It’s OK, we get it. WordPress Updates don’t usually make your heart beat faster, like they do ours. But hear us out on this one, because this latest, massive update is a belter. Evans 4.8 contains features that make WordPress easier, and more intuitive, for everybody. Let’s get straight down to what it can do for you.
Easily Add Images, Video and Audio to your Widget Areas
The Widget Areas on your site (usually the sidebar and footer) can now be populated with a range of media coolness, using a simple drag-and-drop.
Research is showing that customers buy more from brands they trust. So, let viewers put a face to your company name by adding a team photo right up there on the sidebar. Worried that would scare business away? (We know the feeling. All too well.) In that case, use a picture of your office. It will still help personalise your brand and make people more confident about using you. Or, use the Widget Image space to add a new-product picture, or a special-offer image. You can upload any image from your Media Library, and add captions, alt text, and links.
The update allows you to add any video from your Media Library, or embed one from an external service like YouTube or Vimeo. The possibilities here are endless. If you offer a personal service like coaching or fitness, show a video of you giving a welcome message (or welcome massage), or typical fitness class, right up in the sidebar. If you have an online shop, show a demo video of your latest product. If you work in media, add your show reel. Adding and changing videos is easy, so experiment with different types. Don’t forget, we can help you discover which one boosts your website’s reach the most.
Any audio files in your Media Library can be added to your Widget area. This is an obvious win for musicians or music shops, but it’s great for local businesses too. Featured on local radio? Whack the clip in the sidebar, and let customers hear your dulcet tones. Or play your latest radio advert.
Previous versions of WordPress sometimes made editing links tricky. You thought you were updating your link, but instead you were formatting the words surrounding it, or including nearby punctuation, or sending everyone off to your competitor’s site… Now, Link Boundaries are a thing: when you edit a link, the area around it is highlighted. You can enter or exit the boundary at will, using the right and left arrows. Enter to change the link text; Exit to change the words around the link, without making a mess.
Rich Text Editing in your Text Widget
WordPress has always included a Text Box in the Widget areas, but it was hard to use if you weren’t fluent in HTML. 4.8 chucks the code out the window and gives you an easy, visual tab so you can format your text faster than a 5-year-old on Ribena. You can add bulleted and numbered lists, links, and add bolding and italics at the click of a mouse.
Get out more
WordPress clearly anticipated that its new update would make you want to stay in every night, tweaking your widget, so it’s included a Socialising Section too. As we revealed in an earlier blog, WordPress has a lively group of followers who regularly emerge blinking into the daylight, clutching a Red Bull, to chat all things Blog with other devotees. The 4.8 Update allows you to see all your nearest meetings right from your Dashboard. So, you can either head to meet them, or keep a very wide berth.
The 4.8 “Evans” update will be rolled out to our existing customers’ websites very soon. If you’d like any more information, or need any help with your online marketing, feel free to contact us here at SiteBites.