New features of WordPress 4.6 (including screenshots)

It’s becoming a tradition for us to present you with the new features of every upcoming major WordPress release. The last release (WordPress 4.5) was in April this year. The expected release date of WordPress 4.6 will be August 16 – edit: the release date has been pushed forward by one day -, roughly three weeks after writing this article.

Just like with every major WordPress release, a lot of changes will be made for both front-end users and core developers. With this article we will focus mostly on the front-end user side, the visual part so to say.

Shiny Updates V2

WordPress 4.6 Shiny Updates V2

Installing, updating and deleting plugins and themes in WordPress results in a grey screen with a link to the previous page. Shiny Updates V2 will polish this up by making it a more straight forward experience.

Native admin fonts

We work both online and offline (via XAMPP or WAMPP) on a WordPress based website. Sometimes the WordPress admin panel can be a bit slow, even working offline. Exchanging third-party fonts for the built in native fonts, WordPress seems to have tackled this issue. The following native fonts will be used:

  • -apple-system for Safari (iOS & macOS) and Firefox macOS
  • BlinkMacSystemFont for Chrome macOS
  • Segoe UI for Windows
  • Roboto for Android and Chrome OS
  • Oxygen-Sans for KDE
  • Ubuntu for Ubuntu
  • Cantarell for GNOME
  • Helvetica Neue for versions of macOS prior to 10.11
  • sans-serif, the standard fallback
[bctt tweet=”WordPress 4.6 is coming soon! Let’s explore the new features.”]

TinyMCE Editor improvements

WordPress 4.6 live link checker

The editor has been updated to version 4.4.0.

The new real live link checker (see image), will check if your link is valid or broken after typing them. The editor also includes a more reliable recovery mode. When you’re in the middle of writing an article and your browser suddenly shuts down, it will be more easy to recover your post.

Restore autosaves when revisions are disabled

When editing a published page and waiting for the page to be automatically saved, previously there was an issue with the autosave not being recovered properly. This has been fixed.

Improved handling of the PHP memory limit

Remember that every time after installing a fresh WordPress install, a PHP memory limit warning popped up when updating or importing larger files. We always had to edit the config file to correct this. Good news! WordPress does not decrease the PHP memory limit anymore (finally).

Improved handling of UTF-8 address headers for emails

If your name contains non-English characters, the wp_mail() function was not able to process this name with the result of having unreadable characters. This issue seems to be fixed as well.

Media improvements

When inserting an image from an URL, the alt attributes were not added when left blank. This has been changed to automatically add the alt attribute to an image URL.
The media player has been updated to fix problems with YouTube video embeds.

A more polished WordPress importer

WordPress 4.6 polished importer

The WordPress importer was somewhat cluttered and the descriptive information was not updated after installing an importer. The new importer has been polished and contains a better description.

Emoji update

Just like last April with the release of WordPress 4.5, version 4.6 includes an update to support the latest Unicode 9 emoji characters.


I am really looking forward to the final release of WordPress 4.6. Not only does this version include lots of visual improvements, it also includes several bugs and core fixes. Please share your thoughts about the upcoming WordPress release below.

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Noud is an experienced web developer and founder of Data Roots. His passion is to develop high-quality websites for his customers that will last for many years. Noud's got 20 years experience developing websites for companies of all sizes and loves to help. Contact Noud.

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