Last week, WordPress 4.3, nicknamed “Billie Holliday” for the jazz musician — as are all of the major releases for the blogging platform — was released to the world.
This was the first release cycle that I followed heavily through the Make WordPress blog, so none of the features in the release caught me off guard. I also took it for a test drive myself on a couple of my development sites just to test out the features and to make sure nothing in this release would break anything I have in the WordPress repositories.
So even before it came out on Aug. 18, I was a well-versed user of the new update. And as such, I have this to say about it: it’s not a ground-breaking update by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s another solid release by the WordPress team and it’s a step in the right direction to making WordPress the best it can be.
While I know that there are “flashier” parts about this release (and every other release by everyone ever), the biggest, and really the most important, change came with the passwords. With 4.3, users are given a strong password with the option to keep it or create their own. And they’ve strength meter to guide users into creating strong passwords of their own.
That comes handy when you’re talking about sites that use WordPress with a large number of users who may or may not have access to a large part of the backend of the site. And it will make it harder for hackers to get into take down sites as well.
Of course, the “flashier” aspects of the release are still pretty cool. I love that the there’s now a site icon, or favicon, option inside of the Customizer. It makes it so much easier than having to upload one in FTP and hoping that works.
There’s also now a way for users to change their menus in the Customizer so that they can see how the menu looks without refreshing the page or leaving the admin area. There is some controversy of this feature getting added in, but honestly, as long as the normal, backend menu editor stays in place, there’s no need to quibble over it.
But other than that, it’s really a solid release and it’s certainly a step in the right direction for WordPress. And with the 4.4 release cycle getting under way, hopefully they keep it going in this right path.