WordPress 3.9 was released yesterday, and brought with it a number of enhancements to the media editing experience. This release was the product of hard work from a record number of contributors (267), and is code-named “Smith” in honor of jazz organist Jimmy Smith.
Check out this brief video for a quick overview of the new features in WordPress 3.9…
New features in WordPress 3.9…
Here’s a quick rundown of the new features we think you’ll love in this version…
Improved Visual Editor
The visual editor has been upgraded to the latest version of TinyMCE, which improves the speed of the editor, accessibility, and better support for mobile devices. You can now easily add a horizontal rule, and the nasty “Paste from Word” function is no longer necessary. Just paste content from your word processor (yes, we’re talking about Microsoft Word) directly into the visual editor. WordPress will clean it automatically.
Easily Edit Images
If you frequently add images to your blog posts and pages, you’ll love the new image editing tools. You can now scale images directly in the editor, without having to visit an extra pop-up editor. When you need to edit the image, you’ll find it much easier to crop and rotate your images while editing posts.
Drag and drop images directly into the editor!
No need to click the “Add Media” button to upload images. Now, you can just grab them from your desktop and drag them into the editor.
Actual Gallery Previews
Until now, photo galleries were depicted in the editor as a nondescript blue box; to preview what your photo gallery would actually look like in place, you had to visit the post, then return to make changes, go back to see what that looked like… etc. That’s finally a thing of the past! Galleries display a beautiful grid of images right in the editor, just like they will look in your final post.
Audio and Video Playlists
This release also brings support for audio and video playlists, so you can showcase your music and video clips. The process is just as easy as creating a photo gallery, but it’s also quite extensible, with support for additional features through the media options. Check out this post to see just what’s possible.
Live Widget and Header Previews
Okay, this just may be my favorite new feature in WordPress 3.9. You can now add, edit, and rearrange your site’s widgets right in the theme customizer, and preview your changes in real-time! No more “save … preview … edit … preview … etc.” — just make your changes live and then save them when you’re happy with the results. This is an enormous time-saver!
You’ll also love the improved header image tool, which lets you upload, crop, and manage headers right in the Theme Customizer.
Gorgeous New Theme Browser
There are thousands of themes available on the WordPress Theme Directory, but what good is that if you can’t find the theme you’re looking for? The completely redesigned theme browser makes it easier than ever to browse featured themes, find the newest themes, or even filter search results by color, layout, or other features.
You can even browse full-size previews, and when you find a theme you like, install it with just a click.
Much more under the hood…
As always, there are also hundreds of tiny improvements that you may never see, but bring increased flexibility for theme and plugin developers. For a more in-depth look at those improvements, check out this post.
Yes, our WordPress 101 videos are already updated for 3.9!
As always, we began updating and re-recording our video tutorial series as soon as WordPress 3.9 hit the “Release Candidate” phase of development and testing. This enables us to release our updated videos the same day the newest version of WordPress makes its official debut, ensuring you’re always up to date with the latest improvements in WordPress!
HINT: Parts 9 and 14 highlight the best new features!
What’s your favorite new feature?
If you’ve upgraded your WordPress site to the latest version, we’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite feature so far? Sound off in the comments below…