WordPress has always tried to improve user experience by constantly releasing updates and patches. WordPress 4.9 was rolled out yesterday and again, it has a lot of updates that are focused on enhancing user experience.
This article will put forth all the WordPress 4.9 features that you should definitely know about. The update is in beta phase so it is recommended that you test WordPress 4.9 on a staging website.
So What’s New in WordPress 4.9?
Here are some of the WordPress 4.9 features that you should be excited about:
- Updates to drafting and scheduling in the Customizer
- A preview link in the Customizer
- Improved theme browsing in the Customizer
- A new Gallery Widget
- Add media to text widgets
- Videos from providers other than Youtube and Vimeo is supported in the Video widget
Updates to drafting and scheduling in the Customizer
One of the noteworthy WordPress 4.9 feature is the update to the drafting and scheduling in the Customizer. Users will now be able to see changes in the theme that they have not yet saved. This means pending changes in the customizer will be loaded automatically when the next time users log in to their WordPress admin.
Also, with WordPress 4.9, users can now schedule their theme changes in the customizer.
So to check this out, I updated my staging website to WordPress 4.9.
You can see the schedule button as you make a change in your customizer.
A preview link in the Customizer
In the last screenshot you can see the Share Preview Link option. WordPress 4.9 will allow you to share your preview with other people who don’t even need to be logged in in order to see it.
Improved theme browsing in the Customizer
Another WordPress 4.9 feature that improves user experience the improved theme browsing experience with in the customizer. WordPress 4.9 has introduced separate searched for installed themes and uninstalled themes.
Also, you can see a new filter tab on the top corner which gives you the option to filter your theme search according to theme types, features, layouts.
A New Gallery Widget
WordPress 4.9 has introduced a gallery widget that will make it easier for you to add images in the sidebar.
The widget also allows you to set column and number of images you want in the side bar.
Add Media To Text Widgets
WordPress 4.9 has introduced media capabilities to text widgets. To include images in the text widgets, users don’t need to have HTML and CSS knowledge any more. Users can now include images in the text widgets with the click of a button.
Video Widget Supports Videos Other Than Youtube and Vimeo
Video widget only supported videos from Youtube and Vimeo till WordPress 4.8, but in WordPress 4.9, things are going to change. Videos from other providers will also be supported. This means that the thumbnail and oEmbed will be enabled for other video providers as well.
What’s in It for the Developers?
The WordPress 4.9 features I covered so far are front end improvement and are targeted towards non tech people, like me.
Here is what WordPress 4.9 have in store for the developers:
- Theme and plugin editor will now have CodeMirror editor
- Extendable control for code editor
- Global notification area
- Dant and time in the Customizer
- Enhanced usability of Customize JS API
Want To Test WordPress 4.9?
I was as curious as you are to try out the WordPress 4.9. To test WordPress 4.9, you need a staging site. Since it is beta, you shouldn’t be testing it on a live website.
Once you have a staging WordPress site, install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, go to Tools and then Beta Testing. Select Bleeding edge nightlies and save changes. Hover on the Dashboard, select Update and update your WordPress to WordPress 4.9.
I tested the new update and I must say I was impressed. What do you think about the WordPress 4.9 features?