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What’s Coming in WordPress 4.9 (Features and Screenshots)

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WordPress 4.9 is expected to be released on November 14th, 2017. We got our hands on the first beta version to checkout the new features and changes that are coming. In this article, we will show you what’s coming WordPress 4.9 with features and screenshots.

What's coming in WordPress 4.9

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

It is still under development, so some features may not make it to the final release.

Save and Schedule Theme Changes in Customizer

WordPress 4.9 will introduce saving theme customizations as draft. Now when you make changes to a theme using the customizer, you will have an option to save your changes as a draft instead of making them live.

Save theme changes as draft

This new feature will also allow you to share the preview of changes with a url. You can send this URL to any user, and they will be able to see your website with the changes made in that particular draft.

Share customize changes with URL

Want to publish your theme changes at a specific time? WordPress 4.9 will also allow you to schedule changes.

Schedule theme changes

The New Gallery Widget

WordPress 4.8 brought media widgets including rich text, audio, image, and video. WordPress 4.9 will introduce the new gallery widget.

It will allow you to create a native WordPress gallery and add it to any widget ready areas.

The new Gallery widget in WordPress 4.9

However if you want a more powerful gallery with albums, then you need to look at a third-party plugin like Envira Gallery.

Add Media Button in Text Widget

The newly introduced text widget came with visual and plain text editors. However, if you wanted to add an image, you still had to write HTML code.

WordPress 4.9 will fix this by adding the ‘Add media’ button on top of the text editor. This will allow users to easily add images inside the rich text widget.

Add media button in the text widget

Improved Code Editing Experience

WordPress 4.9 will bring a much better code editing experience. You will see an enhanced code editor while editing code in custom CSS, theme editor, or plugin editor.

This code editor comes with syntax highlighting, code suggestions, and auto-completion.

Code editing in WordPress 4.9

If you have ever faced syntax error when editing your theme, then this enhancement will automatically fix many common mistakes that cause such errors.

Error highlighting in new code edior

Don’t like syntax highlighting? It can be easily disabled from your user profile page.

Disable syntax highlighting

Miscellaneous Changes

These under the hood changes are likely to make into the final WordPress 4.9 release.

Better mapping for theme widgets and navigation menus after switching themes. #39693, #39692

Removal of SWFUpload library from the core. #41752

Recursively search for files in plugin and theme editors. #6531

We hope this article helped you learn what’s coming in WordPress 4.9. 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

19 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Lode says

    The new WP 4.9 sucks (at least from a programmer’s point of view). While I do appreciate line numbers being added, making coding troubleshooting a bit easier, automatically adding HTML commands (including brackets, parenthesis and so on) is a real pain in the butt, especially when you want to change or update existing code.

    It’s taking forever now having to digest every new code I insert to ensure WP didn’t add extra HTML coding on its own.

    Other than that don’t have much else to say about it.

  3. Ugochi says

    It gives me the option of WordPress 4.9–en_GB or WordPress 4.9–en_US please what does this mean? What are the implications of each?
    Many thanks

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Ugochi,

      WordPress is avaialble in multiple languages. This packages are for English Great Britain, and English United States. You can choose the one that you want to use. You can always change site language from WordPress settings.


  4. Chris says

    This is really amazing.
    Am still perplexed, the update page suggested I should back up my blog before updating.

  5. Colin says

    I would like to update a published page or post but schedule it for a later date. At the moment all you can do is save it but then that goes live or create another page then copy it when it needs to go live.

    I am sure it would be a useful feature for many.

  6. Kevin Uriel Azuara Fonseca says

    The add media button in the text editor will be very helpful!!..

    Thanks for sharing the post!

  7. Thomas Frost says

    Next we just need the possibility for creating folders in the media library as a standard feature.

  8. Felix says

    Sweet! I like the scheduled theme changes. Perfect to get that background ready for the holidays!

  9. Nick says

    The customizer changes are the best new additions. I wish they would have tackled many more important issues, like backup and migration features, yes, those in the core!!!.

    But this is going to be the last update before we will be forced forced at a “gunpoint” that disaster called Gutenberg… more appropriately Suckenberg! Many, WP 4.9 will be the last version they update too. WP 4.9 is where WordPress finally starts losing momentum and starts the long process of it’s slow death. all credits should go to Suckenberg !!!

    • Felix says

      I have to disagree, I am really looking forward to the one core supported page builder, which guarantees a proper downward compatibility for years to come. If you deal with the other available page builders at at the moment, you basically have to rebuild all your content once you want to change the builder. My guess is, that these, together with all these humongous “Multi Purpose” themes will die a slow death instead.

        • Nick says

          I wish we could have one core supported page builder, but Gutenberg is nowhere near a good page builder, not now, and not in 5 years, they are light years behind in development. Even the most modest available page builders eat Gutenberg for lunch. Gutenberg’s idea of columns, is 2,…, TWO !!! What am I supposed to do with just 2 columns?

          The idea that meta boxes and shortcodes are now considered “legacy” items, is the most troubling. This means that sooner or later they will be completely removed and not supported in the future. Millions of hours of work done by thousands of developers creating themes and plugins that use those, will go down the drain. And this is going to happen with time, as Automattic will get more desperate, just like Microsoft did to Windows 7 users, forcing on them Windows 10,.

          Now let’s talk about all the shortcodes left behind when you switch a page builder. Besides the point that 99% of the people marry to their page builders, and never change them, but let’s say some do, how many pages do you think are affected? 5, 10, 20? It will be a matter of minutes to get rid of the shortcodes. Finally, not all page builders leave shortcodes behind, the f(x) builder is an example of such page builder.

          The funniest thing with his whole mess are the lies and propaganda that goes along with Gutenberg.

          – They say we all have a say and they value our input. Looking at the ratings, clearly we can all see that at a margin of 2 to 1, we don’t want this. At least we don’t want it forced on us. How do they listen?
          – They use the term “democratizing publishing”, while in reality by forcing something that most clearly don’t want, they are practicing software communism, or software fascism, use whatever term turns you on… And they don’t hide this either. Andrew Nacin was quoted as “decisions, not options”. Not having options, and not having the majority dictate development is not democracy, it is Automattic dictating their selfish interests.

          That said, at least for now, it seems that there will be a way out, and return back to common sense. But as I said before, things might get really dicey as they get more desperate. Things that Automattic control already are doing so. For example, a few months ago, you could post anything negative about Gutenberg (without profanity of course). For the last few weeks or so, it you dare to even hint anything negative about Gutenberg, your post will not get approved. Thank God, there are websites like this one, that are fair and balanced. I would not be surprised, if some funny business is done at the plugin repository reviews too. And they call this democracy !!!

          Finally, they are finding excuses for their current failures. They said that Gutenberg is not popular because of “timing” issues, and lack of advertising. LACK OF ADVERTISING !!! Something that is free, does not need advertising to become popular, unless it sucks, and Gutenberg, really REALLY sucks! The whole thing reminds me of a big socialist government, imposing their will and desperately trying to convince the that they know what’s good for them. Sooner or later, we will be forced to say goodbye to Advanced Custom Fields, and a whole sub-industry behind it, just to monopolize Automattic – what a nice democracy!

          They are laughing at our faces and nobody is forcefully is calling them out, just like everybody chickened out with Microsoft, just because they are too powerful, or were bought out.

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