WordPress 4.9 is the second and will be the last major WordPress release of 2017. This release has some exciting new features and enhancements. We’ll show you what’s new.
The customizer improvements
Previewing and changing themes directly from customizer is now more user-friendly. You can view all installed themes in the preview panel and click on the live preview button to load them in the customizer.
You can now save changes in the customizer without applying them. This allows you to easily share a preview of those changes. Simply use the preview URL to show the new changes to anyone (no need to be logged in). You also can schedule theme changes to be published later.
Note. Here at Good Websites, we work with a local development and staging servers for our client’s websites to test new features. This makes it much safer process than working on a Live website.
New gallery widget, support for shortcodes and embedded media in the text widget
In version 4.8 WordPress introduced new media widgets such as rich text, audio, image, and video. New in WordPress 4.9 is the new gallery widget. This new widget allows you to create a native WordPress gallery and add it to your WordPress sidebar or any widget ready areas. But like the native WordPress galleries, this widget is also limited regarding functionality. If you want a more powerful gallery we recommend (and use on our clients WordPress installs) the third-party plugin Envira Gallery.
As of 4.9, you can now insert media (images, video, and audio) in the text widget by simply clicking the new ‘Add Media’ button.
Previously automatic embeds didn’t work in areas other than post or page content. With WordPress 4.9, oEmbeds will now work in text widgets and other areas as well.
WordPress 4.9 now allows shortcode execution in text widgets.
New code editing experience
This is one of the features I wished rather didn’t exist in WordPress. It’s never a good idea to do code changes on a live website. We disable this feature on our WordPress installs for security reasons.
However, if you do edits to your theme coding now at least the editor prevents users from doing the worst and breaking their sites.
Under The Hood
More Happiness for WordPress developers.
Customizer JS API Improvements – There are numerous improvements to the Customizer JS API.
CodeMirror available for use in themes and plugins – CodeMirror allows for syntax highlighting, error checking, and validation when creating code writing or editing experiences within your plugins.
MediaElement.js upgraded to 4.2.6 – WordPress 4.9 includes an upgraded version of MediaElement.js
Roles and Capabilities Improvements – New capabilities have been introduced that allow granular management of plugins and translation files.