WordPress 4.8.3 is out as of Oct 31, 2017. I’m a day or two late in blogging about it because I’ve been busy updating websites.
WordPress 4.8.3 corrects a potential security issue and adds several new features. Let’s talk about the security issue first.
Originally reported months ago, a bug was reported to the good folk who volunteer over at WordPress. The bug allowed for the very real possibility of an SQL injection attack. (SQL injection attacks are quite common, thus the importance of fixing this particular type of bug.) WordPress dev responded with a fix, however, that fix ended up breaking a lot of WordPress plugins.
Fast forward a little bit and another researcher reported to WordPress a bug that basically built on top of the previous bug. Along with his report was proof-of-concept, and a willingness to work with the WordPress dev team. Some hemming and hawing occurred, as it usually does, and today we see the result of all that work in a security update.
Now on to the fun stuff. For that, I’m going to rely on the official WordPress release notes. They’ve already been written, so why reinvent the wheel?
WordPress 4.8.3 Release Highlights
A welcome video is a great way to humanize the branding of your website. You can now add any video from the Media Library to a sidebar on your site with the new Video widget. Use this to showcase a welcome video to introduce visitors to your site or promote your latest and greatest content.
Are you a podcaster, musician, or avid blogger? Adding a widget with your audio file has never been easier. Upload your audio file to the Media Library, go to the widget settings, select your file, and you’re ready for listeners. This would be a easy way to add a more personal welcome message, too!
Rich Text Widget
This feature deserves a parade down the center of town! Rich-text editing capabilities are now native for Text widgets. Add a widget anywhere and format away. Create lists, add emphasis, and quickly and easily insert links. Have fun with your newfound formatting powers, and watch what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.
Have you ever tried updating a link, or the text around a link, and found you can’t seem to edit it correctly? When you edit the text after the link, your new text also ends uplinked. Or you edit the text in the link, but your text ends up outside of it. This can be frustrating! With link boundaries, a great new feature, the process is streamlined and your links will work well. You’ll be happier. We promise.
More Accessible Admin Panel Headings
New CSS rules mean extraneous content (like “Add New” links) no longer need to be included in admin-area headings. These panel headings improve the experience for people using assistive technologies.
Removal of Core Support for WMV and WMA Files
As fewer and fewer browsers support Silverlight, file formats which require the presence of the Silverlight plugin are being removed from core support. Files will still display as a download link, but will no longer be embedded automatically.
New capabilities have been introduced to 4.8 with an eye towards removing calls to is_super_admin(). Additionally, new hooks and tweaks to more granularly control site and user counts per network have been added.
Media Widgets API
The introduction of a new base media widget REST API schema to 4.8 opens up possibilities for even more media widgets (like galleries or playlists) in the future. The three new media widgets are powered by a shared base class that covers most of the interactions with the media modal. That class also makes it easier to create new media widgets and paves the way for more to come.
Customizer Width Variable
Rejoice! New responsive breakpoints have been added to the customizer sidebar to make it wider on high-resolution screens. Customizer controls should use percentage-based widths instead of pixels.