WordPress 4.8 Breakdown

WordPress 4.8, “Evans,” was released into the wild today! Yours truly received a contributor credit on this release thanks to my work in accessibility testing, but that’s not important. What is important is all of the new features and improvements. Let’s break it down.

New & Improved Widgets

The primary feature for the 4.8 release is the new and improved widgets. Several new media widgets were added to WordPress, including Image and Video widgets. Now adding media content to your sidebars is easier than ever! This is particularly helpful for bloggers who run their own ad systems. Just drop in the widget, select your image, and you’re done! The video widget includes support for YouTube and Vimeo.

The improved widget this round is the previously dull text widget. The text editor, powered by TinyMCE, is now baked into the text widget. Users can now add rich text (bold, italics, etc.) to either text widgets. Both the visual and text modes are supported, so you can still use those widgets to include HTML. Just make sure you’re set to text mode just like you would on a post or page.

Better Linking

How many times have you tried linking something in your content, only to have the link tool create a giant, paragraph-sized link? Too often. Now that’s a thing of the past. Link boundaries have been improved to remove the bug that been a bane of bloggers for years.

Dashboard News Updates

With the new dashboard events widget, you no longer have an “I didn’t know” excuse for missing your local WordPress events. The WordPress news widget now includes announcements of nearby WordCamps and WordPress meetups. Find your local events and get more involved with the community. It’s a great way to give back and meet new people. You may even meet a few new clients or customers at the next event!

There are also several under-the-hood updates, including a key accessibility feature. Inside the admin, page titles have been separated from the “Add New” buttons. This makes editing with assistive technology much, much easier.

For a full breakdown of the WordPress 4.8 release, check out the official blog post.

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