Recent changes with WordPress 4.7

WordPress 4.7 comes with a lot of new features. There are some everyone should know about. Read on what are the best changes in October so far.

The best changes in October so far

It is mid-october and there are already a few changes worth mentioning. I am really happy about them. The first one might bring a lot of new plugin playing around with the capabilities for terms.

More granular control over terms

Some new capabilities were introduced for a more granular control over terms:

  • edit_term
  • delete_term
  • assign_term
  • manage_post_tags
  • edit_categories / edit_post_tags
  • delete_categories / delete_post_tags
  • assign_categories / assign_post_tags

All of these capabilities map to the manage_categories capability. This keeps it backward compatible and does not change the internal behaviour about registering taxonomies.

This is so great that I wrote it down in an own post. Read this one if you like to know what those new capabilities can do for you. How about rejecting the deletion of non-empty terms?

Capabilities for single terms

Custom backend language for each user

A very nice change is that every user can choose his own locale. First of all this is for the backend and solves a very common case (see “User Admin Language“):

[…] but if a Chinese client asks me to look into an issue in their site admin, I need to change the default WP language in WP config to English, do what I need to do and then change it back.

But with the upcoming WordPress 4.7 there will be a switch for the backend language of every user.

screen-161011-184203

This works because the WP_User class has “locale” as a new property which can be fetched using the new get_user_locale() function. This function is now used in almost any places within wordpress. It seems to read and write in the “locale” user meta. So if you already use this meta field for users then be aware of this change which will use or overwrite the data.

Shiny little things

Approving comments have become a bit better. Once a visitor is approved then he is allowed to continue posting comments without approving them. by just providing the right email. But registered user can change their email address so the site admin needs to revalidate such users. WordPress 4.7 does it a bit better by checking the user ID. So once a registered user is approved then he can chane his mail address as often as he wants without the need to reapprove comment of him/her.

Dangerous changes in WordPress 4.7

As nice as some changes are in WordPress 4.7 some of them are really suspicious. Those are the most interesting unlikely decisions up to strange breaking changes.

This tag cloud has been removed in WP 4.7
This tag cloud has been removed in WP 4.7

Good bye tag cloud! There used to be a tag cloud as shown in the screenshot which has been removed in WordPress 4.7 . This is because the list of terms already is ordered by the usage count. Having the popular tags as well felt like a duplicate so it has been removed.

New update screen in WordPress 4.7
New update screen in WordPress 4.7

And this might be the new update screen in the backend. Currently it is a simple and ugly list of things. Thanks to Pascal Birchler it will use the WP_List_Table class which is a thing I really like. But some might miss the “Download”-Button. Take a look in you backend when 4.6.2 is released and see that there is a download button. In WordPress 4.7. it will be removed.

WordPress 4.7 so far

There are additional things to know about the upcoming WordPress:

  • Easier Theme inheritance in WordPress 4.7
  • Override any shortcode you like
  • Custom bulk actions
  • Smilies, logos and other abbreviations
  • Create your own event system with WP_Hook
  • Customizer: Support for IE8 dropped

Read “WordPress 4.7: Custom bulk actions, Theme inheritance and more” to learn more about those features. Further ones can be found in “Everything cool and wrong about upcoming WordPress 4.7“:

  • WordPress wants to get rid of global variables
  • Functions instead of global variables
  • Functions instead of constants: wp_doing_ajax()
  • First steps for autoloader: Classes get their own file
  • Negative paging in queries leads to 404

Expect more to come in this blog. I keep track with the latest changes in the WordPress Core and show the best of it.

Conclusion

WordPress really has some goodies to show and deliver for christmas this year. Again there are parts I really love to see but also some that don’t make sense.

Remember what happend when the additional link on edit-post pages were removed. Some in the community got crazy about removing a tiny button, while a link right beside it does the excact same functionality. This time it is the tag cloud that I am curious about. I wonder who will miss it.

What do you think about the decisions that the WordPress-Team made? Is this slightly refactoring and clean up a good way or just to slow to keep the pace with other CMS? Let me know in the comments below.

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