WordPress 4.9 has been released recently with amazing new features and workflow.

Let’s see some of the most exciting and useful options added to WordPress with this new release so you feel right at home after updating to WordPress 4.9.

List of WordPress 4.9 new feature:

  • Theme Browsing and Switching Improvements
  • Save Draft and Schedule Settings
  • Syntax Highlighting and Code Error Checking
  • Automated Warnings
  • New Gallery Widget
  • New Add Media Button in Text Widget
  • Adding Shortcodes in Text Widget

If you have been greeted with the message An updated version of WordPress is available then it’s time to click the Update Now button but keep in mind WordPress 4.9 is a major release which means it will not update automatically even if you have enabled automatic updates.

You have to upgrade it manually from your admin dashboard however you must take a full backup of your site. See our guide complete backup of your WordPress site for more details.

It is highly recommended to take a full backup of your WordPress site before updating to WordPress 4.9

Woopoo's Caution

Theme Browsing and Switching Improvements

The Customizer has been greatly improved in WordPress 4.9. You can view your already installed themes or change, preview and install new themes directly from the Customizer.

  • From within the Customizer, click the Change button in front of your Active theme.

change active theme

  • In the Themes section, either see your Installed themes or browse WordPress.org themes.

cusomizer theme settings

  • Live Preview button under Installed themes will let you preview your themes even before deploying them.

Save Draft and Schedule Settings

Theme Customizer now has options to either Publish, Save Draft and Schedule the settings for any of the menu items.

Click the Gear icon and select any of the desired Actions:

customizer actions


Clicking the Publish will apply the settings right away.

Save Draft

Save draft will let you save the changes to be used later. A preview link has also been generated to share with people who can’t access the Customizer.

theme customizer preview link

It is a nice feature to get feedback without affecting anything on your live site.


The schedule will let any theme changes to be published automatically on the scheduled date and time. For example, you can set your homepage to automatically replaced with a Black Friday Sale static page on every Friday.

wordpress schedule settings

Syntax Highlighting and Code Error Checking

WordPress gives you multiple options to edit and write HTML and CSS code. WordPress 4.9 has completely transformed the code editor by integrating syntax highlighting and auto-complete feature.


Code error checking is another great feature added to the code editor. Not only this, hovering over the cross or warning icons will give you hints to correct your code.

wordpress css error check

If you prefer to stick to old style plain-text code editing, you can disable syntax highlighting from User Profile settings.


Automated Warnings

Directly accessing critical files within WordPress will show you automated warnings to let you think one more time before making any changes to those files directly.

automated warnings

New Gallery Widget

A brand new gallery widget has been introduced in WordPress 4.9. Yes! you can now place your beautiful pictures in the sidebar using a gallery widget. Adding an image gallery in the sidebar is a piece of cake now.

wordpress 4.9 gallery widget

New Add Media Button in Text Widget

WordPress 4.8 brought us a featured-rich text widget. The same text widget has been even enhanced by introducing the Add Media button which lets you add images, videos, and other media in the text widget and place them in the sidebar.

wordpress 4.9 text widget

Adding Shortcodes in Text Widget

WordPress 4.9 brings another great feature to add shortcodes in the text widget. Prior to this release, it was only possible to add this functionality by editing WordPress files. Enabling shortcodes in text widget was actually a long-awaited feature which has been answered finally.

Let’s quickly summarize some other features which have been incorporated in WordPress 4.9:

  • Improved theme browsing in Customizer
  • Customizer options to publish, Saving draft and scheduling theme changes.
  • Improved Customizer workflow to create menus.
  • Guessed mapping for menus and widgets when changing themes.
  • Video widget now supports other providers besides YouTube and Vimeo.
  • A brand new gallery widget.
  • Add Media button in the text widget.
  • Support of adding shortcodes in the text widget.
  • SWFUpload library has been removed from the WordPress core.
  • Press this button functionality has been removed from Available Tools.

Additional Readings


We hope you will be excited to try new features introduced in WordPress 4.9 as we do. Update your site now.

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