Team Textpattern is pleased to announce the release of Textpattern CMS version 4.8.5, available for immediate download and deployment.

Textpattern 4.8.5 arrives with compatibility enhancements for PHP 8.0, including bug fixes for reported issues in Textpattern 4.8.4. Some of the resolved issues appeared with new installations of Textpattern on a subset of servers, while others affected existing Textpattern instances. If you have Textpattern 4.8.4 installed, consider upgrading to Textpattern 4.8.5 for a more refined ride, especially if you’re running on PHP 8.0.

As with any Textpattern upgrade, check the current Textpattern system requirements and confirm you have known-good backups of your files and database. Before you make any changes, please refer to the accompanying release notes in HISTORY.txt to ensure you understand the changes included in this release, plus any skipped versions before it. You can find your current Textpattern version from the bottom of any page on the admin-side.

One note of particular importance with Textpattern 4.8.5 is a change to <txp:header />, specifically with the name attribute. From Textpattern 4.8.5, the name attribute is no longer set by default. Ensure any instances of <txp:header /> explicitly have their corresponding name attribute set before upgrading to Textpattern to avoid any mishaps.

We are continuing to work toward the Textpattern 4.9 series, which focuses on overhauling & optimising existing functionality, along with requested enhancements and other finishing touches. We’ll bring you more information about what’s included in Textpattern 4.9 as we firm up release plans.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this patch release with reporting & resolving bugs, providing & improving language translations and overall improvements to the Textpattern ecosystem. We’re grateful to all contributors offering us their expertise, time, attention, words, donations, signal boosting, evangelism, cheerleading and all other activities that fuel our progress.

Textpattern’s infrastructure and continued development is kindly supported by DigitalOcean, 1Password and BrowserStack. We are grateful for their ongoing involvement and support for Textpattern and its global community of authors, publishers, designers and administrators. Thank you.

There is no spyware, adware, user tracking or other junk in Textpattern. We consciously work to keep it fast, nimble and ready for pretty much anything you can throw at it. Tell us what you’ve made Textpattern do, we’d love to hear from you. A ‘hello!’ or ‘thanks!’ helps us to gauge how far Textpattern has travelled.

You can show your appreciation by sponsoring Textpattern on GitHub or supporting Textpattern on Open Collective. Alternatively, you can donate to Textpattern developers with PayPal.

If you are involved with a service, platform or technology that can help Textpattern’s web presence, development or user community, please contact us and we can discuss further.


You can download Textpattern from using the following links, or from the GitHub repository. Please take a moment to ‘star’ Textpattern’s repositories on GitHub if they are of interest to you.

To take advantage of Textpattern’s multi-site capabilities, please download the .tar.gz archive as it includes the multi-site scaffold.

File download

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File size 1989 kB | Created
File download


SHA256 checksum 295d120de703a20d0aed2a16873c65726d9e4dfebd94261dffc11268e8275cea
File size 1727 kB | Created

The Textpattern demo has been updated to offer Textpattern test drives in complete safety. The demo sites are rebuilt every few hours using the Textpattern auto-installer.

System requirements

Textpattern 4.8 requires a minimum of PHP 5.5 as part of the system requirements, though a vendor-supported PHP version is highly recommended. At the time of writing, PHP 7.4 & PHP 8.0 have active and ongoing support. PHP 7.3 entered extended security support 7 December 2020. Refer to PHP Supported Versions for up-to-date schedules.

If you are upgrading Textpattern from a version prior to 4.8.0, note the SimpleXML PHP extension is now required. Most PHP web servers have this built-in and enabled already so you should be good to go. Check with your web host if you have any doubts.

Please note: we will increase the minimum PHP and MySQL version requirements for Textpattern 4.9. More details will be provided in due course.

Installation and upgrade

Please ensure you log out of the admin side prior to upgrade, perform and verify a full site backup (database and files, including any file/image uploads), and refer to the README.txt file in the download archives for detailed instructions. The vast majority of Textpattern upgrades are smooth sailing and happen without incident, but on the rare occasion something does go astray it’s preferable to safely restore the known-good version from your backup and troubleshoot any issues while your site continues to be available.

What’s new in this release?

The Textpattern 4.8.5 HISTORY.txt outlines changes for this and previous Textpattern releases, along with their respective release dates. We recommend you read the list of changes to understand how this may affect your current sites, especially if you’re upgrading from older versions. Please note that while upgrades from very old releases of Textpattern are possible, you may need to perform a multi-stage upgrade.

If you require clarification on any aspect of the release notes, we recommend you seek advice before starting a site upgrade. The Textpattern support forum is an excellent place to start, and the Textpattern user documentation is regularly updated with examples, explanations and background information.

We have a forum thread dedicated to Textpattern 4.8.5 feedback. We gather field reports from fellow Textpattern administrators and users that may assist or guide you with upgrading.

Changes made in Textpattern 4.8.5 include:


  • Maintenance release including improvements for PHP 8.0 and bug fixes.
  • Changed: <txp:header /> attributes are unset by default. Ensure any name attributes are set before updating to avoid issues with custom headers.

PHP compatibility

  • Fixed: Database connection issue for new installations on PHP 8.0.
  • Fixed: libxml_disable_entity_loader() deprecation warning on PHP 8.0.
  • Fixed: Undefined array key/offset warnings on PHP 8.0.
  • Fixed: System temp directory notice on PHP 8.0.

User interface & user experience

  • Fixed: Custom field ordering on Write panel.
  • Fixed: Diagnostics panel strings no longer have ‘Help’ appended, and the textarea is rendered fully in English to aid support requests.
  • Fixed: RSS/Atom feeds display correct titles (thanks, jrmartin).

Tags and attributes

  • Added: <txp:image_info type="mime" />.
  • Added: More aggregators in <txp:article /> fields attribute.
  • Added: Global break, replace and trim attributes.
  • Added: breakby and breakform attributes for all content types.
  • Added: Import attributes in <txp:php /> as PHP variables.
  • Added: root attribute of <txp:page_url /> to create relative URLs.
  • Changed: <txp:article_custom /> can paginate content using pageby attribute.
  • Changed: <txp:images /> outputs full-size images if thumbs don’t exist and <txp:images thumbnail="0" /> displays full-size images as expected.
  • Changed: <txp:images> accepts <txp:else />.
  • Changed: <txp:variable> default attribute can be used during assignment (thanks, cara-tm).


  • Added: Support for WebP image format, on PHP 7.1 or higher.

Language support, translations and internationalisation

  • Added: Latest text translations. Thank you to all our translators.
  • Added: Support for Fulah language translation.
  • Added: Locale for en, and improved locale fallbacks.
  • Changed: Better i18n handling for ‘ago’.

Other stuff

  • Fixed: Draft/hidden/pending articles output 404 Not Found status as they should.
  • Added: SSL version verification on Diagnostics panel during update checks.
  • Changed: Expose secondpass Advanced pref for testing.
  • Changed: Plugin load warning includes version number.
  • Changed: Comments off by default on new installations.
  • Changed: If allowed, <txp:php /> is processed in forms even in article body.
  • Changed: Copy Editors are allowed to use <txp:php /> (they were able to do it in forms anyway).


  • Fixed: Form processing on pretext_end callback.
  • Developer: New pre-pretext_end callback.
  • Developer: New txp.image>types callback.

Further notes

If you find anything not working correctly or wish to propose improvements, please file a report on GitHub. There are templates for feature requests and bug reports.

We hope you enjoy this release and it serves you, your sites and clients well!