What’s New in WordPress 4.5 “Coleman”

The latest update of the WordPress CMS tagged "Coleman" in honor of jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. I'm sure managers of WordPress based websites are scrambling to update their version.

However, the new feature set wlll help streamline your workflow. It makes it easier for you to design your site in customizer, editing text and logging in a bit easier.

Custom Logos

WordPress Developers wish for a time where they can upload their theme to WordPress and design it in the WordPress customizer.

Unfortunately, that functionality is not yet available. But with every release, the customizer gets closer and closer to achieving it. This update introduces "Custom Logos". From the customizer, we can now make changes to the site logo.

You head over to the customizer and in the panel on the left, you should see an option that says "Site Identity". You will want to click on it, and you get an option to upload a custom logo. After uploading or choosing a file from the media library, you can choose to crop the logo to desired size.

Wordpress 4.5 Image cropping

As you can see the logo displays on the site, but the site title and description still show in the header. You can choose to hide them from the left panel or leave them, it all boils down to personal preference.

Before our theme can display a custom logo, we need to give wordpress the position we would like the logo to appear. So in your header.php, you can do this

if (has_custom_logo())  {
    the_custom_logo();
}

Live Responsive Previews

Still in the WordPress customizer, we can preview a responsive version of the website. It supports views for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile. You can change the view from control options on the bottom of the left panel.

Wordpress 4.5 Live responsive previews

Inline Linking

Stay focused on your writing with a less distracting interface that keeps you in place and allows you to easily link to your content.

I couldn't have put this any better, the new inline linking makes it easier to add links to posts. Hitting the CMD/CTRL + k on highlighted text brings up an inline popup where we can add an external link. The inline popup can also search the site database for links.

Wordpress 4.5 Inline Linking

Formatting Shorcuts

In a previous release of WordPress, we got so see some support for some markdown. Using the ## before a text makes it an h2 element. In this new release, WordPress has added some Github Flavored markdown syntax like ticks before and after text for in <code> and more than two hyphens (dashes) for <hr> horizontal line.

Wordpress 4.5 Github flavored markdown shortcuts

Enhanced Script Loader

The new script loader now comes with enqueue support for inline JavaScript. With the new wp_add_inline_script function, we can add javascript inline.

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', function () {
    wp_enqueue_script('theme-typekit', 'https://use.typekit.net/<typekit-id>.js', [], '1.0');
    wp_add_inline_script('theme-typekit', 'try{Typekit.load({ async: true });}catch(e){}');
});

Which results in

<script type='text/javascript' src='https://use.typekit.net/<typekit-id>.js?ver=1.0'></script>
<script type='text/javascript'>
try{Typekit.load({ async: true });}catch(e){}
</script>

Misc and Conclusion

Other features included with version 4.5 include:

  • Smart Image Resizing: Which makes images load up to 50% faster and with no noticeable loss in image quality.
  • Better Embed Templates: You can customize the look to a link on your website (oEmbed). For example, when a user shares your website link on social media, the site generates a card with description and title to link. With this feature, you can customize how that card looks on social media.
  • Users can now login with email address.

I hope to see complete Markdown support for WordPress. What would you like to see in upcoming WordPress versions? Let us know in the comments. You can read more on the latest update.

Samuel Oloruntoba

Self-proclaimed full-stack web developer and a quasi-academic. I work mostly on the backend (PHP and Node) with a recent enthusiasm for frontend development (React, SVG, HTML5 Canvas).