Named for jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, WordPress 4.7 Hits the Web
December 6th, 2016 marks the most recent release of WordPress 4.7 Vaughan that has pushed out many welcomed updates. This release bring about several key features that might not be readily noticed so lets take a few minutes to look under the hood.
Check the Official WordPress 4.7 release notes here.
As with each new year’s upcoming release this WordPress 4.7 version is coming with the newest “Twenty-Seventeen” theme. This is a well done business theme that offers several improvements over previous “twenty-something” themes.
- Several Customizer selectable sections on the front page.
- Asymmetrical grid spacing.
- Custom color schemes, built on top of a monochromatic foundation, and adjustable via a hue picker.
- Customizer changeable headline placement for pages.
- Language-specific font stacks making for a better user experience.
- Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) icons (a first for a default theme).
- Additional support for customization of logos, header images and alternative post formats.
- the use of new functions in Core for making using child theme easier.
One issue with this theme is that it will not be backward compatible (easily) with previous versions of WordPress. The WordPress 4.7 implements a new and fresh Video header section. Which this 2017 theme takes advantage of. Any attempt to use this theme on older versions of WordPress (not sure why you wouldn’t just update anyways) would likely require some serious editing.
The newest WordPress 4.7 also adds in several features to the Customizer that you would normally expect in a premium WordPress themes. These major features that you may like are:
- Theme Starter Content – You can now add predefined starter content to give your themea to make site setups a snap.
- Video Headers – Showcase your work with a video header easily inside your site customizer.
- Better Menu – Build menus with links even without pages being created yet. The customizer will create the pages for you once you save your options.
- Custom CSS – In the past you added a custom CSS plugin or made lots of edits to tweak those little details, now WordPress 4.7 incorporates these for you.
- PDF Thumbnail Previews – A long-awaited feature, now when you upload PDF’s WordPress 4.7 will create thumbnail images of the PDF to make managing your documents much easier.
- Dashboard Language Options – Adding language support now means that users AND Admins can easily select their language of choice for working with your site.
All these great features so far and we barely scratched the surface of what WordPress 4.7 Vaughan is all about. Consider the fact that the main points above are geared with all users in mind, the host of new features specifically geared toward developers are impressive as well.
Page template functionality has been revamped and opened up to allow developers even greater flexibility with the WordPress template hierarchy.
- More Theme API Goodies
Many new functions, hooks, and behavior for theme developers to take advantage of.
List tables, now with more than bulk edit and delete.
Overhauled and modernized hook code with many new bugs fixes and updates.
- Settings Registration API
register_setting()has been enhanced to include type, description, and REST API visibility.
Allows developers to make changes in the customizer persistent, like autosave drafts and are the base functionality that makes exciting new features like starter content possible.
Along the way WordPress 4.7 has also managed to make additional changes to the Internal Editor, Tag Clouds, Media features, Embedded items, and fixed some multi-site issues.
As with any new update, make sure you make a backup copy of your site before upgrading to the new WordPress 4.7 Vaughan release. Double check with any plugins that you consider to be critical to make sure the authors have also updated their plugins. We will try to keep you updated if we find any issues or bugs within the WordPress 4.7 patch threads.
Overall, WordPress 4.7 has many new and exciting features that should make managing your WordPress sites much easier and allow for developers to begin making all sorts of new features for WordPress. I look forward to seeing what new things can be thought up in the coming months with these new revamped hooks and new function in the API coding.