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Blog / HowTos /  Getting Ready for WordPress 4.4 Upgrade: Possible Bugs and Issues to Expect

November 16, 2015 - Cathy

Getting Ready for WordPress 4.4 Upgrade: Possible Bugs and Issues to Expect

New features in WordPress 4.4

While you still have WordPress 4.3.1, there is some great news ahead. The latest WordPress version is scheduled to be released December 2015. Some of the changes to WordPress 4.4 that all users will notice include:

wordpress 4.4New default theme – The default theme for WordPress 4.4 is new and will be called Twenty Sixteen. Twenty Sixteen comes with five color schemes Default, Dark, Grey, Red, and Yellow, and allows users to choose their own colors as well. It has the standard blog layout with a sidebar and content area. Twenty Sixteen supports custom headers and has a menu location for site navigation and a menu location for social links.

wordpress 4.4Responsive images – With the numerous screen sizes and resolutions that different devices have, images used on sites have had to be high quality to ensure they look good on every device. However, using higher quality images increases page size, which slows download speeds. WordPress 4.4 will now show responsive images out of the box as a way to solve this problem. Client’s browsers will be able to display an image based on device capabilities using the srcset attribute. Any images added to a post, image gallery or featured images attachment pages will be responsive out of the box. Because the srcset attribute is not stored in the database, any images previously added will be affected by this feature. Page speeds will be improved with the addition of this feature.

wordpress 4.4Improved embeds – You can add embeds from any site that supports oEmbed just by entering the URL of the videos, Tweets or whatever it is you want to include in your post.

All WordPress sites are included as long as both sites are using WordPress 4.4 or higher eliminating the need for a plugin to embed WordPress links as content cards.

wordpress 4.4

Developer features in WordPress 4.4

The features listed above are ones that just about anybody using WordPress will notice. There are also some big changes in this latest WordPress update developers should be aware of. These include:

latest wordpress versionWordPress REST API (Phase 1)– The first phase of REST API added in the WordPress Core. This means that it is no longer necessary to install the WordPress REST API plugin to use the functionalities.

fix wordpress bugsTaxonomy Term Meta Data – Taxonomy term meta data has been added to WordPress 4.4 core. Taxonomy terms will be able to have meta data associated with them without the use of a plugin

fix wordpress bugsDocument titles – WordPress has had the ability to render document titles automatically since WordPress 4.1. WordPress 4.4 will deprecate wp_title()

wordpress updateComments improved – WP_Comment introduced. This new feature will split comments between pages for improved performance

latest wordpress version

Potential problems with WordPress 4.4

A beta version of plugin developer WordPress 4.4 has been available since October and plenty of time and effort has been put in trying to locate and fix WordPress bugs. There are a few things that will appear as bugs on some sites that can be resolved fairly easily. With some advance preparation, you may not notice a problem at all. Some areas that you may see affected on your sites include:

  • Document titles –With the changes to document titles in WordPress 4.4, theme authors will need to add a fallback function to stay compatible. Theme authors should no longer use wp_title() to generate document titles. A theme that utilizes wp_title will cause a deprecation notice when wp_debug is enabled. By adding“add_theme_support( ‘title‐tag’ );” to the after_setup_theme callback, the title will be handled nativelyvia an internal WordPress core function.To avoid breaking backwards compatibility with WordPress 4.0 and older when upgrading themes from using wp_title(), add a shiv if no callback function exists:
if ( ! function_exists( '_wp_render_title_tag' ) ) :
functiontheme_slug_render_title() {
?>
<title><?phpwp_title( '‐', true, 'right' ); ?></title>
<?php
}
add_action( 'wp_head', 'theme_slug_render_title' );
endif;
  • Metadata for taxonomy terms – Several potential problems exist here:
    • Function name clashes: A number of functions added are likely to clash with third-party plugins. Plugin should either use a prefix or disable the termmeta portion of theplugin based on a WP version check.
    • Non-matching function signatures: Plugin authors should check that their use of unprefixed _term_meta() functions matches the parameter order and default values described in the core implementation.
    • Non-matching table schemas: Plugin authors should verify that tables called {$wpdb‐>prefix}termmeta have a compatible schema with the core implementation.

These are a few potential problem areas you might run into. Knowing what potential bugs and problems might exist now, means you can fix them before they become a big issue on your site. Our advanced wordpress development services will help you to solve any issues with WordPress 4.4.

Noticed a bug on your website after WordPress 4.4 update? Comment on it below!

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