WordPress 4.8 has been released – “Evans”

WordPress 4.8 "Evans"

As anticipated, WordPress 4.8 has been released on the 8th June 2017 and this latest version is named after William John “Bill” Evans, an American jazz pianist and composer. For those of you unfamiliar with this naming convention, WordPress versions are always named after someone from the jazz community and this time it’s in honour of Bill Evans.

So what’s news?

New Widgets

New WordPress widgets

There have been some great new additions and updates to WordPress widgets and this is something that has typically been handled by plugins. The new and updated WordPress widgets are:

Image Widget – Now you can easily add images into widget areas which are something we have always thought would be a great addition to WordPress core. Just add the image widget, select your image and it will magically appear in that widget position on the front end.

Video Widget – An even better addition is you can now add video into a widget area in a similar way to how the image widget works. Just select your video and away you go.

Audio Widget – to finish off the trilogy of new widgets, an audio widget has been added. You can add your audio file into the media library and then into a widget area, nice.

Updated text widget – Hooray, the text widget now has support for rich text so you can use this in a similar way to the normal page editor.

WordPress events added to the dashboard

WordPress Events Widget
Events such as meetups and WordCamps are such an important part of the WordPress community and they are now featured on the dashboard. Your location will be auto detected and events near you will be highlighted. Such a great way of showing where people can learn more about WordPress and get involved.

Customizer sidebar responsiveness
The sidebar in the theme customizer screen used to be fixed at 300px in width and it now responds to the width of your screen up to a maximum width of 600px. Great for widescreen users

Other notable changes include:

  • Dropping support for Internet Explorer versions 8 to 10
  • Updates to the admin area accessibility which are fantastic
  • New WordPress multisite capabilities
  • Lots of behind the scenes from the 346 contributors to this latest release of WordPress

As always, I strongly urge you to backup your site and upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible. It’s got some great features that only improve on what we love so much about WordPress.

To see the official release notes click here.