What’s new in WordPress 4.2

WordPress 4.2 was released this week. This new release contains several improvements such as an improved ‘Press This’, extended Characters support, better plugin upgrades and Tumblr and Kickstarter oEmbed support.

New and improved ‘Press This’

Press This isn’t new, but it’s been revitalized with some new features.

Press This is a bookmarklet that you can drag and drop to your browser’s bookmarks bar or add to your mobile home screen. This allows you to easily publish any content on the web to your WordPress site with a simple click or tap.

WordPress 4.2 press this

Press This will now automatically find images, excerpt, and title for the content you are re-publishing and embed it to a post on the fly. This will make re-publishing the content a lot faster and easier.

Native Chinese, Japanese, Korean Character and Emoji symbol support

WordPress 4.2 will automatically switch your utf-8 database to utf8mb4. This means that WordPress can now use 4 byte characters rather than 3.

4 byte characters lets you use any Unicode character, which opens up support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean characters and symbols, including the popular emoticon characters emoji.

WordPress 4.2 unicode

A better plugin update experience

Plugins are an essential component for websites and need constantly updated. With WordPress 4.2 you’re not taken away from the plugin update page while updating the plugins. This means less clicks, which is always a good thing.

WordPress 4.2 plugins upgrade

Tumblr and Kickstater oEmbed support

WordPress 4.1 gave us more support for oEmbed, version 4.2 now adds Tumblr and Kickstarter.

WordPress 4.2 new oEmbeds

Permalinks by default

Setting permalinks is often one of the first things you do width a fresh WordPress install. The good news is that permalinks are now turned on by default.

Permalinks turn URLs like:

http://goodwebsites.nz/?p=12345

into a much more search engine friendlier URL like:

http://goodwebsites.nz/looking-better/

Under The Hood Changes

utf8mb4 support – Database character encoding has changed from utf8 to utf8mb4, which adds support for a whole range of new 4-byte characters.

JavaScript accessibility – You can now send audible notifications to screen readers in JavaScript with wp.a11y.speak(). Pass it a string, and an update will be sent to a dedicated ARIA live notifications area.

Shared term splitting – Terms shared across multiple taxonomies will be split when one of them is updated.

Complex query ordering – WP_Query, WP_Comment_Query, and WP_User_Query now support complex ordering with named meta query clauses.

Other developer changes – Bundled jQuery UI and jQuery Version Upgrade and some minor admin colour scheme changes.

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