For those WordPress site owners that don’t have automatic updates enabled, be sure to back up your website and upgrade to the latest version of WordPress (4.1) that was released last week.
For me personally, most of the new features in this release aren’t really all that useful. But, since it’s always a good idea to keep your system up to date, I upgraded as soon as I could. Here are some of my thoughts about version 4.1.
Among the features added in WordPress 4.1 are:
New Default 2015 Theme
WordPress 4.1 includes the new default theme 2015. It has a nice clean layout. But since I usually don’t use the default themes, it’s not really a big deal to me.
Distraction Free Writing
This is the most interesting feature added in the new release. Apparently, some people feel that the WordPress dashboard is very distracting when composing a post or page. Now, you can click the square button on the right side of the text editor and the rest of the WordPress background disappears. You can then move the mouse pointer outside and inside the text editor area to make the rest of the background reappear or disappear again.
Normally, I compose my posts and pages outside of WordPress and then copy them over. However, I’ve never felt the WP dashboard was overly distracting. But if you’re one of those that has been bothered by it, then version 4.1 is for you.
Plugin Recommendations in the Installer
Now when you’re going to add new plugins, there’s an additional option to look at recommended plugins—apparently based on the ones you’re already using. I guess this is a good feature for WP newbies. I usually search for specific criteria in my plugin searches, so I doubt I’d use this feature much.
Ability to easily Embed Videos from Vine
Recent versions of WordPress have made the process of embedding images and videos easier. In version 4.1, they have extended the process to videos from Vine.
Ability to Switch Language Translations in General Settings
If you need to utilize different language translations, then this feature in version 4.1 will be helpful. Again, in my case I don’t really think I’ll be making much use of it.
Under the Hood Improvements
While I’ll admit this isn’t the most exciting WordPress update, it’s always best to keep your software current. So, be sure to back up and upgrade as soon as you can.