Though it may not be packed with new features, WordPress 4.2 offers key upgrades to the Theme and Plugin workflows, natively supports Han characters & emojis, and overhauled the Press This functionality.
WordPress 4.2 is expected to launch April 22, but could be delayed if any issues are found with the recent release candidate.
Customize, Preview, and Activate Any Theme in the Customizer
WordPress 4.2 adds onto the Theme Customizer by allowing it to switch between theme previews without exiting back to the Themes page. This allows users to easily customize and visualize any theme quickly.
Update Plugins in a Single Click
Before WordPress 4.2, administrators would be redirected to a plugin update page after clicking ‘update now.’ Now, updating plugins happens seamlessly without any redirects from the plugins page.
WordPress 4.2 was also slated to include one-click plugin installation, but this function has been pushed to a later release.
Embed Tumblr and Kickstarter Easily
You can now add Tumblr and Kickstarter embeds with a simple link to the web page – adding to the growing list of supported embeds.
Share Content with the Press This Popup
Though it existed before, the ‘Press This’ button has been overhauled to natively support oEmbed sites like Twitter, Vimeo, Youtube, and Facebook – as well as a classy new design. WordPress 4.2 allows you to share content from across the web on your site with ease.
Use Han Characters and Emojis
Previously unsupported due to the older utf8 database character encoding, WordPress 4.2 has upgraded to utf8mb4 character encoding that natively supports Han characters for East Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean – greatly improving the language accessibility of WordPress.
The new encoding also supports emojis, a common typeface across major platforms, and will be easily accessible on mobile keyboards.
Warning: Please Backup Before Upgrading
Upgrading WordPress core, plugins, and themes has the potential to crash your website – losing your data and forcing you to create your site from scratch. Please backup your site before updating anything or empower your website with a maintenance team that does it all for you.
WordPress 4.2 is not feature-rich, but it does move the needle towards a more accessible and easy-t0-use platform. What do you think of WordPress 4.2?