WordPress 4.4 is coming!

4.4

v12xnWordPress 4.4 has been in the works for a while now and the buzz factor that has ensued is, needless to say, awesome! I’ve spent some time reading through all the cool updates and changes that are coming with version 4.4 and I want to touch on some key features that has our team really excited. The coming updates are numerous; here are few key, and exciting, highlights:

Rest API:
The REST API started as a plugin that soon became very popular and had developers begging to have it included in core because it exposes a simple yet easy interface to WP Query, the posts API, post meta API, users API, revisions API and many more. Chances are, if you can do it with WordPress, WP API will let you do it. WordPress 4.4 merges the REST API into core which will benefit people building custom APIs for their site.

WP API also includes a relatively easy Javascript API based on Backbone libraries, allowing plugin and theme developers to get up and running without needing to know anything about the details of getting connected. Here is a link to what is available in the API and how to use it: http://wp-api.org/

Twenty-Sixteen:
Each year, WordPress puts out a new default theme. Along with 4.4, they are introducing Twenty-Sixteen. It has been created in GitHub and can be followed along here. Beta 1 is out for review and you can check that out here. Based on this post on WordPress.org about the new TwentySixteen theme, here are a few features you can look forward to:

  • Multiple menu positions and a social menu.
  • Optional sidebar.
  • Custom color options and beautiful default color schemes.
  • Harmonious fluid grid using mobile-first approach.
  • Custom background and header.
  • Overflow displaying large images.
  • Ability to add intro to post using custom excerpt

Term Meta
Term meta is an exciting new feature coming in 4.4 because it gives us the ability to add additional data to existing taxonomies in WordPress, like categories, tags, and custom taxonomies. No one explains it better than our good friend Justin Tadlock. You can read the entire article he wrote about term meta on his site. Here is a short snippet from his article explaining what it’s all about.

What is term meta?

Terms are individual objects within a taxonomy. For example, the category taxonomy can have many categories (i.e., terms).

Meta (short for “metadata”) is simply additional data that can be tied to an object. This data can pretty much be anything.

Term meta, therefore, is additional data about specific taxonomy terms.

WordPress has long allowed for meta on other types of objects, such as:

  • Posts
  • Comments
  • Users

If you’ve used WordPress, you’ve used metadata in some way, even if you didn’t know it. Metadata is actually pretty important because it allows plugins (and even core itself) to add extra data to the various objects that’s not accounted for in the main table.

A good example of this is featured images in core. Core stores the image ID as metadata because there’s no field for the image ID in the posts table. So, metadata to the rescue!

There’s a TON more changes coming with the WordPress 4.4 arrival and you can check them all out in this WordPress.Org article. WordPress 4.4 is slated to release on December 8th.

If you need help updating to WordPress 4.4 and making sure all your plugins and inner workings on your WordPress site continue working smoothly, hit up Maintainn. We would be happy to make the transition easy and answer any questions you might have about the update!

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