Update Alert! WordPress 3.9 Has Landed

After the facelift of WordPress 3.8 (Parker), can we expect another dramatic update? Let our Technical Director David Bova talk you through the ins and outs of this latest WordPress update.

We use WordPress extensively at Parachute – we love it, and so do our clients. Here we take the chance to look at the latest update which was released on the 16th of April.

Many of our clients welcomed the last major update to WordPress with open arms – one of the most noticeable updates in a long time. Finally the fresh UI of arrived, and brought with it many new time-saving features in its hugely improved user experience, strong typography, flat colours and responsive design.

With 3.9 now live, the differences are much more subtle, but there are still some great features to make the experience of updating your website easier and more pleasurable, with most of the updates centred around the Content Editor.

Audio/Video Playlists

WordPress has been a little awkward and slow in delivering easy ways to inject Rich Media. With the wealth of content available, and the ease of production, sharing it with the world is not something WordPress has ever been very good at without adding a plugin.

The tide may be changing with the ability to upload Audio and Video Playlists in much the same vein as Media Galleries. Hitting the Add Media button brings up more options, and allows you to easily create your own Playlists. Bulk Uploading Video and Audio is also a breeze.

Improved Image Editing

Image editing isn’t very intuitive or obvious, which is a shame considering all the great 3rd party plugins out there. Editing your image, be it cropping or resizing, is now possible in the content editor itself by dragging the edges. Also more comprehensive editing can be done in the popup modal box rather than going to the Media page, making it much more noticeable.

Live Gallery Preview

In the past when Image Galleries were added, there was no real way to get any idea of how they would sit in your WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. A Yellow box would appear, not even allowing you to refer to what images may be lurking in a post. This is a simple but welcome addition.

Drag and Drop in Visual Editor

Dragging and Dropping via the Image Upload popup box has been a huge time saver, and this has been improved further. You no longer need the additional click to Add Media.

Just drag your image into the content editor, and the image will upload into place. You can even drag and drop from most elements in your Google Chrome web page!

Improved Content Editor

Being open source, WordPress’s Core relies on the integration of many other developers work, and with the update of TinyMCE, the WYSIWYG editor, this is carried through. The latest version arrives and looks much cleaner and less cluttered. The Paste from Word button is now finally removed, due to the improved handling of text from Word Documents.

Theme Previewer

If you’ve ever wanted to test drive a theme, but didn’t want to commit to save any embarrassment from broken elements and general weirdness, the Live Theme Preview is for you! Download the theme and you’ll be able to get a site preview, while your visitors are none the wiser.

Lastly, the new version comes with lots of Security updates. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep all your websites and software up to date as much as possible.

If you need any advice or help in upgrading to get all these new features and to keep your site secure, get in touch at

So there we have it. Another milestone in the life of WordPress. Tweet Us and let us know what you think, and also what features you’d love to see implemented next!

photo credit: Phil Oakley via photopin cc