Version 4.4 of WordPress, named “Clifford” in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.4 make your site more connected and responsive. Clifford also introduces a new default theme, Twenty Sixteen.

There’s a lot going on under the hood, but what might be most interesting to us are the new oEmbed and responsive image features.

What’s oEmbed?

oEmbed is what lets you paste a URL into a line by itself to a resource on another site, and that resource is automagically rendered right on your post without having to deal with sometimes-cryptic embed or iframe tags. For example, I can paste “https://vimeo.com/86120207”, as below, on a line all by itself, and I get this:

Or just paste the URL of a Tweet, “https://twitter.com/bobdylan/status/672062682632028160”, like this:

Screenshot_1

Will render complete with its embedded media:

There’s a long list of providers that WordPress is compatible with, including YouTube, SoundCloud, Vimeo and now — WordPress itself. Just put the URL of a WordPress blog post on a line by itself, and the headline, featured image and excerpt will be displayed within your post.

Better Image Support

Also new to 4.4 is “responsive images.” WordPress will now resize the images you upload, automatically, so that they look right on any kind of device. Additional code is generated behind-the-scenes which lets your readers’ devices select from several different resolutions and download the one that is correct — a large image for a desktop browser or a smaller one for a mobile phone. This protects their monthly bandwidth allowance, and makes for faster load times.

We’ll be following this over the next week or so to check for stability and possible conflicts. Usually there are no issues.