The latest version of WordPress was release two week ago. The release is the second time this year and also it is the last major release of WordPress in 2017. The latest WordPress 4.9 as an important release this year of course comes with many interesting and exciting new enhancements and features.
In order to help WordPress fans and WordPress webmasters to get the best understanding about the new coming WordPress 4.9, so that they can make a choice on whether to upgrade or not, we will introduce the major new features as well as enhancements with WordPress 4.9 in below.
Important: If you decide to upgrade your site with WordPress 4.9, then you do remember create a full WordPress backup before you start updating.
New Theme Viewing Experience in The Customizer
The latest WordPress 4.9 comes with enhanced customizer with several improvements. Those changes provide a set of new features for developers and bring better user experience.
The most noteworthy changes that users directly preview and change their themes from the customizer become more user-friendly. If you are running a website in the latest WordPress 4.9, then now you can view all your themes installed before in you preview panel as well as simply load your themes in the customizer by clicking on “live preview” button.
In customizer in WordPress 4.9, you can view and search for WordPress.org themes as well as install them directly. Also, the customizer allows you to install and preview these themes directly.
Schedule and Save Changes in The Customizer
There are some changes to the theme customizer in WordPress 4.9. The new feature is like the post revision, but in the customizer, it is for your changes in themes. Enhanced customizer in WordPress 4.9 allows you to save changes even you do not apply them.
Also, the new feature enables you to easily share a preview of your changes with others – just copy the URL of the preview and then send it to the one you want to share with, and your users or friends can directly look at your changes without login.
What’s more, the new version of WordPress now offers you the ability to effortlessly schedule your theme changes to be published later automatically.
These new features in the customizer are good to theme developers. Now, they can use your theme changes in customizer JS API. New theme changes will enable them to include better controls, add nice outer panels, as well as show the notifications on screen.
New Gallery Widget
Actually, in WordPress 4.8, many new media widgets including rich audio, text, video and image, have been introduced. Well, now WordPress 4.9 introduces new gallery widget based on WordPress 4.8’s media widgets.
In WordPress 4.9, with new gallery widget, you can build up a native gallery for WordPress, and you can add the new native gallery just created to your WordPress sidebar, or other widget ready fields.
Similar to those native WordPress galleries, the new widget is limited in the aspect of functionality as well. By far, the lasted WordPress can only offer such a basic native gallery, so if you require a more powerful gallery with rich albums, then you have to install third-party plugins such as Envira Gallery.
Increase Media Buttons in Text Widget
WordPress 4.8 offers text widget with plain text as well as HTML tabs. Nevertheless, it still cannot support an easy way of adding an image in your sidebar text widget, instead of writing a HTML code.
Now, in WordPress 4.9, its developers make it easy and include an “Add Media” button in your text widget to make it. With that button, you can simply choose or upload a needed image directly in your text widget.
OEmbed Words Outside Post Content
In other versions of WordPress, they all didn’t support the automatic embeds in the post content area only. Now, WordPress 4.9 is available and it supports for oEmbeds to working in both the text widget as well as other areas.
Shortcodes in Text Widgets
Previously, shortcodes were not allowed to execute in your text widgets in WordPress, and you would need to explicitly enable a shortcode in your text widgets. At present, WordPress 4.9 fixes it and you can add them in the text widget out of the box.
Fresh Code Editing Experience
WordPress is always user-friendly to allow users to add HTML/CSS codes at many places such as custom CSS panel, theme editor, and in the custom HTML widget. However, in previous versions, WordPress only allowed plain text boxes in or at those places, and it never play the role of a code editor.
Now in WordPress 4.9, there is some change and it finally offers users the ability to add code suggestions, auto-completion, and syntax highlighting into these areas. To update your WordPress, you can enjoy the fresh code editing feature as well.
The new change of code editing can automatically address most common mistakes that will cause the syntax errors, which you could encounter before as you are editing your themes.
WordPress now allows you to roll back, so if you really do not want to take advantage of new syntax highlighting, then you are allowed to disable it easily. For the method, you just need to visit your profile page as well as find and uncheck the option of syntax highlighting.
For newbies to WordPress, the most common issues about usability should be to make changes from their WordPress built-in editor but they have no idea about the consequences. Actually, a mini mistake could cause a syntax error and even make their sites inaccessible.
But now WordPress 4.9 can display a warning to you as you are access the editor. It can avoid many unnecessary issues for you.
Besides, WordPress 4.9 also show you some useful tips and lead you to the custom CSS panel.
However, many WordPress users go to the editor for quickly looking up codes instead of making any change, especially when they are doing child themes. In order to help those, the editor now displays folder and files in the sidebar recursively, so they can browse the files in any them folder more easily.
The newly released WordPress 4.9 offers some new great features for developers. There are some improvements under the hood:
- With WordPress 4.9, you can have better navigation menu and mapping for your theme widgets, after you switch themes;
- SWFUpload library now in WordPress 4.9 has been removed from the core;
- In WordPress 4.9, if any user attempts to make changes in email address, it will require the admin to click on a confirmation lick in the email the platform sends.
In conclusion, we have offer a relatively detailed introduce about the new features in WordPress 4.9. We hope you can have a clear picture of WordPress 4.9 after you read this article. If you feel useful, you can read more from our WordPress Tutorials.