WordPress Update 101: WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

It is time again for a WordPress Update, as the WordPress development team has released WordPress 4.8 on June 8, 2017. This is the first Major WordPress Release of 2017 which has new features and enhancements. In this article, we will show what new features were added.

This version most previous versions are named after Jazz composers. This Edition is nicknamed “Evans” in honor of the Jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans.

WordPress 4.8 Update alert
WordPress 4.8 Update alert
WordPress 4.8 Updates menu
WordPress 4.8 Updates menu

If you have auto-update enabled via softaculous, you should have received an email alerting you of your website is updated.

If not, then you should be able to enable the updates by visiting the “Update” section withing your menu highlighted in the screenshot or see an alert within your WordPress Admin area.

NB. Create a Complete WordPress Backup before making an update.

Three New Media Widgets

  • Image Widget – this widget enables you to add an image to the sidebar/widget area by selecting and/or uploading it to your media library with options for title and whether you want the image to have a link to a URL.
  • Video Widget – similar to the image widget, this enables you to embed a video within your sidebar/widget area. You can either select/upload to your WordPress media library or use videos from YouTube, Vimeo and other oEmbed providers.
  • Audio Widget – like the Image and video widgets, This widget enables you to easily add audio files to the sidebar/widget area. It uses an HTML5 audio player and supports MP3, OGG, and WAV audio file formats
  • Rich Text Widget – in previous editions, The Text widget area didn’t include a much needed visual editor. This edition gives you an improved visual editor like the one used to composed blog entries.

Nearby WordPress Events

This New Dashboard widget displays news as well as events near your location. If you have multiple users of your website dashboard, each user will see events near their location.

This widget uses an IP at api.wordpress.org to guess the user’s location based on the IP address hence if you are using a VPN, events near your server will be prominent.  You can also manually change the location to see events near your from around the world.

Link Boundaries

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.

Other Updates for WordPress 4.8

If you are a WordPress Developer then the following updates will be of interest. If you are not a developer, feel free to skip to the conclusion of this article.

  • changes in editor API –  a new editor API for TinyMCE which is initiated by JavaScript.
  • variable customizer width –  If you have used the live customizer large screens,  You may have noticed the sidebar looking narrow. This update makes the sidebar proportionate to the screen within the live customizer.
  • username prominently displayed on edit user screen
  • Tag cloud widget will not use title tag – the title tag is now replaced with the easily accessible aria-label attribute
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Multisite Updates – New capabilities have been introduced to 4.8 with an eye towards removing calls tois_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.

Conclusion

So those are the latest features and enhancements which were added to the latest version of WordPress. Feel Free to email us at support[at]internetsolutions[dot]hk if you run into any issues while making your update.

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Source: WordPress.org Blog WordPress.org CodexWordPress Changelog WPBeginners