The month of November brought with it 2017’s second biggest WordPress update: WordPress 4.9. And, just like it’s predecessor, released in June of 2017, WordPress 4.9 has everyone talking about its improvements and enhancements.
The good news is that WordPress has finally introduced updates that it’s being talking about for the last eight years – except of course, Gutenberg, which is pegged to be the major talking point for the release of WordPress 5.0 next year.
If you’re wondering if it’s time to update, check out these fixes and features:
Update & Schedule Changes
One of the most impressive additions to the latest version of WordPress is the ability to make changes – and then schedule them to be published in the future. Customizer was always handy to use for big changes, but the downside was that they were published immediately.
The Publish button has now been replaced with the Customizer button, which has a cog icon on it. When you click on the cog icon a menu will open up offering you: Save Draft, Schedule and Publish.
You also have the capability to store changes without applying them to your site. The biggest advantage of this is you can now share preview pages with users that are not logged into your website, which was previously not possible.
Upgrades To Widgets
Widgets now have added functionality, through the addition of three new features: new short codes for the text widget, a gallery widget and adding media to text widgets. These updates are getting ready for the arrival of Gutenberg, which is expected next year.
WordPress 4.9 also addresses the issue of vanishing widgets when you switch between themes, a feature which has developers jumping for joy.
The Return Of CodeMirror
CodeMirror returns in WordPress 4.9, following an eight-year absence. If you’ve ever had the experience of adding code to a site, only to find that it hasn’t saved because there’s an error, then you’ll love the improved version of CodeMirror.
CodeMirror will find and highlight your mistake, and maybe even give you a clue so you can fix it. Fancy right? Especially suited to entry-level WordPress users and devs, this should save a lot of people many sleepless nights.
This has been paired with a new global notification area underneath the Publish button in your Customizer. Here you can check out and resolve any errors before moving forward.
Working With Menus Just Got Easier
WordPress’ latest release makes menu creation easier and more intuitive. Now menu names and locations, and location changes are housed in the same section, allowing for better flow in menu creation and management.
Enhanced Theme Experiences
The improvements to Customizer have also extended to themes. It is now easier to browse and preview themes within Customizer. You can also browse through WordPress.org themes in Customizer and install and activate them quickly and easily.