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220px-Benny_Goodman_-_c1970WordPress 4.0, named “Benny” launched this past weekend. Here’s everything you need to know about the much anticipated latest update to the popular CMS:

First off,  you’re probably wondering what’s with the “Benny”? WP 4.0 was named after famous jazz musician, Benny Goodman, as much like Benny Goodman and his jazz,  it provides a smoother overall experience. Of course every WordPress update comes with security and stability improvements, however some serious consideration has gone into the content management and content creation tools in this update.

Embedding media in posts is now even easier. When you’re struggling to meet a deadline to get a post out, there’s nothing worse than hitting ‘Publish’ only to discover that all of the media items are incorrectly formatted and the layout isn’t at all how you’d envisioned it. This can be a particular hassle for non HTML savvy users. Now when you add media to posts, the content will appear directly in the post. This includes things like Tweets and YouTube and Vimeo links. So now you can click ‘Publish’ with confidence.

The Media Library picked up some huge enhancements.No more multi-page libraries that required scrolling back and forth between pages to find one specific image that you just can’t locate. Now media is in one continuous display with a grid layout similar to many popular desktop image management application that most users would already be familiar with. And by simply clicking on an image you can see all necessary media management info fields, such as title, caption, atl text and basic tech specs like file type and size. Better still, video and audio files can played directly through the library, and doen’t require opening external or third party applications.

If you’re like me, when you’re publishing content you want all your tools ready at hand without having to scroll back up to the top, which has long been a bit of an annoyance in WordPress when writing lengthy articles. This has all changed with subtle refinements of the layout of the “Add New Post” screen. So now, no matter where in the article you happen to be working, the toolbar remains at the top, and the publishing bar remains on the side for quick and easy access.

Finally, the plugin screen got a huge overhaul. Plugins are what gives WordPress so much power and functionality, but despite this the plugin directory has always been pretty underwhelming. The user interface is bland and often more time is spent on external developers sites to find out further details about a particular plugin instead of within the actual directory. This has all changed with the layout now feeling like an actual store. Now, when you click on a plugin you can see a description, installation details, change logs and reviews all with their own tabs. There’s also a sidebar for every plugin displaying tech specs, a link to the developer and a breakdown on user ratings. A massive win for both users seeking new plugins and developers wanting to show off their creations.

There are also plenty of other behind the scenes changes with ‘Benny’, but these are the core ones that most users will notice. If you have any questions about WordPress 4.0 and the update, please contact us.