It’s finally easy to add images to widgets in WordPress 4.8

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WordPress 4.8 was recently released and although it may have lacked the “wow” factor of some past releases1, partially due to the new release cycle. It did pack in a nice feature that should definitely be used by a huge number of WordPress users.

New widgets.

That’s right. WordPress 4.8 came out with new widgets including a video widget, a rich text widget, an audio widget, and, finally, a built-in image widget.

No more do you have to download an extra plugin to easily insert an image into your sidebar. And the new image widget takes full advantage of WordPress’s built-in responsive images.

The Image Widget

Why WordPress was lacking a built-in image widget for so long, I do not know. To add an image to a widgetized area2 in the past you either had to paste the source code directly in the Text widget or download a plugin.

Now you can drop in the Image Widget and pick and image from your media uploader or upload a new one.


The Text Widget

The Text Widget itself got an overhaul as it finally makes use of the Tiny MCE editor we’re all so used to.

Unfortunately it doesn’t run what you enter through the_content filter so things like auto oembeds and shortcodes won’t work.

But at least we can give users a little formatting without having to teach them <strong> or <em>.


The Video Widget

WordPress 4.8 also added a new Video Widget. This particular widget can be used to load in a MP4 or other web supported format of video to display in your widgetized area.

You’ll get some nice video controls to play, pause, adjust volume, and go full-screen.


The Audio Widget

Last but not least, WordPress 4.8 added an Audio Widget that can be used to drop in an audio file that can be easily played from a widgetized area.

This could be very helpful if you’re a podcaster and want to easily share your latest episode on all pages of your site.


Check out all of the other changes in WordPress 4.8. Especially the groundwork for the Gutenberg editor which could completely change the post editing process.

  1. Though it did lay the groundwork for the Gutenberg editor project
  2. They’re more than just sidebars!

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