WordPress Wednesday – Dinah’s just in time for the holidays

by Tony Gamble

Dinah_Washington_1952The holidays are finally upon us! Everyone is busy scurrying for that last-minute Christmas gift or lighting the final candle on the menorah today. So I’ll just put this little bug in your ear: WordPress 4.1 has been release and sports some lovely little gifts of its own.

This latest version, named in honour of jazz singer Dinah Washington, comes with a shiny new blog-focused theme called Twenty Fifteen. This fully responsive theme looks great on all devices and includes Google’s Noto font family to provide impressive font support for all languages. Even if you use a custom theme, I always recommend keeping at least the latest WordPress default theme installed. It can be invaluable as a troubleshooting tactic.

Also new is a revamped “distraction-free” writing mode. WordPress has long had this mode, which can be activated with the stretch icon in the top right corner under the Visual editing tab. Prior to 4.1, this mode would clear everything off the page but the text you’re writing. A limited toolbar would appear if you moved your mouse to the top. It was distraction-free, yes, but felt a bit too empty. With Dinah’s new method, only the WordPress admin elements disappear, leaving you with an uncluttered page which still provides you with the all tools you need to create your post. And it does this without pulling you out of the admin page; the sidebars just gracefully slide out of the way as you begin to type.

Vine gets some love in this release as well. Just as you’re able to embed a video from YouTube by copying and pasting the URL into your post, so can a Vine video be embedded in the same, single step. No need for shortcodes or iframes. But this isn’t the only enhancement to media handling. Click on any image you’ve already placed into your post and you’ll see a new hover menu that now offers image alignment options, without having to pull up the media edit screen.

These are just a few of the changes from a team of over 280 contributors and you know it won’t stop there. If you’re not on WordPress yet, now is the time to consider making the gentle leap. If you know someone who’s been itching to start a new website or give their old one a well-deserved facelift, an introductory course on how to get up and running with WordPress would be a great gift idea!

From all of us at Jester Creative Inc. we wish you the very best of this holiday season!

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