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WordPress 4.8 – „Small Release“ With a Tremendous Project for a New Content Editor

2017-06-13
Technologies
wordpress wordpress 4.8 gutenberg

WordPress 4.8 is named after named after the jazz pianist Bill Evans as it is the first major WordPress release of 2017. Although developers describe it as a small release where only the already existing system features have been improved, this version actually lays the foundations of a thrilling new project. The project’s code name is Gutenberg, as we will tell you more about it later on in this article.

WordPress 4.8 features enhancements on all possible levels as they are mainly focused on the following three fields:

TinyMCE Editor Improvements

To begin with, the TinyMCE module that enables content editing in WordPress has been updated to the latest version. Improvements of the editor enhance user experience. This means removing annoying bugs that some of us already had gotten used to. For example – the incorrect spacing of two paragraphs when merging into one after switching the editor to text mode.

An improved visual editor allows you to navigate more intuitively within inline text elements such as links or code. Better link differentiation from the rest of the text allows you to edit easily and directly the anchor text itself.

On this page you can read more about the newest improvements in the editor: TinyMCE & Editor Tickets

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg will fully replace the currently used content editor. This is a next-generation editor that will be introduced soon as an attempt to make content editing in WordPress even more intuitive for the end user.

The project is entirely focused on content editing in WordPress as it sets a new direction for the editor’s development, easy way of using and generating content in no time. The new editor will enable content segmentation and splitting into blocks as you can manage the last in the “you get what you see” style (WYSIWYG).

The reason behind this project’s initiation is that WP developers wanted to show the world how a post can be as cool as it is set up in its (template). To generate such template or to get out of its limits, a user needs to understand HTML, CSS or to know how to build a WordPress theme on their own. Gutenberg aims to overcome this obstacle for the users’ creativity, by enabling them to define the contents layout by themselves.

The main elements in the new editor include a “block”, “with advanced formatting” as well as “new line”, such as the one in the console :).

The block element can be described by giving an example with the existing elements in the current editor. The “image” is a block element, but it has different settings from the rest of the content (text paragraphs, titles, links, etc.). From now on each part of the content will be a block element that has specific settings and “advanced formatting”. When clicking on a block element you will be able to display the most frequently used and needed settings for it. The rest of the options and settings will be available on an additional sidebar.

New line accepting commands means that from now on when you click on a new line you can type in commands to access certain features for the content. For example if you type “-” even in the current editor, you will create a “list” block element (ul). These “commands” will also include markers in Markdown, for example if you start with a “#” on a new line, you continue typing in some text and then you click Enter you will automatically create a “title” (h1) element.

Developers believe that the contents’ “block” structure will not make user interface load slowly since it will have no unnecessary icons or buttons and the program’s way of use and work will be quick and easy to access, support and develop.

See the Gutenberg prototype (of the new WordPress content editor): Gutenberg Editor Mockups

You can also follow the project’s development on make.wordpress.org: What’s New in Gutenberg?

Currently the new editor can be released as a plugin beta. You can view here more details about the project’s status: Plugin: Let’s get Gutenberg in the plugin repository #953

Dashboard

WordPress events near user's locationThere have been improvements in the section with the new  “WordPress Events and News“, as this includes WordCamps and other interesting events or news in the CMS.

From now on users will be able to see WordCamp events taking place near their location. WordPress will be able to detect the user location by checking the IP address. Based on this information the users will see events happening nearby. Each user will see different events based on their location. It is also possible to set a specific city so that WordPress shows up events nearby it.

Widgets

WordPress hadn’t seen new widgets for a long time. 4.8 puts an end to this with a few new and long awaited media widgets: for Images, Audio и Video.

The lack of image widget up to now is the reason for many help articles describing how to add an image by using the text widget. We have also published such an article on our help section 🙂 that is already updated in accordance with the newest 4.8 improvements.

The three new widgets enable inserting media files from the file library or directly from an URL.

The text widget editor has been improved, so that there are new features for content and now users can switch between “Visual editor” and “Text editor”.

To see all improvements in WordPress 4.8 in the respective sections you can also have a look at the developers’ note on the official WP website: Milestone 4.8

Note:
Before updating to WordPress 4.8 we highly recommend that you make a full website backup. If necessary, you can easily recover your website from WordPress Manager by SuperHosting in cPanel.
If you are currently developing a new WordPress project, see our hosting solution for your WordPress website!

Technical Support Specialist

Megan is our support guru – she can answer every technical question. She knows everything about new technologies. Megan's SuperPower is that she can explain even the most complicated technologies in plain language.

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