Finally, something to look forward to on April 15th. While still in development, that’s the release date for WordPress 3.9 (no code name yet).
There’s always a chance that a major update will not be compatible with customized WP sites and plugins. When the 3.9 update does becomes available, Pixel Juice will backup and test all WordPress sites with service plans prior to applying the update.
TinyMCE Editor Updated
WordPress uses an open source WYSISYG (what -you-see-is-what-you-get) editor called TinyMCE. This has been updated in WordPress 3.9 and features a cleaner, less cluttered design.
The “Paste from Word” button (never 100% successful) will no longer be needed and so will disappear from the editor. Pasting a block of text from Word will no longer leave you with a mess caused by crappy Microsoft code that copy/pastes along with your text.
You will also be able to preview image galleries within the editor.
Note: On some of our WordPress builds, we’ve used plugins to add functionality to the editor. The TinyMCE Advanced plugin added buttons for tables, horizontal rules, find/replace and more. This plugin is not currently expected to work with the WordPress update and should auto-deactivate.
The new drag-and-drop function may be the best new function. With the update, you will be able drag-and-drop images directly into the post editor without having to click on “Add Media.” The media uploader then pops up so you can add captions, set a link, change image size, etc.
New Widget Interface with Live Previews
The Widget Customizer plugin is being merged into the WP core. Widget editing with live previews will now be a native part of WordPress publishing. Widgets will be edited and previewed in real time from the Customizer screen, without having to save a widget and refresh the website to see how it looks on the front end.
The Widget Customizer also has the ability to upload, crop and manage header images.
WordPress 3.9 includes the ability to create audio and video playlists. You can upload multiple audio/video files and add them to a playlist from the media uploader, all very much like adding images to create a gallery.
Note: Like video, audio files should still be encoded outside of WordPress in multiple formats. Blame the lack of standardization (think VHS vs Betamax) amount the browsers. Encoding files in mp3, ogg and wma ensures that these files will playback as intended no matter the browser the user employs.