Excited for the first major WordPress release of the year – WordPress 4.8? The launch is set to happen on June 8-9, which is basically just around the corner (and just before WCEU). No wonder there’s a lot of talk going on in the community already as to what sort of improvements that new version is set to deliver.
What follows is our run-through of all the new features coming in WordPress 4.8 + how they actually work:
Here’s the most exciting stuff coming in WordPress 4.8
1. New and improved text widget
Like it or not, the current default text widget in WordPress is not the most useful thing for the regular user. It supports only raw text (or HTML code) and gives you no formatting tools at all.
I personally believe that this will finally make the text widget a usable tool for the non-code-savvy user who wants to include some custom content into a widget area. This is overall a great step towards putting the spotlight on the end user and their needs!
“Can you share the no.1 thing you’re excited about that’s to come in WordPress 4.8 + why?”
do_shortcode()function to the widget’s filter.Uriahs Victor, ThemeIsle
Actually, it’s quite stunning that it took WordPress 33 individual major releases to finally deliver something as seemingly basic as an image widget. Overall, this is another great step towards making the experience better and more streamlined for the users.
This new widget replaces the old one.
4. Improved link boundaries
Link boundaries are meant to help us navigate – move the cursor in and out – between elements like links and normal text. This is not the most straightforward thing to describe, so let’s just see it in action. Here’s what happens when you try to edit some text near/inside a link in WordPress 4.7:
Here’s the same in WordPress 4.8:
Overall, I consider this a nice improvement for anyone creating a lot of content in the WordPress editor. Editing the anchor texts of your links vs the raw text that’s alongside can be frustrating at times.
5. Setting the foundation for Gutenberg
Now, what does “setting the foundation” actually mean I don’t know. 🙂 I can only assume it probably has to do with rewriting some of the code to then make integrating Gutenberg into the interface easier in the future versions of WordPress.
Some important dates
The complete roadmap for WordPress 4.8 is available here.
Here’s an excerpt listing some of the important dates (adjusted for changes):
|WordPress 4.8 release candidate||May 31||(originally May 25, moved by six days)|
|WordPress 4.8 final release candidate||June 8||(originally June 1, moved by one week)|
|WordPress 4.8||June 9||(originally June 8, moved by one day)|
Once activated, go to Tools → Beta Testing and select “Bleeding edge nightlies.” Then, go to your Dashboard → Updates and click the main WordPress update button. You should get the latest beta.
So what do you think of all these changes? Which do you like the most? Do you enjoy this user-focused direction overall?
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