WordPress.org today launched WordPress 4.4, which adds a slew of new features to the blog management tool to “make your site more connected and responsive.” You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download (7.3MB).
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers 25 percent of the Web. The latest version is dubbed “Clifford,” in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown.
WordPress 4.4 brings a new default theme called Twenty Sixteen (Twenty Fifteen, in case you’re wondering, was released along with WordPress 4.1 just under a year ago). Here it is in all its glory:
WordPress describes Twenty Sixteen as “a modern take on a classic blog design.” And, as is true of most themes nowadays, it was built to look great on any device. That means a fluid grid design, flexible header, “fun” color schemes, and so on.
But many of you won’t use the new theme, so the first real big improvement is actually responsive images. WordPress is now smarter at displaying appropriate image sizes on any device, without you having to make any modifications to your theme.
This is a big deal, given the aforementioned market share that WordPress controls. “When WordPress adopts modern technologies, the Internet adopts modern technologies,” WordPress Core developer Scott Taylor said on stage at the company’s 2015 State of the Word event this past weekend.
Next up, you can now embed your posts on other WordPress sites, just like you would embed most media content. Just drop the post’s URL into the editor and you’ll get an instant embed preview (in Visual mode) complete with the title, excerpt, featured image, site icon, and even links for comments and sharing.