As we roll into the last month of the year, the new major release of WordPress, WordPress 4.7 Vaughan has just been released. Named after four-time Grammy-winning jazz singer Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, this version brings several great new features that make using WordPress faster and more enjoyable. Helen Hou-Sandí led the development, with Jeff Paul and Aaron Jorbin as release deputies. Almost 500 people contributed to this release, the most a WordPress version has ever had. Here are our highlights.
Twenty Seventeen – a new default theme
As is WordPress tradition, the last update for the year comes with a brand new default theme. 4.7 is not different, it packs in Twenty Seventeen, a beautiful and modern theme. Instead of being blog focused, Twenty Seventeen was created with full-fledged business websites in mind. While remaining flexible enough to be a blog theme, Twenty Seventeen showcases some of the great new features that will be supported by all WordPress sites running 4.7. By default, it includes a full-screen header (which can now even be videos), support for parallax effects and a crisp typography.
Making it easier to get started
One of the common refrains from WordPress is that it’s perceived to be the tool for someone with technical knowledge. WordPress Vaughan bridges that gap in a few ways. Themes can now include starter content which better explain the purposes of each unit. Another useful feature they’ve added is the ability to add pages from the customizer itself. It fixes a really common problem where people are trying to build menus, but need to go to the pages tab to do so.
As bandwidth gets higher, video headers have really become a trend recently. WordPress now lets you do that right out of the box with Twenty Seventeen and several other themes.
Making visual tweaks to your WordPress site used to be rather clunky. This time round, 4.7 lets you change and preview your changes right from the Live Preview window itself!
PDF Thumbnail Previews
Uploading PDFs now generate thumbnail images in the media library, so managing them is now much easier.
As always, there are plenty of upgrades under the hood as well.
- Theme developers can now create custom Post Type Templates without the need for a plugin
- REST API endpoints should surprise no one. Since it was announced in 2015, the REST API has existed as a separate plugin, but now it makes its WordPress core debut
- Make changes in the customizer persistent with the new Customized Changesets