WordPres.org has released version 4.8 of WordPress, named Evans in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John ‘Bill’ Evans today.
Some of the new features include 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 the dashboard which brings in nearby and upcoming WordPress events. Great!
The new Media Widgets extend sidebar functionality.
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.
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.
The new Link Boundaries feature might at first glance seem like… a small step for man… But in fact it’s a giant leap for mankind.
How many times have we not been hairpulling frustrated about text next to links being included in the link’s url, right?
The Link Boundaries is therefore another great (and rather elegant) improvement to WordPress.
Have a look at this new cool feature in the video below.
Nearby WordPress Events
WordPress has a very well functioning community with groups meeting regularly in more than 400 cities around the world.
So now you can stay updated about events happening near you with the new dashboard feature WordPress Events in WordPress 4.8 “Evans”.
This widget has the potential of becoming a central “What’s up?”feature for many people in the WordPress community. Like the guys on wordpress.org write:
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 it’s easy to find local WordPress events just by logging in to your dashboard and checking the new Events and News dashboard widget.
Further developments in WordPress 4.8 “Evans”
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
At last! 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.