We’ve seen a few updates to the WordPress core over the last several months, but version 4.8 will be the first major release in 2017. The focus of this update is to refine existing features and prepare for the new Gutenberg editor. Additional features planned for this release include:
• TinyMCE inline element / link boundaries
• New media widgets
• WYSIWYG in text widget
The new widget enhancements are exciting to us as designers. Currently the only way to add media such as photos and videos, to a sidebar widget is to either use a plugin or write some code that would be added to a standard Text Widget. In version 4.8 you’ll have those widgets built right in to the core to make adding media so much easier.
If you’re not a coder, just trying to add some formatted text to a sidebar can be a pain. How do you format a link? How do you make text Bold? Many people just create a Post or Page and use the Visual Editor to create their content and then copy the code in to a standard Text Widget. In version 4.8 there will be a simple visual editor built-in to the Text Widget where you can do some basic formatting. This will be so much more user friendly to the non-coder.
The release schedule for WordPress version 4.8 is:
- May 12, 2017 – Beta 1
- May 19, 2017 – Beta 2
- May 25, 2017 – Release Candidate
- June 1, 2017 – Final Release Candidate (if needed)
- June 7, 2017 – Dry Run for Release of WordPress 4.8
- June 8, 2017 – Target Date for Release of WordPress 4.8