WordPress 4.8 was released a few days ago and it’s the first big release of 2017 by team Automattic,
as this was a much-awaited update with great new features and enhancements.
In this article, I will show what are those features and enhancements and what’s new we get in WordPress 4.8
and which are the features you should use after upgrading your website to WordPress 4.8.
WordPress 4.8 is a major update by team Automattic, and if you are not on managed WordPress hosting service,
you have to update your WordPress manually.
IMPORTANT! Do not forget to make a complete back-up of your WordPress site
before you proceed with the new upgrade.
The All New Media Widgets
There are 3 new widgets in WordPrss 4.8 by default.
As a developer, we have been requesting for these widgets since a long time, but finally, they are here now.
Before this new widget, if users wanted to add an image to the sidebar of the WordPress site,
Then they have to use a plugin or write the code manually into their theme files.
With WordPress 4.8, now they can just drag and drop an image widget to the sidebar.
Then just click on ‘Add Image’ button in the settings of image widget and it will bring up the media gallery.
You may upload your images from your computer or select an already uploaded image from the media library.
On you have uploaded, just click on the add to widget button and then it will show the image in sidebar preview.
Make sure you click on Save button. Once you hit save button you’re done.
Now you have your images in WordPress sidebar.
Same as the image widget, WordPress 4.8 also includes a new video widget.
With this widget, you can easily upload your videos to the sidebar of your Wordpress site
or display any online videos like Vimeo, YouTube or any other oEmbed provider.
Note: I personally never recommend you to upload your videos to your WordPress site directly instead you should
use other video service provider as Vimeo, YouTube or any other.
The new Video widget makes it very easy to embed videos from all video hosting providers.
You just need to click on ‘Add Video’ button in the widget and it will take you to media uploading pop-up.
Now you just need to click on ‘Insert from URL’ and then insert the URL of the video.
Once you do that WordPress will fetch the video information and video thumbnail and show you a preview.
Now click on the ‘Add to Widget’ button, once you do that, the video will show up in your WordPress widget area. Make sure to click on Save button to save your widget settings.
As we have talked about Image and Video Widget, Audio widget will allow you to add audio files very easily
to your sidebar of the WordPress site.
Just click on the ‘Add audio’ button and select the audio file or ‘Insert the URL’ of the Audio to upload it to your WordPress sidebar.
The Audio Widget will embed the audio file nicely in an HTML5 audio player to your WordPress sidebar.
The widget supports OGG, MP3, and WAV file formats of an audio.
Visual Editor In Text Widget
Before WordPress 4.8, The default WordPress text widget was just a normal plain text area where you can add
your own HTML for basic/advanced formatting.
WordPress 4.8 comes with the new and improved text widget which has Visual editor built in with it.
This is the light version of the Visual editor that we mostly use when we write our posts and pages.
This also contains same buttons to make text italic or bold, adding links, adding lists.
Advanced users can switch to a basic text editor and write the HTML code manually as per their need.
Visual Editor Enhancements
In previous versions of WordPress when we use the visual editor to write new or edit posts,
moving the cursor away from the link was very difficult for most of the users.
In WordPress 4.8 this issue has been addressed and now we can just move the cursor away from link without
any difficulties by just pressing the left ◄ or right ► arrow keys.
WordPress News and Events Widget For Dashboard
With the new WordPress 4.8, it also comes with the new WordPress News and Events widget for the dashboard.
It is available on the dashboard screen of your WordPress site’s admin area and it shows the latest News from
WordPress team and also shows you the WordPress events about to happen near your location.
So for example, if your WordPress site has multiple users on it.
Each user will see the events about to happen near to his own location,
The new WordPress News and Events widget automatically try to get users location by sending the IP address
of the users to api.wordpress.org.
Note: Incase you are using a VPN then you will see the events based on the location of the selected
server’s IP you are using.
You can always change the location as per your need to see the Events near the location of your desire,
or any place in the world you want to see.
WordPress 4.8 Under The Hood Changes
With this new update of WordPress 4.8, it brings some really exciting enhancements for WordPress developers as well. Let see some of those under the hood enhancements and improvements.
Let see some of those under the hood enhancements and improvements.
The new changes in Editor API
It brings a new API for TinyMCE editor to be powerfully instantiated via JS.(#35760)
The New Variable customizer width
While editing your websites you may have used live theme customizer and on larger screens,
you may have noticed that the sidebar looks very narrow, with WordPress 4.8,
it makes the sidebar width to be corresponding to users screen size. (#32296)
User’s name prominently displays on edit profiles screen.
After upgrade to WordPress 4.8, the profile edit section will now prominently display the name of the user in Heading section. (#28182)
Tags Cloud Widget Will No More Use Title Tag For Counts.
Prior to WordPress 4.8, Tags cloud widget uses the title tag and shows the number of posts
file under a tag in the title popover.
The title tag in the code is replaced with the more accessible aria-label attribute. (#35566)
I hope this article has offered a good information about What’s New in WordPress 4.8.
I am Really excited about the new media Widgets. What are you excited about in this WordPress 4.8 update?
Let me know in the comments sections below.