Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress CMS/blogging platform has announced the release of WordPress 4.4, codenamed Clifford, to honor the Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown.
With this release the self hosted WordPress software has started to take advantage of the new codebase, which was recently rebuilt.
A notable enhancement for users is responsive images. Until now users had to either use a third party plugin or rely on themes for making images responsive, now the feature is baked into WordPress.
Users of Facebook and Google+ should be familiar with the auto embedding feature where these sites pull metadata from the source article and embed content within posts. Now WordPress users can also embed content from other WordPress sites. Just paste the link of any WordPress post into your post and it will automatically embed the title, description and featured image. Unfortunately, this feature only works between WordPress sites.
Further enhancements to embedding comes in the form of support for five new oEmbed providers: Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress.
The 4.4 release also marks the arrival of REST API to self hosted WordPress sites. Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress wrote in a blog post:
Infrastructure for the REST API has been integrated into core, marking a new era in developing with WordPress. The REST API gives developers an easy way to build and extend RESTful APIs on top of WordPress. Infrastructure is the first part of a multi-stage rollout for the REST API. Inclusion of core endpoints is targeted for an upcoming release. To get a sneak peek of the core endpoints, and for more information on extending the REST API, check out the official WordPress REST API plugin.
Keep your sites updated
WordPress sites were magnets for hackers because a majority of users never bothered to update the site software. To address this problem, WordPress implemented a mechanism where minor updates are installed automatically.
However, major updates are not installed automatically and users still have to go to the dashboard and click on the ‘update’ button. And since 4.4 is a major update, if you are running a WordPress site, go ahead and update it now.
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