WordPress 4.5 is being released very soon, and there are some interesting end-user and developer enhancements included. Get familiar with the changes and new features so you’re prepared and aware of what to look for in this latest released of WordPress.

The information below comes from the WordPress.org field guide, edited for end-user summary review, meaning references to developer-focused specifics have been removed.

JavaScript! and CSS!
Multiple external libraries have been updated (with the two that could require attention being Backbone and Underscore).

Term Edit Page!
The term edit screen has been separated out from the term list screen.

Live Preview: Faster, Extensible, More Features!
Live Preview (also known as “The Customizer”) once again has received attention this release with the addition of new controls, some performance improvements, and two new user-facing features.

Setting-less Controls, Device Previews, and Selective Refresh are the three biggest changes you’ll find. Setting-less controls make it easier to implement complex interfaces. Device Preview is a user facing feature that allows users to adjust the preview to match the screens on various devices. Selective Refresh allows for changes to appear quicker inside the preview.

One area that selective refresh helps live preview function faster is with widgets.

Look for theme and plugin authors to update their code to implement selective refresh.

The final change to Live Preview involves a new theme feature, and that is Custom Theme Logos.

Custom Theme Logos!
Themes can now offer support for custom logos. Custom Logos add an additional way for users to customize their site and themes can customize how custom logos are displayed.

Image Performance!
Following up on the introduction of responsive images in WordPress 4.4, WordPress 4.5 is making changes to improve image performance including improved compression settings and smarter handling of image metadata.

Embed Templates!
Iterating on embeds has led to the ability to better customize embeds by adding new templates to the template hierarchy for embeds. Embeds have also had some performance improvements for autodiscovery, the ability to embed the front page of a site, and changes to the iframe of embedded content.

Comments Component!
The comments component has a few user-facing changes to make comments easier to moderate. Additionally, the rel=nofollow attribute and value pair will no longer be added to relative or same domain links within comment_content.

Multisite once again has seen changes with the addition of new filters around site and user creation, and a WP_Site object.

And more!
Overall, 372 bugs have been marked as fixed in WordPress 4.5 (so far). There are also dozens of new hooks and dozens of hooks that have received additional parameters.

For the full list of changes, with links to feature-specific details, view the full field guide post.

We always recommend that you keep WordPress and all your plugins up-to-date, and that means proactively understanding the changes included, what that means for your site, depending on the themes and plugins you already use, and how to handle any update issues if they break your site. To recover from an update that breaks something on your site, you will need to restore from a backup, which also means you need to have good backups being made regularly. The other thing to do is check with your theme or plugin authors regarding the latest WordPress updates.

To have us handle your WordPress updates and backups, as well as security and performance optimizations, sign up for our monthly maintenance service, starting at $25/month for complete peace-of-mind regarding your WordPress website.