WordPress releases version 4.0, 'seamless' features added throughout

This week WordPress released version 4.0 of its popular CMS. The full-point release is a feature-rich update with many new enhancements and tools for your WordPress site.
While WordPress 4.0 contains no specific security updates, it does contain a series of fixes made recently (in smaller patches) that address several critical vulnerabilities. If you are running WordPress 3.9.1 or under, we highly recommend you update to WordPress 4.0 to get all of the latest security updates, as well as take advantage of new features.
Benny Goodman.
King of Swing ... and WordPress?
Maintaining the recent jazz theme of the past several versions of the platform, WordPress version 4.0 is named “Benny” after Jazz great Benny Goodman (pictured at right), often called the “King of Swing.” Previous jazz-themed WordPress releases include: versions 3.5 “Elvin” (named after drummer Elvin Jones), 3.6 “Oscar” (jazz pianist Oscar Peterson), 3.7 “Basie” (pianist and bandleader William James “Count” Basie), and 3.8 “Parker” (saxophonist Charlie Parker, Jr.), and the 3.9.x series named “Smith” (jazz organist Jimmy Smith).
If there’s one word that WordPress is working hard to hammer home with 4.0, it’s “seamless.” All of the feature updates in version 4.0 are designed to work seamlessly; simple, subtle user experience changes that will make your WordPress experience more enjoyable.
According to the official release statement issued by the WordPress team, this latest update “is all about deepening the seamless experience of creating, managing, and publishing your content.”
First up, the toolbars (on the right-side) have been improved when you are creating a new post. They now have a “stickiness” to them that will keep your most-used toolbars next to your post as you work on your content. No more scrolling up and down to find the tools you need.
Embedded content has also had a substantial tweak. Now when you add a link to content, such as a YouTube video, the content will be populated directly in-line where you are creating your post. You won’t have to juggle back and forth between your preview mode and your post creation window to see if it’s working correctly.
The 4.0 update also includes embedded tweets as a standard (plugin no longer required!). When you link directly to a tweet in a post, WordPress will create a stylized version of that tweet, which maintains information such as retweets, favorites, hashtags, and links. In an increasingly social world, this is a great addition for WordPress users. Again, the stylized tweet content will now show as a “true preview” within your editing window.
Embedded tweets in WordPress 4.0 will show a "true preview" in the edit mode.
No more surprises when you hit the "Publish" button.
“We’ve expanded the services supported by default, too,” the release notes from WordPress state. “You can embed videos from CollegeHumor, [full] playlists from YouTube, and talks from TED.” WordPress has a complete list of supported embeddable content-rich sites on their codex page here.
WordPress has also added a built-in plugin browser, which seems like such an obvious addition we wonder why it hasn’t happened sooner. Anyone familiar with navigating an app store will feel right at home with this system. Reviews are also included right up front: you no longer have to exit your dashboard to find out what people are saying about a plugin.
WordPress emphasizes that “While 4.0 is just another number for us after 3.9 and before 4.1, we feel we’ve put a little extra polish into it.” Here are a few other features the WordPress team has polished for 4.0:
  • Enhanced Toolbars
  • Intuitive Editing
  • Seamless Media Embeds
  • New Plugin Browser
  • Updates to Media Manager
  • Media Library Grid
The full-point WordPress 4.0 update is available now. If you’d like to find out more information, you can see the official release notes here. And if you’d like to dive deeper into the update, you can view the WordPress Codex post here, and the 4.0 changelog list of closed tickets here.
As always, if you have any questions about setting up your own site’s updates, don’t hesitate to call a member of our support team. And if you’d prefer to let us completely handle your site upgrade, we’ll be happy to help.
Works Cited / For Further Reading:
WordPress 4.0 release announcement. (WordPress.org)
WordPress 4.0 codex changes. (WordPress.org Core)
WordPress 4.0 core changelog. (WordPress.org Changelog)
WordPress embeddable content site list. (WordPress.org Codex)
WordPress and Drupal collaborate on critical update. (Managed.com News)