The WordPress community has been busy. WordPress 4.3 offers many great improvements, especially for users on mobile devices!
WordPress 4.3 was just released. We recommend you update your websites immediately.
- WordPress websites with automatic updates enabled and WordPress websites in 1&1 Safe Mode will receive the update shortly.
- If you have automatic updates disabled, we recommend you update from your WordPress dashboard now.
Improved editor: formatting with shortcuts
If you want to concentrate fully on your text, WordPress now offers keyboard shortcuts that you can use for formatting right in your text. A few examples:
- Use * for a bulleted list
- Use 1. for a numbered list
- Use # for the first header, ## for the second header, etc.
It does not take long to get used to these shortcuts so you can save a great deal of time and use WordPress much more conveniently on mobile devices.
For everyone working with links (everyone), WordPress 4.3 now includes inline editing of links via a context menu. You can now change links and preview them without using the toolbar:
Editing menus in the Customizer
You can now create and edit menus in the Customizer. You can find the Customizer in the admin area of your website under Appearance > Customize > Menus or, as of 4.3, in the frontend of your website under Customize in the top menu.
In the past, themes and widgets were already integrated into the Customizer – now menu administration is, too.
That has two advantages:
- In the Customizer, you can test changes in real time and easily apply them.
- The Customizer is responsive and optimized for mobile devices. With WordPress 4.3, it is even easier to edit your menus right on your smartphone.
In the Customizer, you can drag and drop menu items to arrange them appropriately. This is ideal for basic menus. But for more complex websites, the compressed view in the Customizer may not be enough to keep track. In this case, we recommend that you switch to the old Edit Menus area under Appearance > Menus.
If you do not need the live preview, you can work faster, more clearly and more intuitively with the existing menu administration. At the same time, if you want to quickly correct a menu using your smartphone, the Customizer is definitely a good alternative.
Automatically creating secure passwords
WordPress 4.3 is taking another step toward secure websites and protection against brute force attacks: WordPress now offers you the option of using automatically generated secure passwords.
When you create a new user, a secure password is automatically suggested. The same applies if you want to change the password for an existing user. You can still continue to use your own passwords. However, WordPress will warn you about weak passwords and require a confirmation.
Mobile icons and favicons
Under Appearance > Customize > Site Information, you can now manage your favicon and mobile icon. These images appear in browser tabs and favorites, as well as on smartphones, whenever a user saves your website as a shortcut on his or her home screen.
You can use images with a minimum resolution of 512 px by 512 px. You can simply crop larger images to adjust the part that is shown. To apply your icons, click Crop and Publish. WordPress displays a preview of your favicons and mobile icons to help you optimize you crop.
Icon preview image, source: WordPress
- Comments are now deactivated by default for new pages. This way, you can easily restrict discussions to your blog.
- You can now start the Customizer right in the frontend of your website.
To do so, select Customize in the top menu.
Many small improvements such as the shortcuts in the editor and automatic password suggestions make it even easier and more fun to work with WordPress 4.3.
Features like the menu administration in the Customizer are a clear statement in favor of mobile first. Outside of mobile use, particularly for more complex websites, it is currently better to switch to the classic version of menu administration.