WordPress.org made available the newest version of WordPress on November 15th, 2017. The newest WordPress version is named as WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” as a tribute to an Oklahoma-born jazz musician, William Lee Tipton, a gifted pianist, and saxophonist. WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” is now available for download on your WordPress dashboard. There is an abundance of major improvements made for users to work with WordPress in an easier way.
The new WordPress 4.9 release comes with the features that we already discussed in the Betas and Release Candidates. This time around, WordPress has definitely brought some major improvements: customizer workflow improvements, coding enhancements, new core gallery widget, and more.
Now, let’s have a closer look at all of these new and improved features in WordPress 4.9.
WordPress 4.9 has brought draft, schedule, and preview changes in the customizer this time. Prior to WordPress 4.9, users could only get a live preview of their sites in the Customizer but any changes they made would need to be saved immediately, or it would be discarded. The updates this time has made it possible to draft and schedule changes in the Customizer, and also, share a preview link to collaborate on changes before publishing them. Users can now easily stage and schedule contents like new pages, a new set of widgets, custom menu items and more.
Users will also be able to search, browse and preview themes directly from the Customizer. The search interface includes filters for subject, features, and layout, just like the ones on the “Add Themes” screen in wp-admin. However, it doesn’t include the featured, popular, latest or favorite tabs, so the users will have to navigate back to the admin if they want to browse the categories.
The new version of WordPress has brought syntax highlighting and error checking to the code editors. These long-awaited improvements are now available in the theme and plugin editors, and also the custom HTML widget and additional CSS box in the Customizer. The feature comes with prominent warnings about directly editing themes and plugins and protection against saving code that would cause a fatal error.
WordPress 4.9 has added more widget updates. It has added a new gallery widget to the collection of media changes introduced in WordPress 4.8. The 4.9 version has also added an “Add Media” button, with which, you can add media to your text widget. Users can now embed images, video, and audio directly into the widget along with the text.
When switching the themes, widgets sometimes can just move from one place to other. So, WordPress 4.9 has brought more reliable theme switching and offer more persistent menu and widget placement when you decide to switch your theme.
Furthermore, WordPress 4.9 has also included a notice in the about.php page of the admin. The notice is actually an invitation to help test or contribute to the Gutenberg plugin. It is the first time a feature plugin has been highlighted on the page users see after they update to the latest version.
The WordPress 4.9 Release was led by Mel Choyce and Weston Ruter. They have been completely immersed in the development and have done a commendable job leading the team. There are 443 contributors with props in this release with 185 of them contributing for the first time.
With so many new and improved things this time, WordPress 4.9 release comes with WordPress fully translated into 43 languages with more on the way.
Have you updated to WordPress 4.9 yet? Did this newest version of WordPress fulfill all your expectation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.