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14 April 2014

WordPress 3.9: Remarkable Features For Both Developers And Users

WordPress 3.9: Remarkable Features For Both Developers And Users
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By Sandeep Sharma

Wordpress 3.9 Version

If it is true that the best gifts come in small packages, then WordPress new version 3.9 is set to be a stellar release. This latest version is full of tiny improvements that make the publishing experience quite better, especially when it comes to editing content. The third and possibly the final beta testing version of WordPress 3.9 has been released on March 29, 2014 for developer testing, which includes “more than 200 changes.”

I am sure you will be curious to known latest features of WordPress new version; therefore, I am explaining some most important changes of the new version from both developers and users point of view.

For Developers:

The WordPress version 3.9 comes with various core changes that will impact theme and plug-in developers.

1. The multisite load process was rewritten.

WordPress multisite is a special “mode”, which allows you to create a network of multiple websites that run on a single installation of WordPress. In the new version of WordPress multisite load process is rewritten that makes it more stable and ensures easy network management.

2. Improved database extension

The new version of WordPress will be using the MySQL Improved Database Extension, if you are running the latest version of PHP. This improvement will speed up the loading time of a website.

3. Autosave has been refactored

Autosave is a feature in WordPress that automatically saves changes made to a page, post, or custom post type. In new version autosave has been refactored, hence, its internal structure has been improved and now it effectively prevents the risk of losing data.

4. WordPress Image Crop position

In the old version of WordPress, additional image sizes were cropped to center horizontally and vertically. But, in the new version there will be an image crop position that will allow the developers to decide the crop position.

5. Other Changes

In the new version of WordPress various features like Backbone 1.1, Masonry 3, Underscore 1.6, PHPMailer, TinyMCE and Plupload have been updated.

For Users:

In this section, I will enlighten the changes in the new version of WordPress that impact users.
1. Visual editor is updated

TinyMCE, the software that powers the visual editor and let you arrange, add and remove the buttons, has been updated and now the interface looks less cluttered and cleaner. With this update, it is possible to remove the “Paste from Word” button and you can directly paste from Microsoft Word into the editor, and still you will have nicely formatted content.

Visual editor

In the new version, some visual changes are also applied to the button icons, like the one for Text Color, and TinyMCE editor dropped the support for color picker/palette option.

Visual Editor Color

2. Live Widget Updates in Theme Customizer

With the latest version of WordPress, users will be able to see live previews of widgets in theme customizer. The widget customizer will allow you to edit as well as rearrange widgets and even add new widgets.

The most exciting part in the new version is that you will be able to see all this happening in the live preview pane on the same screen. In previous versions of WordPress, users were able to edit most theme features from customize screen except widgets, but in new version theme customizer looks complete and much more powerful. If you want old widgets screen, then you can manage widgets in the old fashioned way as well.

Activation procedure– To try out this feature, users can install and activate the Widget Customizer plugin. After successful installation and activation simply go to Appearance » Customize, where you can see a Widgets section for each widget ready area and a sidebar supported by your theme.

Widget Updates in Theme Customizer

3. WordPress Front-End Editor

One of the favorite features in WordPress, Front end editor will allow the users to edit their posts from the front-end of their website. The new front end editor will give the users all the tools to edit, tag, change settings, and all the stuff. It will also give you an option to add feature image from the front-end of the website if there is an image spot for the features image. Now, with new front end editor you do not need to worry about how the post will look in the front-end of your website.

4. Drag and Drop Media Files

With the latest version of WordPress, the users no longer have to press ‘Add Media’ button in order to insert media files. Users can simply drag and drop the image or any other media files they would like to insert into the post.

5. Live Preview Of Photo Galleries

In old version of WordPress, when users added a photo gallery in their post, all they saw was a placeholder box indicating where the photo gallery would be. Now, in new version, users will get a live preview of photo galleries while editing their post; therefore, they can see how their photo galleries will actually look on website when published.

6. Some other changes

Various other fantastic features in WordPress 3.9 update, which can be quite useful for you, are as follows:

  • With improved audio and video uploader in the new version, the users will be able to choose options like the poster image or add subtitles. Besides, they can show the player, instead of a placeholder.
  • In the new version, users can upload multiple audio/video files as well as add them as a playlist right from WordPress media uploader.
  • Now, users can edit images directly in the visual editor while working on their post. There is no need to leave the page and open up the image editing controls.
  • Inline image editing feature in the latest version adds so much functionality, especially for the less experienced computer users and bloggers.
  • If any user wants to test out video and audio playlists, then the links will appear in the media manager once they have uploaded an audio or video file.
  • The new version of WordPress provides HTML5 support for galleries and captions and now you can get rid of the mess of inline styles.

WordPress 3.9 will be a really great release with user interface enhancements and minor feature adds. The target release date of this new version is currently April 16, 2014 though it can be changed if new bugs come up in testing. With this new version, demand of WordPress website design & development has been increased, as the new version provides access to lots of effective plugins, easier internet marketing and attractive websites. Besides, with the help of WordPress customization, you can customize the look and feel of the website, so your brand can shine through on your website and offer a unique experience to the visitors.

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