If you’ve been feeling like it’s been too long since a major version release of WordPress, Automattic has answered your prayers with the beta release of WordPress 4.0. As with any beta product, Automattic urges you to use a staging or test environment while trying out WordPress 4.0, as this release is nowhere near stable enough for everyday production server use. If you’re a little queazy about using preproduction builds, don’t fret! The full initial release of 4.0 is slated for some time next month. To get your blogging glands salivating, here’s a list of some of the new features you can expect to see in WordPress 4.0:
Preview Embedded URLs
WordPress 4.0 Beta allows for previews of embedding via URLs in the visual editor and the “Insert from URL” tab in the media modal. Try pasting a URL, such as a YouTube video, onto its own line in the visual editor and see a live preview of what it will look like.
Media Library Grid View
The Media Library now has a “grid” view in addition to the existing list view. Clicking on an item takes you into a modal where you can see a larger preview and edit information about that attachment, and you can navigate between items right from the modal without closing it.
Improved Plugin Install Experience
WordPress is freshening up the plugin install experience. When searching for plugins and viewing details, you’ll see some early visual changes as well as more information.
- The editor intelligently resizes and its top and bottom bars pin when needed.
- Some improvements to how your keyboard and cursor interact with TinyMCE views such as the gallery preview.
- Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.