The newest version of Elementor has just been released on December 13, 2022. Just like the previous releases, this version introduces new features as well as new improvements of the existing features. Starting from this version, you can now create a custom loop template using section and column. Also, you can use the loop builder feature for WooCommerce.
Here are some new features introduced in Elementor 3.9.
By the way, the update is available for both versions of Elementor (Free and Pro). If you plan to make an update, make sure to backup your website first just in case something unexpected happens.
New Features on Elementor Free
— Save as Default
The first new feature introduced in Elementor 3.9 is Save as Default. The feature complements some existing useful features to streamline your design workflow such as global widgets and Site Settings (introduced in Elementor 3.0).
How the feature works?
Every Elementor widget has a pre-defined/default style, which is defined by the Elementor development team. For instance, the Button widget has the font family of Roboto, green background color, white text color, and so on. If this default style doesn’t suit you, you can create your own default button style so that every time you add a new button, you will have a new default style — which you have just set yourself.
To create a default style for a widget, first you can style up a particular widget (e.g., Button) via the settings panel just like usual. Once done, right-click the widget and select Save as Default.
After this action, Elementor will use the custom default style you have just created for the particular widget.
You can use Save as Default on all Elementor widgets. The Save as Default feature itself will save all the settings you applied to a particular widget, not just style related. It includes image place holder for the Image widget, CSS ID, and email addresses for payment widgets (PayPal Button and Stripe Button). So, make sure to not include the sensitive information before saving as a new default.
Save as Default is currently in the Beta phase. To use the feature, you need to activate it first. Go to Elementor -> Settings -> Experiments to activate the feature.
— Lazy Load Option for Background Images
Lazy load has been around in Elementor for quite a while. However, it is only available for video. In Elementor 3.9, you can enable lazy load on background images. Be it on a section, column, container, or widget. Unfortunately, there is no manual option to enable lazy load on specific background image. Activating this feature will automatically enable lazy load on all background images.
Lazy load itself is a behavior whereby a media (video or image) will only be loaded on the visible area on the screen. Lazy load is often associated with site speed optimization. More specifically, it plays a role in improving the LCP score on page speed testing tools such as GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights.
Lazy Load Background Images is currently on the Alpha phase. You can also enable it by going to Elementor -> Settings -> Experiments on your WordPress dashboard.
— Compatible with the Performance Lab for “WebP Uploads”
Another feature introduced on the free version of Elementor 3.9 is compatibility with Performance Lab. If you enable this feature, every JPEG image you upload to your website will automatically be converted into WebP format — which touted to lighter than JPEG/JPG.
Performance Lab itself is a plugin developed by the WordPress core development team. The plugin offers a collection of modules focused on enhancing site performance.
New Features on Elementor Pro
Elementor 3.9 introduces at least two new features to Elementor Pro as follows:
— More Options on Popup Builder Advanced Display Rules
As you may have known, the pro version of Elementor comes with a popup builder feature which you can use to create a wide range of popup types. The popup builder has a setting option to set how many times a popup appears.
You can find the above setting on the Advanced Rules tab on the publishing settings window of a popup. When you set the popup to show up 3 times (as shown on the screenshot above), this means that the popup will show up the next 3 times a visitor visits your website, regardless of their visiting frequency.
In Elementor 3.9, not only you can set how many times a popup to show up, but also the frequency. For instance, you can set a popup to show up 3 times per week, per day, per month, or per session.
— Extended Support for Loop Builder (Now Supports WooCommerce and Section)
Loop Builder is a new Elementor feature introduced in version 3.8. With the feature, you can create custom template for post items or listing items to be displayed in a feed. The feature is pretty similar to the existing Posts widget and Archive Posts widget, but you have a full control over the elements on the feed.
The initial phase of Loop Builder (which was introduced in Elementor 3.8) required container. You couldn’t use it on section or column. Also, it didn’t support WooCommerce yet.
In Elementor 3.9, you can use Loop Builder on a section-based design. In other words, it doesn’t require container — which is great if you are more convenient working with sections and columns. In addition, the Loop Builder in Elementor 3.9 now supports WooCommerce so that you can control what elements to be displayed on a product feed.
Loop Builder itself is currently in the Beta phase. To be able to use it, you need to go to Elementor -> Settings -> Experiments to enable it.
The Bottom Line
Being the most popular page builder plugin, Elementor is actively developed to offer new features to users. As of today, the development cycle has entered version 3.9 — which introduced some new features as we have just mentioned above. Some features — including Loop Builder — are still in the Beta phase.
In the next major release (which is expected to be Elementor 4.0), Elementor might will introduce the final phase of those features and set them as the default features. Until then, you can go to Elementor -> Settings -> Experiments to activate the features and play around with them.