WordPress 4.4 Beta 1 has been released for users and developers to tinker with, and it comes with a December 8th release date, too.
Version 4.4 will bring about a new default theme, responsive images and a wider variety of embeds. Developers will also get some goodies, including REST API and Term Metadata.
A little bit bare, then.
I'm aware that this is WordPress 4.4 and not WordPress 5, yet I still can't help but want more from this update.
For those of you who are familiar with WordPress' default themes, you'll know that this newest one, Twenty Sixteen, is nothing to write home about. Just like almost all other default WordPress themes before it, it's painfully plain.
Once again, I'm aware that the default theme should be as minimal and as simplistic as possible, but that doesn't explain away the lazy design. It's simply not attractive in any sense, and that's not really good enough for the most popular CMS in the world.
Additional updates include WordPress delivering more appropriate images to users depending on a variety of conditions like screen size, viewport size, and screen resolution. Embeds have also been added to, with it now being easier to embed a wider range of media, including post previews from other WordPress websites.
Again, hardly groundbreaking stuff.
My criticism would be harsh on any other platform, but I have to demand more from WordPress here. I can't remember the last time I saw a "semi-major" update like this worth getting excited about. And for your average WordPress user, there's nothing WordPress 4.4 does to change that.
I'm a WordPress fan (and for good reason), but recent updates, including this one, ooze complacency.
To get your hands on WordPress 4.4 Beta for yourself, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.
More details for WordPress 4.4 can be found here. Meanwhile, our CMS Directory holds everything you need to know about the award-winning platform.