WordPress is known to be very flexible with schedules. No wonder the entire WordPress community was surprised to see WordPress 3.8 release on 12th December 2013, which was the actual scheduled date too. WordPress 3.9 is scheduled to be released on 15th April 2014. With two revisions in the schedule already, it will be interesting to see if it will actually be shipped on the promised date.
The two widgets that found several mentions during all the development meetings for the coming release were the Widget Customizer and the Better Widgets plugins. These plugins are very likely to find a place in core WordPress 3.9. Their test versions are already available for download.
Widget customizer has already been made available at wordpress.org for download. With this plugin each widget will have its own customization area. This customization panel can be used to edit, move or make changes to a widget. The preview option with this widget allows a user to view all the changes. Earlier there was no way of learning this. The only way to see how a widget showed was by deploying it on the live site using the traditional “save and publish”.
Making changes to a widget occasionally results in breaking it. Such situations that could earlier cause live on-site embarrassment can now be tackled with the widget customizer plugin. You have a preview option to see how your widgets have received the changes. You can go ahead with deploying the changes if you are happy with the preview.
With the widget customizer in place, you have a great deal of control over the widgets as making changes will no longer pose a challenge. Each change is previweable.
With Widget Customizer –
- Add a new widget
- Edit existing widgets
- Try different placements
- Experiment with widgets without worrying about any surprises – No blind widget editing
A change will only be published after you hit “save and publish”.
Better Widgets is a plugin that will make your widget management easy. Better Widgets too has been made available for download at wordpress.org. With this plugin, the available widgets find a place on the right. Each available widget is contained in its own scrollable div. This fixes the problems of scrolling through large lists. Icons can now be assigned to widgets.
A new theme ?
Chances are rare that we will get to see a new theme as the last release had introduced the Twenty Fourteen magazine theme.
Enhancements to several existing features
You can expect improvements in several existing features.
Now you do have some idea about what to expect from WordPress 3.9. In case you happen to learn more about this, do remember to share it with us too.