This past week, WordPress released its latest version, “Benny”. Named after jazz legend Benny Goodman, version 4.0 isn’t a particularly drastic update—it doesn’t even look all that different on the back end. But what it lacks in flare, it makes up for with solid user experience improvements.
There's a number of small, no-brainer changes in this release, including the ability to choose your language during the installation process and a toolbar that seamlessly follows as you scroll through the post and page editors. But there are three developments in particular that we’re excited about:
Preview Embedded Media
Previously, embedded oEmbed URLs could only be seen in action when you previewed a page or post. A minor pain, yes, but annoying enough.
In version 4.0, these items are viewable—and playable—right in the post editor. This includes videos embedded from YouTube and Vimeo, images from Flickr, and even embedded tweets.
New Plugin Browser
Benny has vastly improved the plugin browser in WordPress’s dashboard. It’s now more intuitive than ever and organized into a nice, neat grid view. One particularly great feature of the new plugin browser is the ability to read user reviews without needing to navigate out to the plugin repository.
New Media Library
Piggybacking off of its last major overhaul, the new Media Library has been updated to function in a much more intuitive, streamlined manner.
Media now displays in a neat grid, and the detailed view of each item boasts improved editing and playback capabilities. You can even navigate back and forth between items for easier browsing.
Benny might not be the most exciting release to date. We’re sure there are more dramatic updates coming from WordPress in the distance future. But from a UX perspective, these subtle improvements are decent proof that WordPress does, in fact, listen to—and learn from—its users.