WordPress 4.7 was released late 2016, and with its upgrade to 4.7.4 in April 2017, you can expect to find several bug fixes and numerous new improvements to make you proud of being a member of the WP family. Let’s now in detail look at what you are missing out on if you are yet to upgrade to the 4.7 version of WordPress.
Let’s start with the aesthetics
1. Twenty Seventeen Theme: It has always been WordPress’ tradition to provide a new default theme alongside its yearly updates. The Twenty Seventeen is the new default theme you’ll get for your site once you upgrade to WordPress 4.7.
The theme is gorgeous and has been designed to be more beneficial for business websites rather than blogs. But just because the theme is better suited for a business site doesn’t mean it’s not flexible enough to also serve for a blog. It also comes with a lovely typography that has been tested to function well and look good on both small and large screens. Other impressive features embedded in the theme include full-screen header video and large featured images, as well as an essential mobile friendly design.
The new default theme also features a starter content to help fresh WP initiates launch a WordPress site like a seasoned pro.
2. PDF thumbnail previews: With WordPress 4.7, preview thumbnails of PDF files are now available. Unlike previous WP versions where only a generic document icon represented PDF files unless a plugin was installed for thumbnail previews.
The thumbnail preview will show an image of the PDF document’s first page and is visible in the media library, attachment pages, and media upload popup.
3. Edit shortcuts in WordPress themes: Once updated to WP 4.7, you become able to ‘Edit Shortcuts’ from the customizer preview. Although, these features can only be executed on editable items that are signified by a small blue icon in your theme’s live preview. This feature will be effective only on newer themes that are compatible with the feature.
4. Insert custom CSS support in Live Preview: In the event, you ever need to insert a bit of CSS into your WP site, the 4.7 version makes the process easy. In previous versions, custom CSS had to be added by inserting them into the theme stylesheet. But with WP 4.7, you can simply insert custom CSS by using the Customizer and immediately viewing your changes through Live Preview.
5. Expanded control over Admin Language: If updated to WP 4.7, you can now switch between languages for your admin from within your profile. But before you can switch between languages, you need to ensure your language of choice is installed. If it isn’t, you can add and install new languages, and switch to them at your leisure.
6. Improvements to Post Editor features: Within post editor is where WP users utilize their time and creativity by creating, editing, and publishing their content. So far so good, WordPress has done very well by making the process of creating and publishing content easy and convenient. But with the 4.7 upgrade, the convenience of generating content is taken to a higher level of ease. Some of the new and more intuitive features of the post editor in WP 4.7 include; users now being able to see keyboard shortcuts in the drop down menus and tooltips. Another new feature is the top bar is now where the paragraph and heading selector menu can be found. Also, the underline button, the horizontal line button, and the strikethrough button have been moved.
7. Locale language switching: In a scenario where your website’s content is assessed from a different locale that has a language different from that set in the admin’s original locale, WordPress will present your site’s toolbar in the content page’s language.
8. REST API has been enhanced for data handling, and with WP 4.7.4, you can select multiple checkboxes.
Why is updating your WordPress site important?
WordPress releases core updates regularly in order to keep their clients safe from security threats and improve the WP platform with innovative features. This makes it critical for users to always stay updated. Unfortunately, many WP users ignore updates.
If the earlier stated updated features of WP aren’t enough reason for you to update to the latest version of WordPress, then here are other reasons for you to keep your WP site up to date, regardless the released version.
1. WordPress Plugins: If the plugins on your WordPress aren’t updated, they are bound to become a security loophole through which hackers can assault your site. Also, plugins are essential to enhancing the functionality of your site, so keep them updated to ensure your site operates at optimal capacity.
2. Broken links: WP updates help monitor and identify broken links. Instead of your site users following a broken link to a dead end, an updated WP will divert the user as necessary to an existing page. This will improve user experience and help maintain your site’s SEO ranking.
3. More feature options become available: It’s obvious that WordPress has only gotten better with time, so you should stay updated in order to be able to access all the new features and enhancements that are constantly being added.
4. An easier and faster site: By updating your WP site, you get to enjoy increased speeds and user convenience with each update. Not only for you but also for your site’s visitors.
5. Ready for change: New software such as themes and plugins are being daily created. If your WP site is outdated, you won’t be able to make use of most of this software on your outdated website.
Simply put, an updated WP site is safer, better, and free, which means you have no reason to miss out on what’s new with WordPress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Cummings is a business psychologist with extensive experience of the tech, finance and recruitment sectors. As CEO of Daily Posts Copywriting, he has worked with many businesses like Freeparking (https://www.freeparking.co.nz/) to deliver top quality content strategies.