There are so many reasons to love WordPress . From the user-friendly interface to the thousands of widgets, from the enhanced functionality to the vast and helpful community, really there is so much to adore. One thing makes it extra appealing to me tho – the developers seem to love jazz music just as much as I do and they acknowledge that by naming their updates after well-known jazz musicians. WordPress 3.9 is no difference – coming out with code name “Smith” it is a wink to the infamous Jimmy Smith, who was the revolutionary behind the strong use of the organ in jazz. Just like he brought such colorful diversity in music, WordPress 3.9 wants to be the innovator in website building.
So what are the changes in WordPress 3.9?
The question is seemingly easy, but seeing that there are over 200 new adjustments to our beloved CMS it will take a significant amount of time to encompass them all. And lets be honest, many of them we really don’t use or care about. I often refer to myself as a “tech cripple” so most of it looks to me like Egyptian hieroglyphics anyway. So lets browse through some of the more attractive and practical changes that we can all understand and appreciate.
For starters there are very neat advancements in the visual editor TinyMCE. The new version 4 is faster and easier to access and operate from mobile devices. There is now a drag-n-drop function for uploading files (also work for batches of files) and you can view your images just like they would appear in your gallery before you upload them. Altering image size and dimensions, rotating, adjusting colors, now all is done conveniently from the editor.
The new version now uses MySQLi for websites using PHP v. 5.5 and upwards. For the ones looking puzzled, MySQLi stands for MySQL Improved and serves as a driver extension to the well-known database type. It is believed to have much more enhanced capabilities and faster performance than the previous PHP MySQL driver.
Another step forward is the improved widget customization. WordPress 3.9 comes with two in-built plugins – Better Widgets and Widget Customizer, which for me came as a breath of fresh air after the somewhat plain outlook and stiff browsing in this section. In the new editor you can quickly check the result of adding, changing and removing widgets. As if it wasn’t enough, you can even change the header image of your chosen theme from there.
The new version is really special for me as WordPress finally heard my prayers and introduced easy creation of audio and video galleries apart from the standard image ones. I literally spent 3 hours only on this feature, adding, editing, tweaking, basically turning it inside out. And I love it, I really do. Sure, there is some room for improvement there but the first step has been made and that is good enough for me.
WordPress 3.9 has now been seen, tested and thoroughly enjoyed in the WebHostFace office. Our servers seem to get along with it quite nicely too already hosting some new client website creations. Join the fun and ensure a great environment for your blog with us 🙂