WordPress is preparing to launch version 4.0 on August 13, 2014. The first beta versions are already available for testing. Despite the major version number, this is not a major update. For WordPress, it appears that changes to the left of the decimal point aren’t as significant as they are elsewhere; however, future updates show how WordPress has become a platform, rather than an application.
InfoWord’s Tech Watch blogger, Serdar Yegulalp, describes WordPress like this:
Originally just a blogging system, WordPress has grown into an entire site-publishing solution courtesy of its third-party developers. Aside from the thousands of easily interchanged themes available for WordPress, its library of plug-ins can turn it into everything from a discussion board engine to an e-commerce solution. Consequently it’s now considered a viable replacement for other content-management and site-architecting solutions, from Zen Cart to Drupal.
Geeksided.com blogger, Jacob Long adds,
Self-hosted WordPress blogs make up over 60% of all websites that use content management software and 22.6% of the Internet in total. Not bad! You’d be surprised at how many websites that do not appear to be blogs still use WordPress.
There are a number of improvements coming with 4.0, but some of the most anticipated include improvements to the Editor, Media Library and a “freshened up” plug in experience.
In WordPress 4.0, that toolbar will automatically “stick” to the top of the screen. In older versions, if you wanted to add a link or text formatting to your post, you either had to memorize the hot keys, type in HTML or scroll to the top and use the tool bar. The tool bar is “pinned” in version 4.0 so that you don’t have to leave your work to go search for it.
Media Grid View
As the name suggests, Media Grid View allows users to view the media library in a grid view. The bulk edit feature allows users to quickly delete multiple images. Individual images will pop open in a separate dialog box for editing in the browser. Scrolling between individual images happens with just a click of an arrow.
Plugin Details View
Need more information on a client’s installed plugin? You no longer have to navigate to WordPress to see the details of a plugin. Redesigned, now when users click on an installed plugin’s “details”, the plugin description and reviews will pop up in a new window.