A new version of WordPress named ‘Pepper’ was released and with it came some useful feature additions that can help with productivity and further the ease of use of the WordPress admin dashboard.
The WordPress core team seem to have a great love for jazz music. WordPress always names it’s major versions after famous jazz singers and this one was named after Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III a saxophonist from Michigan.
With any release there are usually some developer, security and performance updates but for users the following are what we care about.
It’s now lot easier and quicker to update themes and install and activate plugins. You’ve been able to update plugins with one click from the plugins page for some time now, but now that feature has been added to themes and looks a bit slicker.
You can also install and then activate a plugin from one page. A much cleaner and time saving change to the process. This might seem like an insignificant change, but the WordPress system is all about ease of use and intuitive administration of your website. These small tweaks subtly make website administration a breeze.
Another small change. Rather than using a non system font (Open Sans) and having to load that up from Google Fonts, WordPress now uses your system’s native font. So you might notice things looking a little bit different, perhaps even a bit sharper if you are on a retina screen.
This is a very minor performance upgrade because you no longer need to download the font when you open your WordPress dashboard, but every little bit counts.
Inline link checker
Now when you are linking from content in your page WordPress will validate the url and let you know if it’s incorrect. So this will pick up if you haven’t got http:// in front or if there’s a space where there shouldn’t be. It’s an ‘ok’ feature for me.
I’d love to see this extended in future. I’m not sure how much of an impact it would have on performance, but if it could actually retrieve a response from the link server to ensure it is actually a page and not a 404 error, that could be a game changer. It would of course have to happen in the background so it doesn’t slow your writing down.
Probably the most important addition is content recovery. WordPress does save periodically when you are writing content, but occasionally something goes wrong and you lose a bit of work. Your internet connection may die, your browser might crash or your whole computer might freeze. WordPress now saves your work to the browser so when you pop back to the editor you can continue where you left off. A smart and useful feature.
The other nerdy stuff
There are some performance updates to this release for the web lovers including one for WordPress Multisite. Whenever a new version comes out for WordPress it’s kind of like an iPhone release. Expectations are always so high, then you kind of get disappointed that there’s nothing revolutionary. Then when you actually look at what’s been achieved you realise, ‘hey that’s actually pretty sweet’. We love WordPress at Pixeld. It’s amazing the benefits we take for granted these days of amazing web software that’s completely free.