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What’s Coming in WordPress 4.8 (Features and Screenshots)

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The schedule for WordPress 4.8 is released. It will be the first major WordPress release of 2017. We have been following the development closely, and we are excited to report that the final version is expected to be released around June 8, 2017. In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 4.8 with features and screenshots.

What's coming in WordPress 4.8

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

The official beta release will happen on May 12th, which means no more new features will be added until the final release of WordPress 4.8. However, some of the features in beta may not make it into the final release.

Visual Editor in The Text Widget

By default WordPress comes with a plain text widget. This widget contains a simple text box where you can add text and HTML code.

Beginners who are not familiar with HTML were unable to add links or use basic formatting in the text widget. This will change in WordPress 4.8.

The new text widget comes with a simple visual and text editor. Similar to the one you see on the post edit screen.

New text widget in upcoming WordPress 4.8 with visual and text editor

This will allow beginner users to easily add links, create lists, or make text bold / italic without writing any HTML code.

The New Image Widget

Right now, if you want to display an image in WordPress sidebar, you will have to write HTML or use a plugin.

WordPress 4.8 will introduce an image widget which will allow users to easily add images into the sidebar. You will be able to upload an image right from the widget or select any image from the WordPress media library.

Image widget in upcoming WordPress 4.8

Clicking on the select image will open the WordPress media uploader popup where users can upload or select an image. After inserting the image, users will be able to see a preview of the image in the widget area.

Image widget preview

The New Video Widget

Similar to the image widget, WordPress 4.8 will also introduce the Video widget. It will allow users to easily upload videos to their sidebar or display any video from YouTube, Vimeo, or any other oEmbed provider.

New video widget in upcoming WordPress 4.8

Note: we recommend that you should never upload videos to your WordPress site. Instead, you should use a video hosting provider like YouTube or Vimeo. Simply click on the ‘Select Video’ button in the widget, and then click on ‘Insert from URL’ link.

Insert video URL inside Video widget

Add the URL of the video you want to embed and then click on the ‘Add to widget’ button. The media uploader popup will disappear, and you will see a thumbnail preview of your video inside the widget.

WordPress News and Events Dashboard Widget

WordPress 4.8 will also introduce the WordPress Events and News dashboard widget. It will appear on your WordPress dashboard page and will contain information about WordPress news as well as WordPress events near your location. It will replace the older WordPress news widget which only showed WordPress news.

WordPress news and events widget

If you have multiple users on your website, then the widget will show them events based on their location. It will automatically try to detect a user’s location by sending their timezone, locale, and IP address to

Users can also edit the location to manually enter their location or view events from any other location.

Under The Hood Improvements

These updates improve significant parts of the WordPress core but are mainly intended for developers.

The customizer pane will now be proportionally sized on larger screens. #32296

User’s name prominently displayed on edit user screen. #28182

New function get_term_parents_list() will be introduced as taxonomy agnostic version of get_category_parents(). #17069

We hope this article helped you learn what’s coming in WordPress 4.8. Let us know which features you find exciting and what you would like to see in future releases of WordPress?

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

38 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. beatrice johnston says

    OK team WPBegginer…. you are very good…. so … i hope in a near future you will publish a list of WHICH plugin could be deleted if we use all the new “atributes” in WP 4.8….. thank you for article…. ♥

  3. William says

    You mention users should not upload videos directly to their site but use a video host. Does this apply in all situations, or would it sometimes be better performance-wise if the site has a high bandwidth server or CDN to self-help extremely short videos i.e. under 20MB?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hey William,

      It is not just about bandwidth and performance. It is also about user experience. Your server may have the resources to serve the videos but your users may have slower or unreliable internet, older browser, no flash, compatibility issues with your video format, etc. Third party video hosting services such as YouTube are extremely good at optimizing user experience and serve your videos even on slow connections.


  4. Rob says

    I was pleasantly surprised to see in the events screenshot that it featured an event sponsored by th WordPress Orlando group I belong to.

  5. Nancy Seeger says

    This will be a welcome addition but a lot of people may unknowingly strip out current edits from their existing widgets. Like the issue with the post editor, when you use the visual editor you can strip existing code (like a div tag for example). If you have the visual editor on, will this strip HTML like the post editor does?

  6. Valerie says

    Meh. Upgrades that may muck up text widgets on existing sites scares me. For new sites/users I can see the appreciation for the changes though.

    • natalie mantle says

      Hi have you added the new upgrade i am a bit worried for same reason you have stated – can take hours to put everything back in place i hate upgrades that say back up first think i might wait for the feedback to come through

  7. David Drucker says

    Will the new Image, Text and Video Widgets be a new way to add advertisements in sidebars? It would seem to be that this would be an ideal use for them.

  8. fRANK oKUN says

    These are good improvements, but even some established plugins, such as the Black Studio TinyMCE Widget, have more features that enable the same tools found in the WP editor to insert images, videos, links, etc. Why didn’t WordPress think of that? And is “Hello, Dolly” really necessary? Does anyone use that?

    • beatrice johnston says

      i deleted long time ago hello dolly… absolutely innecesary item there… never happened anything bad or good with that dolly… :)

  9. Jon says

    with the new video widget, will it allow for the &rel=0 to hide related videos?

    I assume Olathe container will be size responsive?

    Would also be great if it allowed for lazy load behind a custom thumbnail image.


  10. Diana MEYER says

    I welcome those improvements to WordPress! I’m sure many of us have been wondering why those wasn’t built in WP, so no need now for extra plugins that slows down the sites ;-)

  11. Marko says

    Great improvements but it would be great if The New Image Widget could have the option (input) to add URL link to the image as well. Most of the images in sidebar need to be linked to some external website.

    • beatrice johnston says

      image in widgets me too waiting long time for…. also all the other new things you can do in the widget … i think all the new things are very welcome… it will speed up a lot process for front end devs… :) :)

  12. Fahid Javid says

    Nice improvements regarding widgets. yes, It will eliminate the need for extra plugins.

    Thanks for your review.

    • Benbodhi says

      When you insert an image in WordPress, the modal has link options along with title, caption, link target, css classes. So it’s super easy :)

  13. Trish says

    Thanks for the preview! :) I’m afraid I won’t get much excited about any of these updates until they improve the core functionality of the post editor. I find it quite flaky and the fact that it’s impossible to add code without a plugin is a major problem.
    But having said that, the new widgets look very cool.

  14. Marco says

    Finally, a visual editor for widgets. Good for end customers when they want to do minor changes.

  15. Bas says

    Next version of WordPress should have categories for media-items.

    I can’t believe it’s not default like posts an wooproducts etc…

    • TK says

      Agreed. I’m tired of sifting through countless images and files in the media library. These things should be category enabled.

  16. John Goeller says

    You’re right, not super exciting, but I do like the idea of an HTML editor for widgets. This feature is long overdue.

  17. Gary Gordon says

    Thanks. Great summary of what’s coming. :-) I agree that many of the “new features” aren’t glamorous, but the are still awesome and are going to be used by all.

    For more thoughts on this, feel free to reach me at:

  18. Dade says

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Why didn’t they go ahead and add the ability to add a link to the image as well?
    It is as if they did half the job and then stopped.

  19. Travis Pflanz says

    Finally, a visual editor widget! It’s always great when we can remove a plugin from our websites.

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