WordPress 4.9 “Tipton,” named for jazz musician Billy Tipton, has arrived! Here’s what you need to know about what’s new, and how WP Engine will handle WordPress updates for the platform.
SCHEDULE, DRAFT, LOCK, & SHARE DESIGN CHANGES IN THE CUSTOMIZER
That’s right, scheduling isn’t just for your posts and pages anymore. With WordPress 4.9 you can schedule a code change to your site to happen at a specific time. You can also draft a design in the Customizer to send to your team for review.
Once a draft is created, designers also have the ability to lock their design so other users can’t change it. And if your computer goes to sleep before your design changes have been saved, WordPress will ask you if you want to save them when you come back. These features all help improve the WordPress experience when working with a team.
WARNINGS WHEN SAVING CODE WITH ERRORS
WordPress 4.9 introduces Error Highlighting and Syntax checking, both of which are huge wins for designers and developers.
Instead of unknowingly saving bad code and being presented with a blank white screen, you now have a heads up when something is amiss. The Customizer will even warn you when you’re about to save code that contains errors.
And last, WordPress will warn you when using the Plugin Editor or Theme Editor, and offer tips for customizing code in a safer way.
WordPress 4.8.1 introduced a new Custom HTML widget, and now version 4.9 introduces another widget baked into WordPress: A Gallery widget. The new widget allows you to embed a gallery of images right into the widget itself using the drag-and-drop Media uploader.
In addition to the new Gallery widget, users are now able to easily embed media in a simple Text widget using the WYSIWYG editor.
The WordPress team has also included some smaller changes and bug fixes with version 4.9 Tipton. Here is a brief list of additional changes.
- Better menu and widget placement when theme is switched
- Better instructions for creating a new menu
- Theme preview available directly from Customizer
- Improvements to the Customizer JS API
- Improvements to User Roles and Capabilities
- Upgrade to MediaElement.js to remove dependencies on jQuery
- CodeMirror library now available for use
To read more about what new features are included in WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” check out their helpful blog post.
WP ENGINE UPDATE PROCESS
For Functional updates like WordPress 4.9, WP Engine always allows at least two weeks to properly test and vet the new version against our platform code. Updates will begin very shortly after that process. Users can expect to receive a 7-day warning indicating our platform will automatically update their site(s) to WordPress 4.9, as well as a 4-hour notice just before the update occurs.
If your team needs more time to test whether the update will work properly on your sites, simply check the “Defer Update” checkbox in your User Portal for any installs which should not receive the update just yet. When you set your install(s) into deferred upgrade mode, we will not upgrade your install(s) in our first round of WordPress core upgrades. This gives you 60 extra days to test your site(s) against the new version of WordPress.