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The Lowdown on WordPress 4.5

This week, version 4.5 of WordPress (Coleman) was released to the masses. As ever blog owners, authors and writers will be looking forward to the new features while plugin and theme developers will be cursing under their breath as they race to update all their products to be fully compatible with Coleman.

Why Coleman?

Why is the new release called Coleman you might be asking? The Coleman in question is actually Coleman Hawkins, an American who was one of the first prominent jazz tenor saxophonists. Why a Jazz Saxophonist you might still be wondering? Well, WordPress’ core developers are all huge Jazz fans and have named all major releases since 1.0 in honour of their favourite jazz musicians. If you fancy checking out Coleman, here’s a video:


Let’s get down to it. There are no radically different changes going on here, this isn’t WordPress 4! In terms of changes which your average user will see, there are 4 main changes, all designed to enhance your editing experience.

Inline Linking

Gone are the days of the pop-up box for adding hyperlinks to your text, now you see a “distraction free” drop over box that keeps your head in the game, linking content without losing your train of thought.

Shortcuts for Formatting

The useful shortcuts which have been enjoyed for years in desktop word processors are slowly making their way over into web-based editors. WordPress has been building on previous shortcuts since version 2.7, so this is no surprise. For an updated version of all the shortcuts, here’s the official list. New shortcuts this time include methods of adding horizontal lines and displaying blocks of sample code.

Live Preview of Responsive Designs

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve been banging on about responsive design for a long time. It’s crucial that your website looks amazing on screens of any device, be it an iPhone, Desktop or a less popular device with an awkward screen size; as the end user expects it to work properly. WordPress has helped us here with their live preview facility now allowing the user to adjust the size of the screen to work out how their website adapts.

Custom Logos

Logo customisation comes straight out of the box in this version, allowing for easy changing in the customizer. I just heard a collective “thank you” come from theme developers reading this, as this is long overdue and can be a chore when first building themes.

Getting Slightly Technical For a Second…

Bear with me, non-techies, this section is short.

Under the hood, the best improvement (in my opinion) is the smarter image resizing, which can generate images which load up to 50% faster, but with the same quality. It’s remarkable. Also included is a selective refresh in the customizer (making preview generation easier), improvements to the support of script loaders in headers and footers, splitting up of embed templates (allowing for easier customisation) and updates to the core package of JavaScript libraries.

Now to Get Official

For the official overview, here’s WordPress to explain: