The latest iteration of WordPress, 4.7, is a from-the-ground-up overhaul. There are a lot of cool new features here, some which have been on the workbench for over a decade. But because this update is so close to the bone, there is a chance that some of your plugins may fail, while plugin developers scramble to keep up with this latest version.
Here are some of the new features you’ll find in 4.7. (Unless you are a developer or an uber geek, a lot of these won’t cause your toes to tingle. Don’t worry. There are plenty of new things that will make your blogging heart swell!)
- Video Headers. The answer to a question no one asked, IMHO. But there seems to be a need for them so now you can move full speed ahead with a video on site load.
- Page and Post-Type Templates let you customize out the wazoo!
- Enhanced PDF Support. This cannot come too soon IMHO!
- Media Library searchable by File Name [bug fix]
- WP Hooks. If your plugin directly accesses the $wp_filter global rather than using the public hooks API, you might run into compatibility issues. Translation: it may break your site.
- Starter Content. This helps the novice blogger or web site owner to create the proper content for their web site.
- Customizer Improvements. Along with this comes my favorite new feature, custom CSS!
Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”
Because this is such a broad update and affects so many core features and functions, there is a good chance that one or more of your plugins may break your site. Or a theme might break your site.
The Proper Way to Upgrade Your Site
Remember, if you plan to tackle the upgrade yourself, be sure to:
- Back up your site first. You can do this via any number of backup plugins, or from within your web host’s dashboard by exporting a MySQL database.
- Update your plugins before you update WordPress.
- Then, once you’ve updated your plugins, disable them. (Yes, you heard me right!)
- Update WordPress via your WordPress dashboard.
- Activate your plugins, one by one, testing your site after each activation to isolate any problem plugins.
Joni Mueller has been designing web sites for hire since 2003, when she first blew up her web host’s server by insisting on running Greymatter. Since then, Joni has designed for Blogger and Movable Type, TextPattern, WordPress and CMS Made Simple. She lives with her cat and shoe collection in a bucolic old section of Houston called Idylwood. For some strange reason, Joni likes to refer to herself in the third person. When she’s not working on web design, she’s ordering lawyers around. And blogging about it. Or both.