WordPress 4.4 Clifford Now Available

So WordPress 4.4 was released yesterday. I was quite busy so I missed the announcement and didn’t know about it until late last night when I logged in to my WordPress dashboard. It’s been over a month since the first beta version was released and after 3 more beta versions and one release candidate, the final version of WordPress 4.4 is finally here. By the way, this release is named in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown.

Check out this introduction video to get an idea on the changes and new features included in this release:

WordPress 4.4 Features & New Stuff

  • Responsive Images
  • Embed Posts
  • Twenty Sixteen Theme

Responsive Images – with this release, WordPress is now taking a smarter approach in displaying the right image size on any device thus making sure that images fit perfectly everytime. When users upload an image, it will be automatically cropped into smaller sizes by WordPress. This process decreases the amount of bandwidth used because smaller sized images have a smaller file size. The best thing about it is you don’t have to do anything because all of this is done behind the scenes.

Embed Posts – in version 4.4, anyone can now easily embed content/posts from any WordPress powered site.

To embed a post, just copy and drop a post URL into the editor and you will get an instant embed preview that includes the post title, excerpt and featured image (if one is set). The embedded posts are displayed in an iframe and contains links to the comments, a share icon and a post excerpt.

REST API – to become a fully-fledged application framework, WordPress needs new APIs and this project was started to provide developers an easy way to build and extend RESTful APIs on top of WordPress.

For more information regarding REST API, check out the official WordPress REST API plugin page.

Twenty Sixteen Theme – the latest and newest default WordPress theme designed by Takashi Irie, was built to be mobile-friendly and responsive to make sure that WordPress sites look good on any device.

Other additional changes include:

Term meta – Terms now support metadata, just like posts. See add_term_meta(), get_term_meta(), and update_term_meta() for more information.

Comment query improvements – Comment queries now have cache handling to improve performance. New arguments in WP_Comment_Query make crafting robust comment queries simpler.

Term, comment, and network objects – New WP_Term, WP_Comment, and WP_Network objects make interacting with terms, comments, and networks more predictable and intuitive in code.

To update your WordPress installation to WordPress 4.4, login to your admin dashboard and go to Dashboard > Updates and click on Update Now. Users can also upgrade manually by downloading WordPress 4.4 from the official site and uploading it via an FTP client. If you have the automatic background update enabled, then you don’t have to do anything because the software will do it for you automatically.

Before proceeding with the upgrade, make sure that you backup your WordPress database as well as other important files such as the wp-config.php file, .htaccess file, wp-content folder and other custom files. Another thing you can do to prevent any conflicts or issues is to deactivate all active plugins.

Personally, I haven’t upgraded to WordPress 4.4 yet. It’s my practice to not immediately upgrade unless it is a security release so I’m going to give it about a week or two before I’ll upgrade. This version includes some changes that can cause some issues with third-party plugins and themes. Check out this post about the possible bugs and issues to expect when upgrading to WordPress 4.4.

Anyone upgraded or plan to upgrade to WordPress 4.4? Did you experience any issues during or after the upgrade? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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