Are you ready for a more intuitive WordPress?
Version 4.8 of WordPress, named “Evans” in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.8 add more ways for you to express yourself and represent your brand.
Though some updates seem minor, they’ve been built by hundreds of contributors with you in mind. Get ready for new features you’ll welcome like an old friend: link improvements, three new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, an updated text widget that supports visual editing, and an upgraded news section in your dashboard which brings in nearby and upcoming WordPress events.
Exciting Widget Updates
Adding an image to a widget is now a simple task that is achievable for any WordPress user without needing to know code. Simply insert your image right within the widget settings. Try adding something like a headshot or a photo of your latest weekend adventure — and see it appear automatically.
A welcome video is a great way to humanize the branding of your website. You can now add any video from the Media Library to a sidebar on your site with the new Video widget. Use this to showcase a welcome video to introduce visitors to your site or promote your latest and greatest content.
Are you a podcaster, musician, or avid blogger? Adding a widget with your audio file has never been easier. Upload your audio file to the Media Library, go to the widget settings, select your file, and you’re ready for listeners. This would be a easy way to add a more personal welcome message, too!
Rich Text Widget
This feature deserves a parade down the center of town! Rich-text editing capabilities are now native for Text widgets. Add a widget anywhere and format away. Create lists, add emphasis, and quickly and easily insert links. Have fun with your newfound formatting powers, and watch what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.
Have you ever tried updating a link, or the text around a link, and found you can’t seem to edit it correctly? When you edit the text after the link, your new text also ends up linked. Or you edit the text in the link, but your text ends up outside of it. This can be frustrating! With link boundaries, a great new feature, the process is streamlined and your links will work well. You’ll be happier, they say.
Nearby WordPress Events
Did you know that WordPress has a thriving offline community with groups meeting regularly in more than 400 cities around the world? WordPress now draws your attention to the events that help you continue improving your WordPress skills, meet friends, and, of course, publish!
This is quickly becoming a favorite features. While you are in the dashboard (because you’re running updates and writing posts, right?) all upcoming WordCamps and official WordPress Meetups — local to you — will be displayed.
Being part of the community can help you improve your WordPress skills and network with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Now you can easily find your local events just by logging in to your dashboard and looking at the new Events and News dashboard widget.
Even More Developer Happiness
More Accessible Admin Panel Headings
New CSS rules mean extraneous content (like “Add New” links) no longer need to be included in admin-area headings. These panel headings improve the experience for people using assistive technologies.
Removal of Core Support for WMV and WMA Files
As fewer and fewer browsers support Silverlight, file formats which require the presence of the Silverlight plugin are being removed from core support. Files will still display as a download link, but will no longer be embedded automatically.
New capabilities have been introduced to 4.8 with an eye towards removing calls to is_super_admin(). Additionally, new hooks and tweaks to more granularly control site and user counts per network have been added.
Media Widgets API
The introduction of a new base media widget REST API schema to 4.8 opens up possibilities for even more media widgets (like galleries or playlists) in the future. The three new media widgets are powered by a shared base class that covers most of the interactions with the media modal. That class also makes it easier to create new media widgets and paves the way for more to come.
Customizer Width Variable
Rejoice! New responsive breakpoints have been added to the customizer sidebar to make it wider on high-resolution screens. Customizer controls should use percentage-based widths instead of pixels.