What’s New in WordPress 4.6

By Chris Burgess
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WordPress Version 4.6 was released today, just over 4 months since the release of WordPress Version 4.5. The latest release has been called “Pepper” after the famous jazz saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams.

The 4.6 release was headed up by Dominik Schilling, supported by Garth Mortensen and 272 contributors. A community of translators also helped to make WordPress 4.6 accessible in 52 languages.

In this article, I’ll cover an overview of what’s new in this latest release and what features to expect when you update your site.

What's New in WordPress 4.6 Pepper

Before Updating – Backup Your Website

Don’t forget perform a full website backup (database and files) before upgrading WordPress 4.6. Amit Diwan has a great comparison of the best WordPress backup plugins which might come in handy.

As always, it’s also worth checking if the theme or plugin providers have published anything about WordPress 4.6 support.

Where possible, it’s best to apply updates to a test or staging environment so that you can test the changes before applying them to your live site.

WordPress 4.6 Update

If you experience issues, try some basic troubleshooting steps. Charles Costa has shared some tips around common WordPress issues. Don’t forget you can also visit the official WordPress support forum, just make sure you read the welcome post to ensure a speedy and helpful response.

Streamlined Updates

When you update, install or delete plugins and themes you stay on the same screen. This makes the process of applying updates much more straightforward. These actions are now all performed via AJAX, within the given pages, making for a smooth user experience.

WordPress 4.6 Shiny Updates

This applies to not only plugins and plugin updates, but also themes.

WordPress 4.6 Installing Themes

Native System Fonts

The WordPress dashboard now uses the system font of your operating system. While this may seem minor, it means a slight performance improvement and a user experience matching your native operating system.

Broken links are a bad user experience and effect your website’s SEO. WordPress now automatically checks the syntax of your links, to make sure they’re not obviously broken (it’s a fairly basic check).

Inline Link Checker

Content Recovery

Improvements have been made in WordPress 4.6 to make recovering your saved content even easier.

While WordPress has had auto-save for a while, it now leverages your browser, saving every 15 seconds.

Developer Features and Changes

Developers may also wish to take note of:

  • Resource Hints for performance improvements
  • HTTP API is now using the Requests PHP library
  • Updates to various JavaScript libraries
  • Multisite performance improvements
  • Improved Translation loading
  • Customizer validation and notifications
  • New WP_Term_Query and WP_Post_Type
  • New Meta Registration API

We’ll be taking a deep dive into many of these new features for developers in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Wrapping Up

You can find out more about the WordPress 4.6 on the Codex release notes.

Please let us know what your thoughts are below on this latest release.

Portions of this article were originally published in the SitePoint WordPress Newsletter, you can subscribe here if you’re interested.

We teamed up with SiteGround
To bring you up to 65% off web hosting, plus free access to the entire SitePoint Premium library (worth $99). Get SiteGround + SitePoint Premium Now
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