Earlier this week the web welcomed version 4.7 of WordPress, the last of 2016. Named ‘Vaughan’ after the jazz vocalist Sarah ‘Sassy’ Vaughan, this new version has already been rolled out and is available now – so if you haven’t yet updated your site then head over to the WordPress dashboard and get downloading!
From early on in the development process of 4.7 the tagline has been ‘your site, your way’ and this is still very much the case when we look at the final product. New features have been added to the customiser to help you create your chosen look, feel and performance of your site, from the initial setup and beyond.
Individual themes now have the ability to provide ‘starter content’ that shows you exactly what customisation functionality the theme offers. This might include setting up a sample menu with social media links, or a static front page with a bold, attention-grabbing header. You don’t have to use these changes if they clash with your imagined design but they serve as a great way to show you exactly what your chosen theme can do and might inspire you to incorporate new design aspects into the look of your site.
Videography is set to be a big web design trend in 2017 and WordPress 4.7 is fully on board, with the default Twenty Seventeen theme coming with the option of a video header. Brands have an opportunity to get really innovative here and look beyond stock video footage to create something truly memorable and engaging.
Behind the scenes, customisation shortcuts have been introduced to make it faster than ever to edit specific areas of your website and smoother menu building makes it even easier to create your menus, allowing you to create brand new pages in the menu. These might seem like small tweaks but changes like this are going to make using WordPress even more convenient and straight-forward than ever before.
Before we discuss the new Twenty Seventeen theme in more detail, there are a couple of other new features that we want to highlight as being particularly useful. The first is the ability to change the dashboard language for each user; as more and more businesses are creating global teams of international workers, this is a very welcome addition. The second is the new PDF thumbnail previews – another seemingly small tweak that’s going to save time and stress for many users.
So now let’s turn our attention to Twenty Seventeen. While past default themes have focused on blogging, Twenty Seventeen is aimed at business sites. Featuring a customisable front page that can be personalised with widgets, social media menus, a brand logo and navigation, Twenty Seventeen has been designed with a whole host of business types in mind. Designed to work just as well in any language on any device, this truly is a globally diverse theme and we can’t wait to see what brands do with it in 2017.
Now we’ve shared our favourite new features from WordPress 4.7 we want to hear from you. Have you had a chance to pop open the hood and have a deeper look at this latest version? If so, what’s your favourite thing about WordPress 4.7? We’d love to hear your thoughts so don’t forget to leave us a comment below or tweet us @AWESEM.