WordPress 4.0 Beta 1 preview

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  • July 11, 2014
Phil Broadhead

Phil Broadhead


WordPress announced its latest version of the popular CMS yesterday with the release of WordPress 4.0 Beta 1.  Let’s take a look into the new features that it has highlighted.

Previews of embedding via URLs

This works well in the beta version, the guys at WordPress suggest adding the embed URL on a new line, in 3.9.1 this just leaves a link in the editor whereas in 4.0 this shows the video. This is instantaneous and a flick to the code view of the editor still shows the link URL. You can even watch the video from within the editor. Below we have 4.0 Beta 1 on the left and 3.9.1 on the right.


Media library

You now have the option to have the media gallery in a grid view as well as a list view. This new view has a different toolbar to the list view (at the moment) which I think is a better layout than the original. This may be in the process of being updated so that both views have the same toolbar.

In the grid view toolbar you can select information relevant to you. This information includes: image name, uploaded to (where the image is assigned), date uploaded and the Mime-type. Another feature in the media gallery grid view is being able to show different media types by selecting them in a drop-down menu.


Selecting a language on the install

I noticed this one right away. When you hit the install page it asks you which language you would like to use. As WordPress is used in many non-English speaking countries, this feature will be a great addition to some more than others.

Plugin experience

Finding plugins through the plugin manager has also become easier in the latest version. Rather than a list of plugins within the search field there are now columns with ‘plugin cards’. There are some additional details in the new version which include the last time the plugin was updated, how many downloads a plugin has as well as if it is supported in your version of WordPress.

The descriptions have been removed from the cards, however within the ‘more details’ popup there are the full ratings as well as any contributors to the plugin.


The editor resizes

When you are editing a post, the whole editor intelligently resizes and can be the same size as the browser. This doesn’t affect the top or bottom bar as when you start to scroll these stay pinned to the top and bottom of the screen. This is more useful for when you are using large images in posts as they are now easier to move around the screen rather than having to resize the editor yourself.

Formatting functions

There has been a few changes to the formatting functions within WordPress itself. There is little documentation on this at the minute so I cannot tell which parts have changed or been updated.

Widgets added to live preview

If a theme has any widget areas available these are now manageable with the live preview/customise section of the appearance > theme.



From within this section, you can add and remove widgets to a theme as well as reorder them and watch as the live preview updates. It’s simple to use and you can drop the content into the widgets within the live preview too. Once you have finished, you can save and activate (or save and publish) the theme as normal. Any widgets that you have added to the theme are now available to be updated within Appearance > Widgets.

WordPress 4.0 is due for release next month, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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