Yes, yes I know. Another WordPress update. It’s not available just yet, but I want to share a couple exciting things about WordPress Version 4.8. Hopefully to get you excited about upgrading when it does rolls out.
The reason I’m so excited is because these new features will likely add a lot of relief to people who use WordPress on a regular bases.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
I use the Genesis Framework for building websites, which uses widgets for building out the homepage. And I tend to build out widget sections for other pages as well. My designs are usually widget driven.
If you’ve ever used the text widget, you know that you have to use HTML to add a link or an image. This is not user friendly for clients who later want to make changes to the home page.
With three of the updates I’m about to show you, this will never be an issue again!
New widgets coming in WordPress 4.8
- Enhanced Text Widget
- New Image Widget
- New Video Widget
- New Audio Widget
Enhanced Text Widget
They’ve added support for visual editing. This means you no longer have to use HTML to enter links, bold and/or italicize font, and creating lists when using a text widget.
New Image Widget
With this new widget you can now add images to your widget areas without using HTML. Because you use the media uploader to add the image you can add a hyper link to it and assign custom CSS class to it as well. You can also insert an image from an external URL, just like you can in the media library on a post or page.
New Audio Widget
This widget functions the same as the Image and Video widgets do. You can upload your audio or link to an external URL. Either way, the audio player built into WordPress core will be used to handle the delivery of the audio.
New Video Widget
This widget is exactly like the audio widget but for video. Works with you own hosted video or Vimeo, YouTube, and other oEmbed providers. Also uses the WordPress core video function to deliver the video.
Wrapping this up.
While there have been plugins available for these kind of widget extensions for some time, and you may be using them, I prefer things that are built into core. I like to run as few plugins as possible, and now you can downsize if you’ve been using those other plugins.
And for those that need your WordPress to be easier out of the box, these additions are a step in that direction.
Why would you want to switch to core function?
Plugins need to stay up-to-date to prevent conflict issues and security risks, with fewer plugins, you have fewer vulnerabilities. It’s possible to see performance improvements too by reducing your plugins, especially if they’re not being maintained and updated with WordPress.