image from WP 4.2 announcement

WordPress 4.2, “Powell” is Here

WordPress loves to name its new releases after great jazz musicians, and this one honors pianist Bud Powell.

image from WP 4.2 announcement

It adds new features to make it easier to add content, and supports more characters. That makes foreign languages look better on the screen, and gives you access to Emoji on WordPress. 🙂 (Did you see what I just did there?)

Native embedding just expanded as well. Now, when you want to share from Tumblr or Kickstarter, you can add the link the same way you add a link from YouTube and it displays beautifully.

Not sure how to do that? Just copy and paste the link onto a line by itself. That’s it.

They’ve also improved and speeded up Press This, the little bookmarklet you’ll find in the Tools menu. It helps you add new material to your blog faster.

Behind the scenes, though, there’s one change which could have site owners scrambling. It’s called “shared term splitting.” WordPress explains it, “Terms shared across multiple taxonomies will be split when one of them is updated.”

According to the Plugin Handbook:

“Prior to WP 4.2, terms in different taxonomies with the same slug (for instance, a tag and a category sharing the slug “news”) shared a single term ID. Beginning in WordPress 4.2, when one of these shared terms is updated, it will be split: the updated term will be assigned a new term ID.

In the vast majority of situations, this update will be seamless and uneventful. However, some plugins and themes store term IDs in options, post meta, user meta, or elsewhere. WP 4.2 will include two different tools to help authors of these plugins and themes with the transition.”

Before updating, check to see if you have duplicate slugs as described above. If so, consider changing them yourself.

Translated, this means that if you’re using a theme or a plugin that’s not using up-to-date, best practices in the code, your site could experience serious issues. As in, it could break. Yet another reason to only use themes from reputable designers and plugins from reputable developers.

This is yet another reason why, if you’re using a theme that’s not mobile responsive, you should switch to an up-to-date, HTML5 ready, responsive theme.

Need help choosing a new theme? Let me help.