WordPress 4.9 is released. We have been testing the new version on a beta site for the last couple of weeks.
Just in time for the holidays, the fabulous team of WordPress Core Contributors added an interesting feature to the Customizer: You can schedule the changes you make via the customizer. This is perfect for the Holidays or when you are planning a Gala-fundraiser or any other signature event and you want to make sure when that the next change happens at the right time, without the need to be present on the site to make it happen. Also, you can preview your changes without having to take the customizations live.
In this example, I switched out the Hero Video on the Twenty-Seventeen theme. I used a new service called VideoBlocks by StoryBlocks to find a short video. They have a 7-day free trial. (Sidenote: Staying within the “Blocks” terminology of the new editor Gutenberg. )
My goal is to have the layout change from the currently displayed video of a sunset on the beach to the video showing presents under the tree automatically the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Steps to change Header Media on a Schedule.
- Click on Customizer
- Click on Header Media
- Paste the YouTube URL into the text field
- Use the tool wheel next to Publish button, and an additional panel appears.
- Use Schedule and set the date to publish your changes
- Click on “Schedule” blue button
- Underneath the schedule section, a preview link appears. You can share it with your team or customer.
And here is the accompanying video for you.
You can preview the changes on the front page of our beta site.
Caveat: you can’s work with the new theme changes in the customizer when you have changes scheduled. I wanted to create a video showing off this feature as well, but I got a little note in my customizer section: “Sorry, you can’t preview new themes when you have changes scheduled or saved as a draft. Please publish your changes, or wait until they publish to preview new themes.” –
Update November 17, 2017: There is a sister plugin in the WordPress repository call “Customize Snapshots”. It takes this Customizer Scheduling feature to the next level, by giving you the option to not only save your latest modification, you can if it a name and save multiple snapshots to be released in the future.
A use case would be, that you create all your special holidays or campaigns modifications at once and schedule them over the whole year or for the upcoming months, so you only have to think about them once and then set it and forget them. And once you do that you can communicate to all your team members the upcoming changes and they can start added those to your calendar as well.
Hosted members of our WP4Good Club will find the update on their sites within the next couple of weeks. Watch this space for additional updates on new WordPress features in WordPress 4.9.
Links to learn more about WordPress 4.9
- WPBeginner: What’s Coming in WordPress 4.9
- Mel Choyce: the Goals of WordPress 4.9
- Jeffrey Paul: the WordPress 4.9 Field guide.