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What’s Coming in WordPress 4.0 (Features and Screenshots)

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WordPress 4.0 Beta 1 was released yesterday. This is a major release with some really cool features and improvements. In this article, we will show you what new features are coming in WordPress 4.0 along with their screenshots.

Please note that WordPress 4.0 is still in beta. Some of the features mentioned here may not make into the final release.

You can test WordPress 4.0 beta on your PC, Mac, or in a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

Having that said let’s take a dive into what’s coming in WordPress 4.0.

Better Internationalization From The Start

If you wanted to install WordPress in other languages, then you would have to install a localized version of WordPress or manually upload the translation files.

In WordPress 4.0, installing WordPress in other languages will be a lot easier. Users can choose the language for their site as the first step of the install process, and the rest of their installation will continue in user’s chosen language.

Language selection during the install process in WordPress 4.0

WordPress 4.0 will also allow users to switch/change the site language from WordPress admin area by going to Settings » General and choosing a language from Site Language drop down menu.

Chosing language in WordPress settings

Users will also be able to to search for plugins and themes available in their selected language.

Hopefully this will encourage more users to contribute translations for their favorite themes and plugins. Here is how to find translation ready themes and plugins for WordPress.

Media Grid View

Media Grid started as an standalone project, and is going to enter the core with WordPress 4.0. As the name suggests, it allows you to view your media library in a grid view.

Grid view for media library in WordPress 4.0

This modern interface will provide a faster way to view and manage your media files in WordPress. Clicking on a media file will open it in a modal popup where you can edit file information. You can also browse media files in the modal popup using the arrow keys.

Edit media files directly from library with one click

Post Editor Improvements

WordPress 4.0 will bring some very useful improvements to the post editor.

First of the menu bar in the editor will now stick to the top as a user writes a post. It was really annoying for new users who had to scroll up to click buttons. The editor will now resize itself as you write. The scroll bar in post editor is also gone providing a much better writing experience.

Easy scrolling when writing posts

Another improvement in post editor is displaying embeds. Users will be able to see the actual embed in the post editor when they paste a URL from a supported site like YouTube, Twitter,, etc.

Embeds will be displayed inside post editor

In this release, several other oEmbed providers were added like: TED Talks, Mixcloud, CollegeHumor, YouTube Playlist URLs, etc.

Improvements in Theme Customizer

In WordPress 3.9, widgets were added to Theme Customizer. In WordPress 4.0, Widgets are moved to their own panel in Theme Customizer.

Widgets now have their own panel in theme customizer

Plugin Install Experience

An improved user experience for plugin install screens is another important change in WordPress 4.0. Plugin search results as well as popular and featured plugin details are changed to show plugins in a nice grid.

Plugin install experience in WordPress 4.0

The plugin install experience is still work in progress, so hopefully there will be more improvements in the final release such as plugin headers and more.

For Developers

Customizer and Panel API has several changes which will allow theme and plugin developers to create custom panels and user interface elements in the customizer.

WordPress 4.0 is going to be an exciting new release. Let us know what are your favorite features in WordPress 4.0 and what features you would like to see in upcoming releases.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

37 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Tristan says

    Geez! WordPress has come a long way over the past decade. A lot of devs thought it would be replaced by another CMS as the most popular, yet is still King.

  3. Levy says

    I am disappointed.

    Just a few UI fetures noting big. And from the comments i only see “yay sticky bar”….. great…
    It is still just a bag off functions which is a horror to code….

  4. Francis Boudreau says

    Language selection at the installation is really nice! Now it will be easier to create a french website.

  5. Starglider says

    Being a major version change, I would have expected major re-write / enhancement, optimising code, caching and lessen database queries for page loads and much more. At the very least I would have expected to see folders being supported in the media library, as it is it’s a terrible experience working with wordpress which has updates made by many people on god only knows what dates and a file in use flag visual marker to show people what is in use and what isn’t for storage clean up.

    • Jon says

      I second this notion that the Media Library is very dated in its functionality and UX. Folders are the minimum I’d expect from a version X.0 release.

      But then this is free software and i am very grateful for all the hard work and devoted lives that have gone into improving this software for us to uses and sell to clients for our bread and butter.

      Good work team WP!

    • Mark Scott says

      Using the built in Ajax API within WordPress that are exposed via add_action, defining the Ajax calls to run functions that die() taking in a string/array passed through json_encode().

  6. Michael Bryner says

    It really isn’t a sticky bar unless in moves when you scroll, but from what I see from searching Google, its a notification bar. Just give visitors notifications of things from the company or website. Nice, but I hope it scrolls too. Only problem though for premium themes, already have notification shortcodes that match the theme. So if you have a premium theme already you might be able to use notifications anyways without the WordPress new notification bars.

    I can only see that feature for users that don’t have a premium theme installed.

    • marybaum says

      Maybe things are different in Genesis, which I use as a base for everything, but I use a ton of html in posts – column classes, tables for tabular data, video embeds – and I never have a problem.

  7. Mateus Neves says

    I would like to see a new and better WordPress native gallery, because the current interface to manage the native gallery its not so good, you need follow many steps to create a simple gallery

    • Mark Scott says

      It’s actually pretty easy to build in, I’ve been doing it for years and have WordPress running as mobile app content managers feeding in content to various native mobile apps via ajax. The custom post types and custom meta boxes add to make a really rich client experience for managing their app usage and content.

  8. Boško Stupar says

    Finaly is post editor going to be usable. That scroll bars issue was too anoying to work with. +1 for the idea!!!

  9. Heinz Harley says

    A feature I would like to see in the basic editor is the ability to change the background text colour for; a blog, comment or a page without having to use code. I realise that may cause compatibility problems with some themes but the editor manages that OK. I use the twenty ten theme and am happy with it except for the fixed background text colour.

  10. Mycelus says

    Very excited for WordPress 4.0. Some really nice changes coming. I just wish bbPress wasn’t so awful… I have to dish out $175 for an IP Board license…

  11. Alex Goodall says

    I’ve not had a chance to look at WP 4.0 yet, so thanks for this overview.

    This is what I’m particularly looking forward to:

    “Customizer and Panel API has several changes which will allow theme and plugin developers to create custom panels and user interface elements in the customizer.”

    … and hoping there’ll be some imaginative developments on top of that.


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