WordPress 4.8 – nicknamed “Evans” after jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans – is now available.
The update features several new improvements, including widget updates, link boundaries, edits to the “WordPress News” section, and more.
“Though some updates seem minor, they’ve been built by hundreds of contributors with you in mind,” Mullenweg said in the official announcement.
Designed with the user in mind, the updates in 4.8 aim to improve the overall user experience and user interface of WordPress.
Evans includes a widget update that enables users to easily add image, audio, and video to a widget on your website without knowing a lick of code.
Simply select the desired file from the Media Library within the respective widget and it will automatically appear on your site. The widget additions empower users to have greater control over their WordPress site and make it easier for them to create dynamic experiences.
WordPress 4.8 also introduces improvements that make it easier to edit linked text. With Link Boundaries, when you edit a link, the boundary around it is highlighted. You can edit this text directly using the left or right arrow key to enter and exit the boundary.
The update includes additions to the “WordPress News” section in the dashboard, which now displays local WordPress events. Now you can easily find WordCamps and Meetups nearby and get engaged in the WordPress community.
- Multisite: WordPress 4.8 introduces new capabilities “with an eye towards removing calls to is_super_admin().” It also includes new hooks and tweaks that allow users to more granularly control site and user counts per network.
- Media Widget API: The inclusion of a new media widget REST API opens up a world of possibilities for more media widgets 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.
- More accessible admin panel headings: No longer is unnecessary content included in admin-area headings, making it more accessible.
- Customizer width variable: In 4.8, new responsive breakpoints are now included in the customizer sidebars.
This is the first major release in 2017. In previous years, WordPress has been on a release schedule of three major updates per calendar year. At last year’s 2016 State of the Word, Mullenweg announced that moving forward major release will not have hard dates and instead will be “led by design.”
“If the core of WordPress is about publishing and writing I think we should have the best interface in the world” Matt Mullenweg.
A whopping 346 people contributed to WordPress 4.8, with 106 of them contributing for the first time. The update was led by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and XWP Team Lead Jeffrey Paul.