WordPress 4.9 Adds Scheduling, Drafts, and Front-End Preview Links to the Customizer

While WordPress 4.8 focused on adding new widgets, visual improvements to links in the text editor, and a new dashboard widget that displays nearby events, WordPress 4.9 places a heavy emphasis on customization.

In WordPress 4.9, the Customizer has a new publish button with options to publish, save draft, or schedule changes. Edits made via the Customizer are called changesets that have status’ similar to posts. These improvements were incorporated from the Customize Snapshots and Customize Posts feature plugins.

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New Customizer Publishing Options

Those who design sites will appreciate the ability to easily share a link that provides a front-end preview to changes. Note the About This Site widget at the bottom of the page.

This eliminates the need to publish changes to a live site or give users access to the WordPress backend. Links are generated by saving a draft in the Customizer.

Clicking the Discharge Changes link removes unpublished edits. Scheduling changes is as simple as choosing a day and time for them to take place.

These are just a few of the improvements in WordPress 4.9 which you can try out for yourself by downloading and testing WordPress 4.9 beta 1 on a test site. Alternatively, you can install the WordPress Beta Testing plugin on a test site, configure it for point release nightlies, and update to 4.9 Beta 1.

Stay tuned as we go in-depth on some of the other features in WordPress 4.9 in the coming days.

9 Comments


  1. I see a lot of changes being made that are specific to user experience. Like scheduling changes, preview links, and improved theme browsing in the customizer. Tells a lot about where WordPress is heading.

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  2. With scheduling, an expire date/time would be very useful in addition to the “go live” date/time… which is already a great idea.

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  3. I am looking forward to the ability to schedule changes so much!

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  4. This seems to me to be a lot of effort for what does not affect the 80% of people. Scheduling Customizer changes to a website? Is this really the priority for WordPress core where there are still huge performance issues with comments, open security issues and a host of requested Media Manager improvements?

    Honestly I find these priorities very strange.

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    1. Agreed. I really really doubt that the average Joe will use this feature. Even inside the customizer there are other more pressing features to worry about, such as an alpha/opacity slider in the color picker control.

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  5. Scheduling content changes would be vastly more useful than customizer changes.

    Have to agree some of the functionality priorities are hard to fathom in core, at times.

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    1. @Mark We can’t fit everything into a single release. We’re adding new building blocks with each release. The scheduling of changes in the Customizer in 4.9 can be a stepping stone to being able to schedule content changes. The infrastructure for drafting and scheduling was actually added for changesets in 4.7, but there was no UI until now. With the Customize Posts feature plugin you can already schedule changes to posts and pages, even multiple posts and pages at a time, while previewing how a change to a post looks wherever it may appear on a site (homepage, category page, search results, singular template, etc). The UI from Customize Posts won’t be merged into core, but the underling infrastructure I expect will be merged. As we move forward with integrating Gutenberg with customization, you should start to see publishing of scheduled changes. Whether or not you are in the “Customizer” interface, it could still leverage the changeset scheduling infrastructure that is now in core.

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