprecedented options that were previously seemed complicated to set up. The content placeholder can contain a variety of things like business info widget, social media icons etc but will not appear on the live website until the user has customized and published it.
Enhanced visible edit shortcuts display a pencil icon on areas of a theme that allows customiztion. Clicking the icons will automatically open and map to the correct panel and component for the setting, which saves users time that may otherwise took a lot of time hunting around for the right setting to find and adjust. Theme authors are required to add support for selective refresh in order to take advantage of this new feature.
Twenty Seventeen is the first non-paid theme to come with video header support. You can upload and use your own videos in mp4 format, or you can consume YouTube and Vimeo videos by simply entering URL of the video without any coding. Success metrics are still counting to track how many more things under the hoods are packed with it that allow liberation regarding video vertical, although the core team knows there is much left to do.
Minor adjustments are applied to Editor so that console can prove cool to eyes while working like the paragraph and heading selector menu is now at the top bar. You might have used WP’s custom page templates to clone specific ‘pages’ of your website. It is not new but in WordPress 4.7 release, custom ‘post’ type templates also are introduced with which you can easily create a custom post type template with your own requirements.
We can change the language of the admin panel by navigating to Settings -> General. You’ll need to choose the one you want for dashboard and it will set for your dashboard and not for website though.
So 4.7 can be considered giant one unlocking many functionalities from developers’ perspective. The documentation is going forward. We sincerely believe that better successor of REST API component is a game changer for critics of WordPress. Now, it’s your turn to build, showcase and show the world what you can make!
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