The most recent WordPress version dubbed “Smith” was released last week and it involves a number of core changes.
The WordPress team worked primarily on admin and back-end editing functionality that included an update to their
We will give you a description of things you should be aware of regarding the changes introduced in WordPress 3.9.
The pre-existing widget interface did set the UI drag-and-drop standard when first introduced, but an update was overdue. With this update the WP Widget Customiser, which is a plug-in, is now built into the WP core.
Changes associated with this updated widget interface include:
The existing visual editor has been completely changed. It’s UI and underlying functionality have been completely revamped. They have updated TinyMCE, Plupload, and have added a button for horizontal lines. Relatively minor visual changes were made to numerous button icons as well.
The updated visual editor includes gallery previews, so you will no longer need to have boxes as place holders for your galleries. Galleries now have a live preview, similar to what exists for images and additional media.
There is also improved drag-and-drop functionality for the visual editor so images can be dragged directly from your desktop into a post. They will be formatted automatically to fit into the post.
You have the ability to preview themes in order to determine how differing themes may work on your site. This functionality has existed for quite some time and WP is now incorporating additional features into their framework.
In addition to the normal customisation options such as title, colour, and other theme definitions, you are now able to add widgets, re-order them, and determine how they’ll appear after you save them. Header image functionality has also been updated to provide additional flexibility.
The updated interface for installing themes is significantly improved in comparison to the old version. These updates will be quite noticeable to anyone who has installed a theme with prior WP versions. This interface has been completely revamped.
Several of the most commonly used themes are displayed within the “Featured” tab for rapid installation.
Additional tabs are also present for the latest and most popular themes. One other tab has also been added for the feature filter.
With WordPress 3.9 users now have the ability to create video and audio playlists. They function as a shortcode, similar to the way image galleries currently work.
The uploading of video and audio is done through the existing media uploader that is used with images and all other media. After they are uploaded you are provided with the ability to add your video and/or audio to a playlist.
One other helpful feature is that WP 3.9 will attempt to automatically load artwork for album covers making use of ID3 tags with your media files.
Theme and plugin developers will need to be aware of several important points. When you upgrade to WP 3.9, there will be four new utility functions:
To identify hooks in progress
To manipulate sizes of custom images
The following external libraries have also received updates:
There has also been an improvement in the database layer. It is more fault-tolerant and is more compatible with MSQL 5.6 and PHP 5.5. For instance, the PHP mysqli library is utilised when PHP 5.5+ is available. There has been an improvement in the autosave functionality as well.
Themes are now able to utilise HTML5 captions and galleries. This can be added to the functions.php file within your theme. Symlinked plugins are also an addition to WP 3.9. It was possible to use them in the past, but now it is supported fully.
If you develop plugins or themes, you should remember that your repositories need to be updated. In some instances you may only need to alter the “tested up to” strings. In other instances you might need to examine the core changes in greater detail.
Remember that upgrading your installation of WordPress is the best way to guard against hackers. As is always the case, be sure to perform a database backup prior to your update in case something goes wrong.