Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.
WordPress version 4.9 isn’t out yet, but this week we take a look at an early beta release full of awesome new Customizer features like saving drafts, scheduling changes, and shareable preview links.
Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.
WordPress 4.9 is almost here. What originally sounded like a minor update actually has some cool new features.
The final release of 4.9 isn’t out yet, but the core team recently released a beta version for us to take a look at on our test site. Remember, this code isn’t finished yet, so you probably don’t want to run it on a live site.
There’s been a lot of talk about improving the User Experience in WordPress and I feel like you can really feel that new direction in version 4.9. There are a lot of UX changes here, in particular in the Customizer section.
One of my favorites is the ability to send preview links of site changes to folks who aren’t signed in to your dashboard. To access this feature, all you have to do is make a change to your site via the customizer, save it as a draft, then copy the preview link code.
Another awesome customizer feature is the ability to schedule changes. Previously, if you wanted to make some big change to your site, you had push it in real time, but now you can make changes, such as switching to an updated theme, and then schedule them to go live at a future date.
WordPress 4.9 also features some more Customizer features such as more intuitive menu locations and options, a new Gallery widget, which allows galleries to be added to widgets (the same way that 4.8 added media and image widgets), and theme browsing, which allows users to browse through installed themes and WordPress.org themes, and preview, download and activate them directly from the Customizer.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I’m jealous these changes are mostly in the Customizer. Since I’m not constantly redesigning my page, the Customizer is something I barely touch. Maybe once a year at most. I could really use some of these new features in the post Editor though. Being able to share preview links of posts or schedule changes to an existing post would be fantastic! Hopefully we’ll see some of these new features added to the post editor in a future WordPress release.
What do y’all think about these new Customizer changes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.