WordPress Releases 4.5 “Coleman”, Introduces Responsive Previews, Custom Logos

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WordPress has released an update to its core service.  Version 4.5 of WordPress is nicknamed “Coleman” in honour of the legendary Saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.  Compared to other major updates to WordPress, 4.5 is short on big new features but packed with impressive under-the-hood tweaks.

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Most of the updates to 4.5 focuses on making WordPress easier to use, include easier editing, formatting and customizing of content.  Here are some highlights:

Custom Logos: Support for a Theme Logo

WordPress 4.5 introduced native support of custom logos, using code yanked from Jetpack’s earlier effort.  When a theme uses custom logos, an upload from is added to the customizer.

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The feature is long-awaited for amongst developers, and they now have a standardized way to add it.  Users will also always be able to find the information in the same place, regardless of theme.

“Given the hundreds of themes with their own implementation, it makes sense that core would standardize this…The concept has been well tested for years in themes (and Jetpack). It’s a natural progression that core would get it, just like core standardized post classes, body classes, featured images, and other features that started out in the theme space. There’s an obvious need for it.” –  Justin Padlock, WordPress Theme Review Team

Customizer: Live Responsive Previews

Selective refresh is another long-asked-for tweak for users.  It makes previews happen faster by not reloading the preview for each setting change.  This gives users a more honest live preview experience.

After you upgrade your WordPress Core to 4.5, you can see live examples of selective refresh when changing menus.  All core widgets and themes also support selective refresh.

The update also makes it possible for users to customize their sites with mobile in mind.  4.5 adds buttons to the customizer enabling desktop-, tablet- or smartphone-sized previews.  Now users can test their site for all platforms instead of using different devices.

“Selective refresh is a hybrid preview mechanism that has the performance benefit of not having to refresh the entire preview window…This was previously available with JS-applied postMessage previews, but selective refresh also improves the accuracy of the previewed change while reducing the amount of code you have to write; it also makes it possible to do performant previews that would previously been practically impossible.” –  Weston Ruter, Customizer Component Team

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Improvements to Formatting and Editing Content

Coleman adds an updated interface for adding inline links.  The interface automatically detects if the users is entering a URL or searching for one.  The updated search uses jQuery UI Autocomplete to populate content.

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Developers using the new REST API will want to be aware of a change that could lead to plugin issues.  A change in the API fixes a bug but breaks backwards compatibility in return

REST API

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Coleman adds more formatting shortcuts for lists and headings. You can also now use shortcuts for code and horizontal lines

Of Note:

WordPress 4.5 Coleman also adds improvements to the comment moderation screen, performance enhancements for images including increased compression, and a split embed template which can be customized.

 

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