WordPress Digest #56: 4.9 Imminent, Keep An Eye On Your Transients, Press What? and More!

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land.

Release News

  • WordPress 4.9 is still on track to release a week from today, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, test it out with the release candidate.
  • WordPress 4.8.3 released last Monday. This security and maintenance release closes a some vulnerabilities in $wpdb->prepare() and the esc_sql() function. Everyone should update to this version to stay a step ahead of the L337 H4x0rs.
  • WP 4.9 will launch with new interfaces and flows for working with themes in the customizer. This is actually the most excited I’ve been in regards to the customizer since it’s inception. The ability to live-preview how your content will look in a new theme in a more dynamic way is pretty awesome.
  • More widget improvements are on the way in 4.9 as well. We’ll be getting shortcodes, embeds, and media in the Text widget, and some improvements to the Video widget, as well as a bunch of other updates, fixes, and features.
  • In my continued saga of “things I never used in WP and don’t even really know what they do”, Press This is being removed from core in WP 4.9. I have no witty commentary on this because I legit have no idea what Press This even does.

Extending WordPress

  • If you have been reading along with these posts over the years, you know I get a big kick out of marijuana-based WordPress themes and plugins. Thankfully there’s a new WooCommerce add-on plugin, Dispensary Details, for adding in all the various details of your ganj so no one is confused about the quality of your dank nugs.
  • Every so often a plugin comes into your life and you ask yourself, “why didn’t I know about this before?” Transients Manager is one such plugin and a must-have for any developer’s tool kit. It provides an admin UI for viewing, searching, and deleting transients in your WP database.

Grab Bag

  • The 2017 version of the annual WordPress survey is live! If you use WP at all, get in there and give ’em a piece of your mind!
  • The third release candidate of PHP 7.2.0 dropped recently and the full release is set for November 30. What does this mean for you? I dunno, I’m not your keeper. But Torque has some answers.
  • I guess a lot of people lost their cool over a call to action that was added to the WP admin in the Beta 3 of WP 4.9. The call to action prompted uses to “Try Gutenberg” and encouraged them to install and activate the plugin. After some debate, the call to action was removed.

“Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” -Euripides