WordPress 4.4 Beta 2

WordPress 4.4 is scheduled to be released on December 8th of this year but before it will be released to the public, the dev team has to make sure that everything works fine and all the bugs have been squashed. The dev team does most of the work but the WordPress community play an important role in making sure that final versions get released on time and ready for public consumption.

WorPress 4.4 Beta 2 was released yesterday and if you want to test/try it out for personal use or plugin & theme development, make sure that you install and run it on a sandbox, not on a live production site.

If you haven’t followed the development of WordPress 4.4, here are some of the new features and changes:

  • Twenty Sixteen – The newest default theme for WordPress.
  • Responsive Images – WordPress automatically delivers a more appropriate image to users depending on a variety of conditions like screen size, viewport size, and screen resolution.
  • Embeds – WordPress can now embed rich content from nearly all sites that support the oEmbed standard – not just YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and the like. You can even embed previews of posts from other WordPress sites by pasting the URL on its own line.

Developer-related changes:

  • REST API (phase 1) – The underlying infrastructure of the WordPress REST API plugin has been included in WordPress 4.4. Plugin authors can take advantage of this by adding custom endpoints.
  • Term Metadata – Taxonomy term metadata is now included in WordPress 4.4. If you’ve already been using a plugin to implement term metadata, you should read this post on how to prepare. Also, the underlying WP_Term class improves caching when working with terms.
  • Improved <title> output – wp_title() is now deprecated; WordPress can handle the rendering of the document title automatically.
  • Comments – Comment queries are now split for performance. Also, the underlying WP_Comment class improves caching and introduces strong-typing.

One of the interesting changes will be the deprecation of the wp_title function. I’m not a theme developer and I haven’t read thoroughly about it so I’m not sure what or if this change will have any implications on current themes and plugins.

Again, a friendly reminder that this release – WordPress 4.4 Beta 2 is in development and is supposed to be installed on a test site/installation. For those who are testing this version, please report any bugs to the Alpha/Beta area in the official WordPress support forums.

Download WordPress 4.4 Beta 2

Anyone testing out this beta version? What are the new feature/s you like that are coming with WordPress 4.4? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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