What’s Coming in WordPress 4.2 (Features and Screenshots)


After the release of WordPress 4.1, the development of the next major release started in full swing. WordPress 4.2 will be the first major release of 2015, and it is planned to be released by end of April. There are a lot of exciting things happening around it. In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 4.2 with features and screenshots.

You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

WordPress 4.2

New and Improved Emoji Support

Do you use Emoji’s in your text messages, facebook statuses, etc? Well, now you can use it in your WordPress blog posts as well.

Emojis are cool and fun way to express your feelings in a text-based communication. WordPress had basic emoticons for a long time, and even though it was possible for users to add emoji support to WordPress, it was not supported by the core.

With WordPress 4.2 your WordPress sites will have built-in emoji support. If you are using a mobile device, you can easily add emojis to your posts, comments, categories, and in most places where you can write text. This includes post slugs as well.

Native support for emojis in WordPress 4.2

Update: We realized that a lot of users weren’t as excited about Emojis and would have preferred other features. We wanted to highlight that Emoji support came out from the underlying work that had to be done to improve WordPress database and make it possible to use Han characters (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc) natively in WordPress.

As you can imagine, this is a huge thing for a large population of the world.

Switching Theme in Customizer

WordPress 4.2 will bring improvements to the way you install, browse, and preview themes using the WordPress customizer. You will now be able to switch, preview, and activate themes from the theme customizer screen.

Theme switcher in WordPress 4.2

You can also click on the ‘Add New’ button to browse and install new themes.

Faster Plugin Installation and Updates

Plugin installation will be streamlined in WordPress 4.2. Now users will be able to install plugins directly from the ‘Add New Plugin’ or search results.

Faster plugin installation in WordPress 4.2

Plugins will not only be installed, but they will also be activated. This will reduce one step and two page loads from the plugin installation process.

If you want to install a plugin and not activate it, then you will have to go back to Installed Plugins screen and deactivate the plugin.

Same goes for the updates, users will be able to update plugins from the Installed Plugins screen without leaving the page.

New and Improved Press This Button

Press This is a little-known tool in WordPress that is gaining a rebirth in WordPress 4.2. There are two major improvements.

Press This in WordPress 4.2

The first one is the bookmarklet that you can drag and drop to your browser’s bookmarks bar. Simply click on the Press This bookmark when you want to post about a topic you are viewing on the web. It will open your WordPress post editor inside a popup, and it will automatically fetch the page title, image, and an excerpt from the page with a link back to the original source.

Press This popup in the upcoming WordPress 4.2

You can use it anywhere on the web. If you are on an oEmbed enabled site like YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram, then it will automatically fetch the embed code as well.

The second Press This tool is a simple link which you can open in your mobile browser and add it to your home screen / bookmark it.

Adding Press This to your Home Screen in mobile devices

Under The Hood Improvements

There are some minor changes in the default color scheme for the WordPress admin area. (#31234)

Shared terms across different taxonomies will now split when one of them is updated. This will resolve the issue of shared terms showing updates from different taxonomies. (#5809)

New feature in wp.a11y.speak() function will allow screen readers to be able to read response generated by JavaScript. (#31368)

We hope this article gave you a glimpse of what’s coming in WordPress 4.2. Let us know which features you are excited about, and what you would like to see in the future release of WordPress?

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