WordPress 4.9 Features: Get the Lowdown

17 November 2017| Post by Graham

AuthorGraham

Hello to the new WordPress update, 4.9, or more informally known as ‘Tipton’. Nice to meet you. Let’s run through all the improvements and new features. Yay!

We could bang on about the history of the world’s leading content management system and everything the last update brought us for ages… and why you should be using WordPress for your blog. Or we could just get on with it and discuss WordPress 4.9. That’s what you came for after all, isn’t it?

WordPress 4.9 new features & improvements

Improved Customizer Workflow

You know how when you edit a blog post or page you can go back to it whenever you want and schedule it to post at any time? Well, you can now do just that when customizing your site’s theme. Save a draft of your design at any point and send a new preview link to your colleagues for that all-important feedback. You’ll also find a similar post locking feature for designs that’ll stop a 2nd designer meddling with your hard work. If you leave your screen for a while, you’ll be prompted to save any changes that you haven’t yet saved. Neat!

Enhancing Your Coding Experience

You’ll now find syntax highlighting and error checking for writing and editing CSS and the Custom HTML widget. Avoid the ‘dreaded white screen’ when working on plugin code and themes – WordPress 4.9 will warn you before you save an error. The new Tipton update will look out for you when directly editing themes and plugins – you’ll be reminded of the danger and get a recommendation to draft and test changes first.

Updates to Widgets

This one’s short and sweet. The all-new Gallery Widget allows you to add a gallery and is a big improvement on the media updates in 4.8. You can also add media to a text widget thanks to a useful Add Media button. Nice! You can now (finally!) add shortcodes into your text widget, too.

Improvements to Site Building

Theme switching is now more reliable due to improvements that keep widget and menu positioning more persistent when you switch themes. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s also easier than ever to find and preview a theme – there are new filters in the search for subject, features and layout. Enjoy browsing and previewing over 2600 themes in Customizer. A smoother UX in menu creation makes the whole process a lot easier, with freshly updated copy to help you along the way.

Work on Gutenberg Plugin

Become an early tester or contribute to the Gutenberg project for new ways of creating and controlling content on WordPress.

Good News for Developers

Say hello to the improved Customizer JS API – default parameters for constructs, no more repeated ID! There are new base control templates, date/time controlĀ and section/panel/global notifications. That’s just to mention a few! A new code editing library – Code Mirror – enables the syntax highlight and error checking we mentioned earlier. Media Element.js has been upgraded to 4.2.6 and removes any dependency on jQuery. Think fixed bugs, updated UI and enhanced accessibility.

Sound good? Get updated and experience Tipton for yourself!

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