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What is WordPress?
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. There’s nothing to install on your computer and you don’t need any special tools. You can update your website from anywhere that you have an Internet connection – even your smartphone.
Best of all, WordPress is free in every sense of the word. It’s both free to use and free to modify. So, if you are the sort of person who likes to tinker with code, you can dig in and make WordPress do just about anything you want it to. Unlike other free website building tools, WordPress is completely portable. That means you can host your website anywhere and move it at any time.
What is New in WordPress 4.7?
WordPress 4.7 was released just a few hours ago. It is the last major release of the year 2016, which brings some exciting new improvements and several bug fixes. In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 4.7 and which features you should try after updating your websites.
Twenty Seventeen – A New Default Theme
WordPress 4.7 is the last release of the year. It is a WordPress tradition to release a new default theme each year named after the year.
Meet Twenty Seventeen.
This beautiful default theme comes with focus on business websites instead of blogs. It even comes with starter content to help new users start a WordPress website in minutes.
Twenty Seventeen is flexible enough to be used as a blog theme as well. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about Twenty Seventeen is crisp typography, which looks great on all screens.
Other noticeable features include large featured images, full screen header video and images, and graceful mobile-first design. All these elements make Twenty Seventeen a great starter theme for any kind of website.
Video Header Support in WordPress 4.7
WordPress 4.7 brings video header support for themes. Many free and premium themes were already allowing users to add full screen videos. The video header feature will make it easier for theme developers to integrate it with in customizer with live preview.
Users can upload their own videos in mp4 format, or add a YouTube video. We recommend adding a video using YouTube.
Some premium WordPress themes allowed their customers to import starter content when they purchased a theme. The purpose of this content is to immediately setup a site for users with dummy content, which they can later edit to meet their own needs.
WordPress 4.7 brings similar functionality to the WordPress core and themes. Themes can now automatically add starter content on fresh sites.
A user will need to just visit the theme customizer and the starter content will be displayed. However, this starter content will not be saved until a user clicks on the save button.
PDF Previews in WordPress 4.7
WordPress 4.7 generates thumbnail previews for PDF files and displays them in media library. Previously, when you added a PDF document WordPress showed a generic document icon. Users had to use different PDF plugins for thumbnail previews.
This feature creates an image for the first page of PDF document during upload. This image is then stored in different sizes and is displayed in media library, media upload popup, and attachment pages.
Edit Shortcuts in Customizer Preview
WordPress 4.7 also brings ‘Edit Shortcuts’ in customizer preview. These edit shortcuts are small blue icons placed on editable items in your theme’s live preview.
This will be immensely helpful to new users who can now just point and click to edit an item.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t see edit shortcuts for your theme. It is a new feature and it may not be available with your current theme.
Add Custom CSS in Live Preview
Sometimes you may need to quickly add some CSS to your WordPress site. Previously you had to add custom CSS to your theme or child theme‘s stylesheet. WordPress 4.7 allows you to directly add custom CSS using Customizer and view live preview of your changes.
However, this custom CSS is specific to the WordPress theme you are currently editing.
Admin Language Control
WordPress 4.7 allows users to switch the admin area language from their user profile. You will still need to install the languages before users can switch them.
Editor Improvements in WordPress 4.7
The post editor in WordPress is where users spend most of their time creating content. Each WordPress release strives to improve the editing experience by making it more easier and intuitive.
WordPress 4.7 brings some important changes to the editor. Users can now see keyboard shortcuts in tooltips and drop down menus.
The paragraph and heading selector menu will now appear in the top bar. The underline button has been removed, and the strikethrough and horizontal line buttons are moved to the kitchen sink bar.
Under The Hood Changes
WordPress 4.7 brings lots of exciting changes for developers as well. Here are some of those under the hood improvements.
Post Type Templates in WordPress 4.7
WordPress has custom page templates which allows users and theme developers to create different layouts for pages in WordPress. 4.7 brings this functionality to all post types including custom post types. (#18375)
Rest API Content Endpoints
Rest API Endpoints make their way into WordPress 4.7. (#38373)
If the content of your website is displayed in a different locale than the one set in admin area, then WordPress will show the toolbar in the language of the content page. (#26511)
Accessible Alt Text for Images
WordPress automatically used file names as title and alternate text for imagesadded in WordPress. Starting from 4.7, WordPress will now leave the alt text field blank if a user does not make any changes to the title or alt text fields when uploading an image. (#34635)
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Why You Should Use WordPress?
WordPress is Free as in Freedom
WordPress is a free software, this means you are free to download, install, use and modify it. You can use it to create any kind of website. It is also open source which means the source code of the software is available for any one to study, modify and play with.
WordPress is Easy to Use and Learn
WordPress is used by millions of people and almost every day new people are joining the WordPress community by creating their first WordPress powered websites. The reason why people quickly adapt to WordPress is because it is fairly easy to use.
WordPress is Extendable by Using Themes and Plugins
Most people using WordPress are neither web designers nor programmers. As a matter of fact most folks start using WordPress without any prior knowledge of designing websites.
The reason why WordPress is such an ideal candidate is because there are thousands of free templates (themes) to choose from, so you can give your website any look you want.
WordPress is Search Engine Friendly
WordPress is written using standard compliance high quality code and produces semantic mark up which makes your site very attractive to search engines.
WordPress is Easy To Manage
WordPress comes with built-in updater that allows you to update your plugins and themes from within your WordPress admin dashboard. It also notifies you when there is a new version of WordPress is available, so you can update it by just clicking a button. You can keep all your WordPress content safe by setting up automated regular WordPress Backups.
WordPress is Safe and Secure
WordPress is developed with security in mind, so it is considered quite safe and secure to run any website. However, just like the real world, the internet can be an uncertain place.
WordPress Can Handle Different Media Types
Using WordPress you are not just limited to writing text. It comes with built-in support to handle images, audio, and video content. You can also use for document or file management.