Major Customizer Improvements, Code Error Checking, and More! ?

Version 4.9 of WordPress, named “Tipton” in honor of jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.9 will smooth your design workflow and keep you safe from coding errors.

Featuring design drafts, scheduling, and locking, along with preview links, the Customizer workflow improves collaboration for content creators. What’s more, code syntax highlighting and error checking will make for a clean and smooth site building experience. Finally, if all that wasn’t pretty great, we’ve got an awesome new Gallery widget and improvements to theme browsing and switching.


Customizer Workflow Improved 

Draft and Schedule Site Design Customizations

Yes, you read that right. Just like you can draft and revise posts and schedule them to go live on the date and time you choose, you can now tinker with your site’s design and schedule those design changes to go live as you please.

Collaborate with Design Preview Links

Need to get some feedback on proposed site design changes? WordPress 4.9 gives you a preview link you can send to colleagues and customers so that you can collect and integrate feedback before you schedule the changes to go live. Can we say collaboration++?

Design Locking Guards Your Changes

Ever encounter a scenario where two designers walk into a project and designer A overrides designer B’s beautiful changes? WordPress 4.9’s design lock feature (similar to post locking) secures your draft design so that no one can make changes to it or erase all your hard work.

A Prompt to Protect Your Work

Were you lured away from your desk before you saved your new draft design? Fear not, when you return, WordPress 4.9 will politely ask whether or not you’d like to save your unsaved changes.


Coding Enhancements

Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking? Yes, Please!

You’ve got a display problem but can’t quite figure out exactly what went wrong in the CSS you lovingly wrote. With syntax highlighting and error checking for CSS editing and the Custom HTML widget introduced in WordPress 4.8.1, you’ll pinpoint coding errors quickly. Practically guaranteed to help you scan code more easily, and suss out & fix code errors quickly.

Sandbox for Safety

The dreaded white screen. You’ll avoid it when working on themes and plugin code because WordPress 4.9 will warn you about saving an error. You’ll sleep better at night.

Warning: Potential Danger Ahead!

When you edit themes and plugins directly, WordPress 4.9 will politely warn you that this is a dangerous practice and will recommend that you draft and test changes before updating your file. Take the safe route: You’ll thank you. Your team and customers will thank you.


Even More Widget Updates 

The New Gallery Widget

An incremental improvement to the media changes hatched in WordPress 4.8, you can now add a gallery via this new widget. Yes!

Press a Button, Add Media

Want to add media to your text widget? Embed images, video, and audio directly into the widget along with your text, with our simple but useful Add Media button. Woo!


Site Building Improvements 

More Reliable Theme Switching

When you switch themes, widgets sometimes think they can just move location. Improvements in WordPress 4.9 offer more persistent menu and widget placement when you decide it’s time for a new theme. 

Find and Preview the Perfect Theme

Looking for a new theme for your site? Now, from within the Customizer, you can search, browse, and preview over 2600 themes before deploying changes to your site. What’s more, you can speed your search with filters for subject, features, and layout.

Better Menu Instructions = Less Confusion

Were you confused by the steps to create a new menu? Perhaps no longer! We’ve ironed out the UX for a smoother menu creation process. Newly updated copy will guide you.


Lend a Hand with Gutenberg ?

WordPress is working on a new way to create and control your content and we’d love to have your help. Interested in being an early tester or getting involved with the Gutenberg project? Contribute on GitHub.

(PS: this post was written in Gutenberg!)


Developer Happiness ?

Customizer JS API Improvements

We’ve made numerous improvements to the Customizer JS API in WordPress 4.9, eliminating many pain points. (Hello, default parameters for constructs! Goodbye repeated ID for constructs!) There are also new base control templates, a date/time control, and section/panel/global notifications to name a few. Check out the full list.

CodeMirror available for use in your themes and plugins

We’ve introduced a new code editing library, CodeMirror, for use within core. CodeMirror allows for syntax highlighting, error checking, and validation when creating code writing or editing experiences within your plugins, like CSS or JavaScript include fields.

MediaElement.js upgraded to 4.2.6

WordPress 4.9 includes an upgraded version of MediaElement.js, which removes dependencies on jQuery, improves accessibility, modernizes the UI, and fixes many bugs.

Roles and Capabilities Improvements

New capabilities have been introduced that allow granular management of plugins and translation files. In addition, the site switching process in multisite has been fine-tuned to update the available roles and capabilities in a more reliable and coherent way.


The Squad

This release was led by Mel Choyce and Weston Ruter, with the help of the following fabulous folks. There are 443 contributors with props in this release, with 185 of them contributing for the first time. Pull up some Billy Tipton on your music service of choice, and check out some of their profiles:

Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, abrightclearweb, Achal Jain, achbed, Acme Themes, Adam Silverstein, adammacias, Ahmad Awais, ahmadawais, airesvsg, ajoah, Aki Björklund, akshayvinchurkar, Alain Schlesser, Alex Concha, Alex Dimitrov, Alex Hon, alex27, allancole, Amanda Rush, Andrea Fercia, Andreas Panag, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko, Andy Meerwaldt, Andy Mercer, Andy Skelton, Aniket Pant, Anil Basnet, Ankit K Gupta, Anthony Hortin, antisilent, Anton Timmermans, apokalyptik, artoliukkonen, Arunas Liuiza, attitude, backermann1978, Bappi, Ben Cole, Bernhard Gronau, Bernhard Kau, binarymoon, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), BjornW, bobbingwide, boblinthorst, boboudreau, bonger, Boone B. Gorges, Brady Vercher, Brainstorm Force, Brandon Kraft, Brian Hogg, Brian Krogsgard, Bronson Quick, Caroline Moore, Casey Driscoll, Caspie, Chandra Patel, Chaos Engine, cheeserolls, chesio, chetansatasiya, choong, Chouby, chredd, Chris Jean, Chris Marslender, Chris Smith, Chris Van Patten, Chris Wiegman, chriscct7, chriseverson, Christian Chung, Christian Nolen, Christian Wach, Christoph Herr, Clarion Technologies, Claudio Sanches, Claudio Sanches, ClaudioLaBarbera, codemovement.pk, coderkevin, codfish, coreymcollins, Curdin Krummenacher, Curtiss Grymala, Cătălin Dogaru, danhgilmore, Daniel Bachhuber , Daniel Kanchev, Daniel Pietrasik, Daniele Scasciafratte, Daryl L. L. Houston (dllh), Dave Pullig, Dave Romsey (goto10), David A. Kennedy, David Chandra Purnama, David Herrera, David Lingren, David Mosterd, David Shanske, davidbhayes, Davide 'Folletto' Casali, deeptiboddapati, delphinus, deltafactory, Denis de Bernardy, Derek Herman, Derrick Hammer, Derrick Koo, dimchik, Dinesh Chouhan, Dion Hulse, dipeshkakadiya, dmsnell, Dominik Schilling, Dotan Cohen, Doug Wollison, doughamlin, DreamOn11, Drew Jaynes, duncanjbrown, dungengronovius, DylanAuty, Eddie Hurtig, Eduardo Reveles, Edwin Cromley, ElectricFeet, Elio Rivero, Ella Iseulde Van Dorpe, elyobo, enodekciw, enshrined, Eric Andrew Lewis, Eric Lanehart, Evan Herman, Felix Arntz, Fencer04, Florian Brinkmann, Florian TIAR, FolioVision, fomenkoandrey, Francesco Taurino, Frank Klein, Frankie Jarrett, Fred, Fredrik Forsmo, fuscata, Gabriel Maldonado, Garth Mortensen, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Geeky Software, George Stephanis, Goran Šerić, Graham Armfield, Grant Derepas, Gregory Karpinsky (@tivnet), Hardeep Asrani, Helen Hou-Sandí, Henry Wright, hiddenpearls, Hinaloe, Hristo Pandjarov, Hugo Baeta, Iain Poulson, Ian Dunn, Ian Edington, idealien, Ignacio Cruz Moreno, imath, implenton, Ionut Stanciu, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), ivdimova, J.D. Grimes, Jacob Peattie, Jake Spurlock, James Nylen, jamesacero, Japh, Jared Cobb, jayarjo, jdolan, jdoubleu, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey de Wit, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Pry, jimt, Jip Moors, jmusal, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joel James, johanmynhardt, John Blackbourn, John Dittmar, John James Jacoby, John P. Bloch, John Regan, johnpgreen, Jon (Kenshino), Jonathan Bardo, Jonathan Brinley, Jonathan Daggerhart, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonny Harris, jonnyauk, jordesign, JorritSchippers, Joseph Fusco, Josh Eaton, Josh Pollock, joshcummingsdesign, joshkadis, Joy, jrf, JRGould, Juanfra Aldasoro, Juhi Saxena, Junko Nukaga, Justin Busa, Justin Sainton, Justin Shreve, Justin Sternberg, K.Adam White, kacperszurek, Kailey (trepmal), KalenJohnson, Kat Hagan, Keanan Koppenhaver, keesiemeijer, kellbot, Kelly Dwan, Kevin Hagerty, Kirk Wight, kitchin, Kite, kjbenk, Knut Sparhell, koenschipper, kokarn, Konstantin Kovshenin, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Kouratoras, kuchenundkakao, kuldipem, Laurel Fulford, Lee Willis, Leo Baiano, LittleBigThings (Csaba), Lucas Stark, Luke Cavanagh, Luke Gedeon, Luke Pettway, lyubomir_popov, Mário Valney, mageshp, Mahesh Waghmare, Mangesh Parte, Manish Songirkar, mantismamita, Marcel Bootsman, Marin Atanasov, Marius L. J., Mariyan Belchev, Mark Jaquith, Mark Root-Wiley, Mark Uraine, Marko Heijnen, markshep, matrixik, Matt Banks, Matt King, Matt Mullenweg, Matt PeepSo, Matt van Andel, Matt Wiebe, Matthew Haines-Young, mattyrob, Max Cutler, Maxime Culea, Mayo Moriyama, mckernanin, Mel Choyce, mhowell, Michael Arestad, Michael Arestad, michalzuber, Miina Sikk, Mike Auteri, Mike Crantea, Mike Glendinning, Mike Hansen, Mike Little, Mike Schroder, Mike Viele, Milan Dinić, modemlooper, Mohammad Jangda, Mohan Dere, monikarao, morettigeorgiev, Morgan Estes, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, moto hachi ( mt8.biz ), mrbobbybryant, Naim Naimov, Nate Reist, NateWr, nathanrice, Nazgul, Ned Zimmerman, net, Nick Halsey , Nicolas GUILLAUME, Nikhil Chavan, Nikhil Vimal, Nikolay Bachiyski, Nilambar Sharma, noplanman, nullvariable, odie2, odyssey, Okamoto Hidetaka, orvils, oskosk, Otto Kekäläinen, ovann86, Pantip Treerattanapitak (Nok), Pascal Birchler, patilvikasj, Paul Bearne, Paul Wilde, Payton Swick, pdufour, Perdaan, Peter Wilson, phh, php, Piotr Delawski, pippinsplugins, pjgalbraith, pkevan, Pratik, Pressionate, Presskopp, procodewp, Rachel Baker, Rahul Prajapati, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, ramiabraham, ranh, Red Sand Media Group, Riad Benguella, Rian Rietveld, Richard Tape, Robert D Payne, Robert Jolly, Robert Noakes, Rocco Aliberti, Rodrigo Primo, Rommel Castro, Ronald Araújo, Ross Wintle, Roy Sivan, Ryan Kienstra, Ryan McCue, Ryan Plas, Ryan Welcher, Sal Ferrarello, Sami Keijonen, Samir Shah, Samuel Sidler, Sandesh, Sang-Min Yoon, Sanket Parmar, Sarah Gooding, Sayed Taqui, schrapel, Scott Reilly, Scott Taylor, scrappy@hub.org, scribu, seancjones, Sebastian Pisula, Sergey Biryukov, Sergio De Falco, sfpt, shayanys, shazahm1, shprink, simonlampen, skippy, smerriman, snacking, solal, Soren Wrede, Stanimir Stoyanov, Stanko Metodiev, Steph, Steph Wells, Stephanie Leary, Stephen Edgar, Stephen Harris, Steven Word, stevenlinx, Sudar Muthu, Swapnil V. Patil, swapnild, szaqal21, Takahashi Fumiki, Takayuki Miyauchi, Tammie Lister, tapsboy, Taylor Lovett, team, tg29359, tharsheblows, the, themeshaper, thenbrent, thomaswm, Thorsten Frommen, tierra, Tim Nash, Timmy Crawford, Timothy Jacobs, timph, Tkama, tnegri, Tom Auger, Tom J Nowell, tomdxw, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), Torsten Landsiedel, transl8or, traversal, Travis Smith, Triet Minh, Trisha Salas, tristangemus, truongwp, tsl143, Ty Carlson, Ulrich, Utkarsh, Valeriu Tihai, Viljami Kuosmanen, Vishal Kakadiya, vortfu, Vrunda Kansara, webbgaraget, WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, websupporter, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Wolly aka Paolo Valenti, WraithKenny, yale01, Yoav Farhi, Yoga Sukma, Zach Wills, Zack Tollman, Ze Fontainhas, zhildzik, and zsusag.

Finally, thanks to all the community translators who worked on WordPress 4.9. Their efforts bring WordPress 4.9 fully translated to 43 languages at release time, with more on the way.

Do you want to report on WordPress 4.9? We've compiled a press kit featuring information about the release features, and some media assets to help you along.

If you want to follow along or help out, check out Make WordPress and our core development blog.

Thanks for choosing WordPress!

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