Of course we will begin this post by stating that WordPress is currently powering more than 24% of all sites on web and is the leading CMS trusted by millions of users worldwide.

The team behind WordPress shows no signs of slowing down and releases new versions every 3-4 months. Moreover, the interest over WordPress is still growing (although 2015 wasn’t the best year in terms of popularity, it’s still strong compared to other CMSs).

WordPress trends

Automattic – the company behind WordPress, is also expanding its possibilities by constantly acquiring diverse services and agencies. The latest and the biggest acquisition (estimated at $30 million) was WooThemes – the company that created WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress (powering around 30% of all online stores).

WooCommerce stats

By this acquisition Automattic welcomed 55 new employees from WooThemes (located in 16 different countries) and growing its team to 370 employees.

Woothemes and WP

Now let’s get back to the newly released WordPress 4.3 “Billie”, named after jazz singer Billie Holiday.

What’s new in WordPress 4.3?

There are a lot of new features and updates in the latest version of WordPress. All these will help you easily add, format your content and customize your blog or site as you wish. Here are some of its key features:

1. Menus in customizer

Now you will be able to create, edit, customize and preview your menus in the customizer. This is probably one of the most controversial feature of the new WordPress version, as it generated a lot of discussions and debates. For those who are willing to manage their menus using the old style, the same option is still available in WP admin > Appearance > Menus.


2. Site icons

By now, to add an icon to your site, you had had to use different plugins or add it manually. With this new feature you will be able to easily add an icon to your site in the customizer. It will stay there even if you change your theme. Not a major option, but still a very useful one.


3. Formatting shortcuts

Formatting shortcuts were intended to make your writing process even faster. You can use predefined shortcuts that will format your content instantly, without using the editor or refreshing the page. You can view all keyboard shortcuts by pressing on the help icon of the text editor. This is probably one of the coolest features, created for those who are writing a lot, their writing process will become more fluid and seamless.

Here are some common shortcuts that you can use efficiently. Press Shift + Alt + letter to include:

1 Heading 1 2 Heading 2
3 Heading 3 4 Heading 4
5 Heading 5 6 Heading 6
l Align left c Align center
r Align right j Justify
d Strikethrough q Blockquote
u Bulleted list o Numbered list
a Insert/edit link s Remove link
m Insert/edit image t Insert Read More tag

Or simply press Enter to include (press Escape button to undo):

> Blockquote
## Heading 2
### Heading 3
#### Heading 4
##### Heading 5
###### Heading 6

4. Stronger passwords

WordPress isn’t the most secure CMS out there, but it’s taking serious actions to protect its users and their data. When register as a new user, you will no longer receive the password by email (in plain text). Instead, WordPress will send you a link where you will be able to set up your own password. If you want to reset your password, WordPress will generate and suggest you a stronger password.


5. Comments turned off on pages

Now all new pages that you create will have comments disabled by default. A really useful option, as in previous versions you had to do this manually. The comments will be available in posts (where we need them the most).

6. Optimized admin area

An optimized and consistent admin view was crafted to deliver a better UI/UX for all kind of desktop and mobile devices. You will be able to easily add new posts, review comments, customize your site, access your admin dashboard and other features from the new, optimized list. This is a great addition/alternative to the existing number of mobile applications.


The bottom line

WordPress 4.3 brought us lots of new, awesome feature to facilitate the process of writing and posting content, easily set up a site and customize it, protect our data and enjoy working with the platform. Of course there is still room for improvement, but at this moment it’s the most complex and used CMS on web and there are no signs that it will be replaced in the near future. Tell what what you think, do you like the new WordPress 4.3?

2 thoughts on “WordPress 4.3 – an honest, impartial review

  1. > “WordPress (or Automattic – the company behind WordPress) is also expanding its possibilities by constantly acquiring diverse services and agencies.”

    Automattic is NOT the company behind WordPress, the open source project available at WordPress.org. Automattic runs WordPress.com, a blogging platform which unfortunately has the same name and is powered by WordPress.

    The only entity behind WordPress is the WordPress Foundation, which helps organize WordCamps and defend the WordPress trademark.

    Not WordPress did acquire WooTheme — Automattic did.

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