WordPress 4.4 Quick Look

New Features Upcoming in 4.4

WordPress 4.4 Quick Look at the beta which is just is out the door and promising a number of new features beyond the requisite security and reliability fixes. Of particular interest to this WP user are the graphics oriented improvements with new responsive images and a 2016 Theme with added customize features. Also there are embed and REST API improvements.

Responsive Images

Continuing the theme of making WordPress Core more mobile ready, WP4.4 supports responsive images:
wp44rresizing
In this example, the 900 x 600 pixel image has been neatly resized when displayed in a portrait tablet viewport of 700 x 500 pixels. This is a welcome addition to WordPress image handling. However, it does not mean the end of the many sizes of images in the media gallery. To my surprise, WordPress sees the need for at least 3 additional images beyood the original source as seen in this screenshot of the …/wp-content/uploads/2015/.. directory:
wp44images
Not sure why this is necessary.

oEmbeds

Object embedding has been available in WordPress since WP2.9 and the list of websites on the Whitelist is substantial; particularly for video and graphics oriented websites. The new WP4.4 promises that a WordPress site having oEmbed capabilities could be embedded in a WP4.4 website with a simple embed shortcode. But our test shows that the traditional embeds work but not a WP4.3.1 website embed:
web2a

2016 Theme

Automatic has lead the way in making for new website design layouts beond the Header | Menu Bar | Content + Sidebar | Footer paradigm. And 2016 Theme follows in that tradition with menubar in the header, bold spacing, and a big surrounding border as seen in the screen shot above. But this WP Developer has found that drag and drop Theme builders like Headway Themes and Beaver Builder have matured so much that I have stopped shopping around for themes and started building my own themes using these tools plus a great set of support plugins like SiteOrigin CSS and Page Builder plus PHP with Codex guidance.

Summary

WordPress 4.4 Quick Look tells us the new version shaping up to be a promising upgrade on the graphics and API enhancements alone. But this developer will be watching for the final oEmbed state as well.

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