WordPress recently announced that the first beta version of WordPress 4.0 is now available. WordPress prefaces its announcement with a word of caution that the software is still in development, and it’s not recommended that you run it on a production site.
Instead, consider setting up a test site to familiarize yourself with the new features, as the full version of WordPress 4.0 is due out next month. But before the new version comes out, WordPress says they need the help of users to test the new features they’ve been working on.
Here’s What’s New In WordPress 4.0 Beta
Preview Embedded URLs
WordPress 4.0 Beta allows for previews of embedding via URLs in the visual editor and the “Insert from URL” tab in the media modal. Try pasting a URL, such as a YouTube video, onto its own line in the visual editor and see a live preview of what it will look like.
Media Library Grid View
The Media Library now has a “grid” view in addition to the existing list view. Clicking on an item takes you into a modal where you can see a larger preview and edit information about that attachment, and you can navigate between items right from the modal without closing it.
Improved Plugin Install Experience
WordPress is freshening up the plugin install experience. When searching for plugins and viewing details, you’ll see some early visual changes as well as more information.
- The editor intelligently resizes and its top and bottom bars pin when needed.
- Some improvements to how your keyboard and cursor interact with TinyMCE views such as the gallery preview.
- Widgets in the Customizer are now loaded in a separate panel.
To test WordPress 4.0, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the WordPress support forums.