WordPress 4.9, Everything you need to know!

Good Morning,

14th November and WordPress 4.9 has been released, with it a tonne of new features and updates. So let me sum up whats new, what you need to worry about and how to upgrade.

Improvements To Customizer Version Control And Usability

There are two big changes to the WordPress Customizer, as well as one smaller usability tweak.

Save, Schedule, And Share Customizer Changes

In current versions, the only way to save the changes that you make in the WordPress Customizer is to publish them to the live version of your site. That’s fine if you want the changes to go live right away, but it’s not very user-friendly if you’re actively working on some tweaks that you don’t want to share with your visitors just quite yet.

WordPress 4.9 changes things with some awesome new functionality.

First, when you want to save Customizer changes, you can now choose from three different options:

  • Publish – publishes changes right away just like how the Customizer currently functions.
  • Save Draft – saves the current changes as a draft. They won’t go live, but they will stay there until the next time you open the Customizer.
  • Schedule – schedule your changes to go live at a specific time and date.

In that screenshot above, you can also see the second new addition – the Share Preview Link.

This new feature generates a link that you can share with others to preview the changes that you’ve made in the Customizer. The cool thing is that those people don’t need to be Admins at your site. Nor do they even need to have an account!

You can safely share a preview of the changes that you’ve made with absolutely anyone.

These two changes are a massive improvement and make the WordPress Customizer much more viable as a serious website customization tool.

Install WordPress.org Themes Directly From The WordPress Customizer

Another new addition to the WordPress Customizer is the ability to install WordPress.org themes directly from the Customizer.

Now, if you click the Change button next to your active theme in the Customizer:

You’ll get a new option for WordPress.org themes. If you choose that radio select box, you’ll be able to search through WordPress.org themes and install them right from the Customizer:

This one isn’t technically adding new functionality in the grand scheme of things. But it does streamline the process of going from activating a theme to customizing a theme.

Create Menus With A More User-Friendly Interface

Finally, WordPress 4.9 brings a rework of how you create menus from the WordPress Customizer. You’re not really getting any new features – but the team has rearranged the process to be more streamlined and user-friendly.

In case you don’t remember, here’s how the current process starts off:

And here’s what the beginning of the new process looks like in WordPress 4.9:

It’s not a major change, but it’s definitely a bit more user-friendly and eliminates some unnecessary button clicks.

New Gallery Widget + Add Media Button In Text Widget

Beyond the WordPress Customizer, the widget area also got some continued love since the addition of media widgets and visual editing in WordPress 4.8.

Brand New Gallery Widget

Say goodbye to Jetpack, because everyone will have a gallery widget in WordPress 4.9!

Given that WordPress 4.8 introduced an image widget, it only makes sense that WordPress 4.9 enhances that with a new dedicated gallery widget.

It functions pretty much as you’d expect – you drag it over and use the Add Images button to select images from your WordPress media library:

Just as with the core WordPress Gallery functionality, you can choose ordering, sizing, and columns:

And then you’ll have your gallery on the frontend of your site:

Add Media Button + Shortcodes In Text Widget

Another continuation of the changes from WordPress 4.8 is the addition of the Add Media button to the text widget. This only made sense given how WordPress 4.8 added visual editing:

One neat thing is that you can actually use the text widget to create a gallery now thanks to the Add Media button. So the gallery widget is really just a more user-friendly version of this functionality:

Additionally, shortcodes will now render in text widgets by default – no more need to add a filter.

CodeMirror For Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking

The third big visible change in WordPress 4.9 is the introduction of the CodeMirror editor.

If you’re not familiar, CodeMirror is a text editor focused on editing code. It offers a number of features to make the editing experience better, notably:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Live error checking
  • Autocomplete

Starting in WordPress 4.9, CodeMirror will be the editor for:

  • Custom CSS in the WordPress Customizer
  • Editing theme or plugin code from the dashboard editor
  • The custom HTML widget

But before I show you the new editing experience, here’s another minor addition that I stumbled on…

If you try to directly edit your theme’s template files, WordPress now gives you a warning message:

And once you confirm that, you can enjoy the new CodeMirror editing experience:

Additionally, WordPress 4.9 introduces a new API so that developers can easily integrate the CodeMirror editing experience into their own projects.

And if you’re not a fan of the syntax highlighting, you can always turn it off by going to your user profile:

Other Smaller Features Coming In WordPress 4.9

As you’d expect, WordPress 4.9 also brings a number of smaller tweaks and improvements. Some notable changes are:

You can view a list of most of the tweaks here.

What Are You Most Excited For?

And that wraps up our list of what to expect in WordPress 4.9! Beyond the bevy of smaller tweaks, WordPress 4.9 will improve:

  • The WordPress Customizer
  • WordPress widgets
  • The WordPress code editing experience

5 Reasons to get a Domain Name!

I come across a lot of people using Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook.com or other public email addresses for their business, and although its not wrong, a lot of companies don’t think it looks right, even if you use companyname@gmail.com… why not use companyname.com or companyname.co.uk

Its simple and easy to do this, and you don’t have to leave your old address behind! Let us run you through the top 10 reason to get a domain name for your business.

1. Easy to remember and cheap!

If they shop with you, buy food with you, there’s a good chance they know your business name, why confuse your customers with companyname@gmail.com when you can have info@companyname.com, its just simpler! For well-known top-level domains, for example, .com, you spend maximum £15 per year for registering your domain with a good domain registrar.

2. Reliability and effectiveness

Whoever you pay to host your site and domain have a responsibility to look after your site and keep it running! A website offline is a missed opportunity for business.

 

3. Ability to retain ranking and traffic

When you have your own domain, you can move out to better web hosting (web host is where you keep your site or blog content to show on internet) without worrying about ranking and traffic to your site. On the contrary, with free domain name, if you move from one to another, you lose visitors to your new site.

4. Your own domain is an effective tool to brand yourself

In the event that you need to show your own work on internet, owning your domain name is the most sensible way. For instance, in the event that you are an artist, designer (fashion, architecture), writer, photographer or any individual who needs to show potential employers your awesome work, your own domain name will act like a business card to them. With it, you give them the idea of professionalism and credibility.

 

5. Purchase before somebody else buys the domain name

It will be very much regretting that at some point you decide to buy your favourite domain name and find out that it is already taken.

What’s more, once anybody purchases your favourable domain name, it will be no more available to you to purchase as new domain (unless the domain is for sale). The worse part, he/she makes the domain name either well-known or potentially more regrettable. But, you cannot do anything.

Therefore, act before someone else has the domain name and use it for his/her advantage.

If you make the decision to own your domain name, congratulations come and purchase it at https://solblu.uk!

The Art of Building Your Brand through Web Design

A brand in the most common sense is just a symbol; the symbol that represents something significant.  In terms of company branding, this symbol represents the characteristic, experience, integrity and professionalism of the association.  This can be done by using a consistent logo, phrase, and image and sound on a variety of platforms that people interact with.  Branding is an integral part of your business growth online.  They can capture the interest of the consumers and keep their loyalty intact.  However, it is a complicated process that is executed in various types of media from the logo design, store decoration, print, and TV advertisement.  This process can also be executed with your web design.

Elements of Brand Building

Brand building highly matters on companies for several reasons.  If you are building your website, these elements on your web design will make you stand out from the competition.

Colour

Picking the ideal colour palette is crucial in brand building.  If you think that it is just for aesthetic appeal, then you are mistaken.  Colour has the power to trigger various sensations and emotions that allows them to associate it to characteristic and things.  For instance, red has the capacity to boost respiration and increase the pulse rate; it is often associated with excitement passion, power and energy which are why it is a common colour utilised in the entertainment web design such as iflix.  Shades of green symbolise health, money, profit, environment and nature.

Character

Infusing your web design with a personality and characteristic can help you convey the things that your company stands for.  If your company is about safety, stability, security or reliability, character can help you define your branding.  Find a character that your target audience can associate with.  You may use anthropomorphic elements such as the blue bird of Twitter.  Blue bird may appear differently, but you can still easily associate them to Twitter.

Emotion

Emotion would be another essential element that you can use on your web design.  The element of your website should not be limited to the aesthetic element but also on the emotion that you want to convey.  Analyse the design of the Studio 7 and how they utilise vivid and glowing shade to make their brand exciting and overflowing with emotion.

Consistency

Consistency has an important role when you want to improve business with your website.  Consistency will be contingent upon your choices on the elements mentioned above.  This will guarantee that your website will evoke uniformity.

Finally, you also have to consider the size and the placement of the logo on your web design.  The upper-left space of your website will be the conventional position of the logo.  Make sure that it will be big enough that it will be the first thing that your visitors will notice when they are directed to your website.