WordPress 4.7, named “Vaughan” in honor of legendary jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, was released earlier this month. It’s available for download from WordPress.org or you can update in your WordPress dashboard. As is usual, whenever a major version of WordPress is released I also update the Easy WP Guide to include all the new features and changes.

New default theme

WordPress 4.7 brings with it a brand new default theme, named Twenty Seventeen. Twenty Seventeen is a business focused site and features a flexible front page that has multiple sections which you can easily customise through the WordPress Customizer.

Customizer updates

The WordPress Customizer has been tweaked to make it more usable. The Customizer will now show icon shortcuts, highlighting areas which can be customised. Clicking on the icon which will take you directly to that edit panel in the Customizer. Along with that, the header section in the Customizer will now allow videos as well as images. One thing to note though, both of these features need to be enabled in the Theme that you’re using, so if you’re not seeing them in the Customizer, it’s most likely due to your theme not taking advantage of these extra features.

Two features that you can take advantage of, with any theme, is easier menu setup and custom css. When you’re editing your menu in the Customizer now, you can create new Pages and Posts right within the Customizer. This is great when you’re just setting up your site and you haven’t finished adding all your content yet. The Customizer now allows you to add custom css to your site as well, which is super handy for making all those little style tweaks that you might want to make to your site.

PDF Thumbnail Previews

When you upload a PDF to your Media Library now, WordPress will generate a thumbnail image which makes it easier to distinguish between all your documents. This new feature will require your website host to support Imagick and ImageMagick. Also, this new feature will only apply to new PDF’s you upload, not previously uploaded PDF’s. If you’re not seeing the PDF Thumbnails, then contact your web host to see it they support Imagick and ImageMagick on their hosting.

WP REST API

WordPress now enables REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings. Although the majority of users wont see any visible changes to their site, expect to see more WordPress core functionality, Plugins and Themes making use of these new REST API Endpoints in the future.

Additional Features

Posts can now utilise WordPress templates, just like pages. More themes are likely to take use of this new feature in the future.  WordPress 4.7 includes new functions, hooks, and behaviour for theme developers. The code that lies beneath actions and filters has also been overhauled and modernised, along with fixing numerous bugs, which is more great news for developers.

WordPress contributors come from all over the globe. This release see 482 contributors with props, which is the most ever. A big thanks to all those that contribute to help improve WordPress with each release.

Latest Guide Updates

With this latest version of the Easy WP Guide, numerous screenshots have been updated making sure that what you see in the guide is exactly what you see when using your Dashboard.

Head on over to the download page to download the latest version of the Easy WP Guide, or if you want to get stuck straight into it, you can read it online.