WordPress 4.0 – Benny is here!

Sep 8, 2014

WordPress 4.0 – Benny is here!

Sep 8, 2014

WordPress recently released version 4.0 named “Benny” after jazz musician Benny Goodman. It adds a slew of new features that aim to improve your overall management experience. You can download the new release from here. Here is a round-up of what’s new with WordPress 4.0 Benny.

Media Grid View

The new feature lets you explore your uploads in the form of an endless grid. A new Bulk Select button lets you delete all the images at one go. Clicking on a media file will take you to the edit page. This makes viewing and editing image information very quick. You can also browse other files using arrow keys.

WordPress 4.0 - Media Grid View

WordPress 4.0 - Media Details

Improved Post Editor

The visual editor is way easier to use for people who write long posts. The editor expands automatically as you write.  The menu bar in the editor will now stick to the top as a user writes a post. Users no longer have to scroll up to click buttons. The scroll bar in post editor is also gone providing a much better writing experience.

WordPress 4.0 - New Editor

Another significant change to the post editor is embed handling. Users will now be able to see the embed in the editor when they paste the URL from a supported site like YouTube, Twitter, etc. Additionally, new embed providers are supported like CollegeHumor, Issuu, Mixcloud, and TED talks.

WordPress 4.0 - New oEmbeds

Better Plugin Installation

The Add New Plugin page that hasn’t been a lot of change in the past few years gets a complete makeover in the latest release. The plugins are displayed like flash cards instead of the drab, textual list.

WordPress 4.0 - Plugin Install

The individual plugin window also gets a facelift thanks to the header images. Though not a major enhancement, this is a nice to have feature that definitely improves overall user experience.

WordPress 4.0 - Plugin Details

Language Selection

Until now to install WordPress in a language besides English, you’d have to either install a localized version or manually upload the translation files. With the latest release, you can choose the desired language during installation. This is a great improvement for non-English users.

WordPress 4.0 - Language Selection

Customizer Improvements

Another improvement in WordPress 4.0 is with the Theme Customizer. The widgets are loaded as a sub-panel with the customizer.

WordPress 4.0 - CustomizerWordPress 4.0 - Customizer

The new APIs introduced as part of this development also lets you group settings into panels. For more details, click here.

Accessibility Improvements

The release brings a host of accessibility improvements. The Add New page in the Media section now includes keyboard accessibility. Besides this, we also have screen reader support added to the widgets and other Customizer sections. The links in Help tabs are also keyboard accessible.

Managing Comments

Want to mark a comment in your Trash as spam? This wasn’t possible until now but with 4.0, you can do that with a click of a button. This can be quite handy in managing unwanted comments.

WordPress 4.0 - Managing Comments

Updated External Libraries

WordPress 4.0 now ships with updates to the following libraries:

  • TinyMCE 4.1.3
  • jQuery 1.11.1
  • MediaElement 2.15


The new release has some really good features that will definitely enhance user experience. The language selection is especially going to be very useful for a lot of users. So don’t forget to upgrade your WordPress version and check out the new features it has to offer. As always, it is important to take a complete backup of your site before any upgrade so that you can roll-back if issues arise.

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