WordPress 4.5 Coleman was released today.
Almost all the news and updates in WordPress 4.5 Coleman are focused on making WordPress content easier to format, edit, and customize for WordPress users. WordPress 4.5 Coleman is another example of wordpress.org’s focus on user-centered improvements of WordPress CMS.
Custom Logos: Native Support for a Theme Logo
WordPress 4.5 introduces native support for a theme logo.
When a theme declares support for a custom logo, an upload form is added under the Site Identity panel of the customizer.
This feature is a big win for theme developers, as they now have a standard way of adding support for a logo.
When they opt to follow the WordPress core’s implementation, users will always know where to find the logo upload.
“Given the hundreds of themes with their own implementation, it makes sense that core would standardize this,” said Justin Tadlock of wordpress.org. “The concept has been well tested for years in themes and in Jetpack.
It’s a natural progression that core would get it, just like core standardized post classes, body classes, featured images, and other features that started out in the theme space. There’s an obvious need for it.”
Customizer Improvements: Instant previews and selective refresh
Selective refresh is one of the under-the-hood updates to the customizer that makes a big difference for users. It makes previews more instant, instead of reloading the entire preview for each setting change. This is a much needed improvement that gives the customizer the true live preview experience that it was previously lacking.
“Selective refresh is a hybrid preview mechanism that has the performance benefit of not having to refresh the entire preview window,”
Customizer component maintainer Weston Ruter said.
“This was previously available with JS-applied postMessage previews, but selective refresh also improves the accuracy of the previewed change while reducing the amount of code you have to write; it also makes it possible to do performant previews that would previously been practically impossible.”
After updating your site to WordPress 4.5 Coleman, you can see a live example of selective refresh when editing menus.
All core themes and core widgets now support selective refresh and users should see major performance improvements.
This release also makes it easier for users to customize their sites with mobile devices in mind.
It adds buttons to the customizer controls footer that enable desktop, tablet, and phone-sized device previews.
Instead of having to test the site on different devices, users can see a live preview of how the design will respond while making changes.
Improvements to Formatting and Editing Content
WordPress 4.5 Coleman now has an intuitive interface for editing inline links in the visual editor. The interface detects if a user is entering a URL or attempting to search for one. The updated search uses jQuery UI Autocomplete to populate existing content as the user is typing.
This release also adds more formatting shortcuts to the existing ones for lists and headings. You can now use shortcuts for horizontal lines and code tags.
Developers who utilize the REST API infrastructure will want to take note of a breaking change in this release that could potentially cause issues with plugins that depend on the API. The changes break backwards compatibility for the sake of fixing a bug regarding slashed data.
The under-the-hood updates include:
- Improvements to comment moderation screen with visual enhancements and a maximum length for comment form fields
- Performance enhancements for images: Increased compression makes images load up to 50% faster with no noticeable quality loss
- Enhanced script loader: Better support for script header/footer dependencies, new wp_add_inline_script() enables adding extra code to registered scripts
- Better embed templates: these are now split into parts and can be customized by themes using the template hierarchy