Custom HTML Widget After WordPress 4.8.1 Released

WEB DEVELOPMENT | August 17, 2017

WordPress 4.8 ‘Evans’ released in May 2017 and it incorporated TinyMCE to the text widget. The release of WordPress 4.8 also introduced the new Image, Video and Audio Widgets. The addition of TinyMCE could deliver rich-text functionality; though, the users experienced a few problems.

WordPress 4.8 Problems

  • Developers sometimes need to switch between the visual editor and the text editor. The ‘visual editor’ is the default editor of WordPress 4.8. It erased portions of HTML tags during this switch. The users experienced significant trouble due to this action.
  • Developers cannot use JS or style tags with old ‘text widget’ without disabling the ‘Visual Editor’. However, it is impossible to deactivate the ‘Visual editor’ of the WordPress 4.8. It presented a unique situation to the developers and limited their capabilities.
  • Disappearance of script code from the ‘text widget’ of WordPress 4.8 became troublesome for many developers. They either need to use administrator account or plug-in to add the scripts. They also need to ensure no double-line breaks are present within the codes.

WordPress Maintenance Release

WordPress unveiled the WordPress 4.8.1 to resolve the issues. This latest version contains 29 maintenance fixes and a few enhancements. The addition of Custom HTML widget and fixing of Rich Text widget are two main updates amongst other improved features.

Custom HTML Beneficial Features

  • HTML Snippets help developers insert portion of ‘raw-code’ into the webpage. The developers utilize these snippets to integrate different types of widgets. The WordPress 4.8.1 has a dedicated ‘Custom HTML’ widget to let users paste HTML snippets. The developers may utilize this widget to add ‘arbitrary HTML’ to the sidebar of any website.
  • Custom HTML widget has ‘widget_custom_html_content’ filter to process the content. It can retain the actions of ‘widget_text’ filters to process the contents of ‘Text widget’.
  • Modified features of WordPress 4.8 do not alter the Visual Editing interface of ‘Text widget’. The developers may still utilize this interface to add content to any website’s sidebar.
  • WordPress 4.8.1 Text widgets with ‘Custom HTML’ can display useful notes to the users. These messages are displayed on the top of the widget. It suggests the developers to utilize the ‘Custom HTML widget’.
  • Developers also have the liberty to dismiss this facility and utilize the older version.
  • Developers may keep the ‘Visual Editor’ active while typing/pasting the HTML into ‘Text widget’.
  • WordPress 4.8.1 displays Admin Pointer and gives the users two different options. The message-board suggests the developers to use the ‘Text tab’. It also allows the developers to choose the option of Custom HTML widget instead the ‘Text tab’.
  • Functions of ‘Custom HTML widget’ resemble with the functions of Text widget available through WordPress 4.7 or previous versions. This widget prevents the developers from losing ‘HTML tags’ during the trips between visual editor and text editor.
  • Many websites have ‘Text widgets’ comprising ‘Custom HTML’. These websites open in the ‘legacy mode’. The older version of ‘Text widget’ opens in this ‘legacy mode’.
  • The ‘Text Widget Interface’ of WordPress 7 or older versions contains a checkbox. The developers could utilize the checkbox to automatically add paragraphs. This checkbox also let the users decide whether to add paragraphs. The similar options are available through the ‘Custom HTML widget’ of WordPress 4.8.1. This modification prevents the ‘Visual Editor’ from popping up the ‘alerting codes’.
  • The developers can use the ‘text-only widget’ to include the JS/style tags without disabling the ‘Visual Editor’.
  • The ‘Custom HTML widget’ prevented the disappearance of ‘script code’ from the ‘text widget’.

WordPress 4.8.1 released on August 1, 2017 with some utilitarian features for both professional and novice web-developers. The instructions to install the WordPress 4.8.1 are available on the official website. The users need to follow these instructions to avail the utilitarian features of ‘custom HTML Widget’. The websites using WordPress 4.8 need not install the updated features. These websites will receive the latest features through ‘Automatic Background Updates’. The WordPress has support forums for its users. The ‘WordPress Alpha/Beta section’ of this forum handles the issues related to the WordPress 4.8.1.

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