WordPress 3.9, the newest version of WordPress. Bleh. Don’t get me wrong, I still love WordPress and I’ll still use it, but that was one major update with some changes that really threw me. I took a bit of time tonight to outline some of the new WordPress 3.9 Features and a work around to fix an issue that has been bugging me since the update.
The new interface? Love it. I love the color options for the admin area. ( Users -> Your Profile) Coffee and Ocean are my favorites. The look feels nice and clean and easy to use.
Images and Media
WordPress has brought you the ability to edit photos right on your site. Once you upload an image, you can rotate it, crop it, and scale it. You can apply your changes to all image sizes, just the thumbnail or all image sizes except the thumbnail. (When you upload an image, WordPress automagically creates a few different sizes of that image for you.) These edits can be done in the Media area or in the posting box while you’re writing a post.
You can now drag and drop images right into your blog post! They’ll uploaded to your site. Instead of using the insert image button, just drag the image, or images, straight from your folder into the box.
I don’t create many galleries in default WordPress, but if you do, you’ll love this. Instead of just a placeholder for your gallery, you’ll see a gallery preview. This is, of course, if you aren’t using a gallery plugin or a theme that supports galleries such as ProPhotoBlogs. No more guessing or hitting edit just to see what you may have included in your gallery.
Here’s a feature that seems neat, but I don’t know that it would be widely used. When you upload videos and audio files, you can now create playlists and insert that into your posts and pages. I highly recommend that you use Youtube for your video files, for SEO reasons and to save space on your own website. I am one of those that gets very irritated at audio on webpages so I don’t recommend you do any auto play audio files. And, of course, you have to consider copyright issues. But, if you created your own audio files and want to share your own playlist, you have that ability now. You won’t see this feature unless you upload audio or video.
You know something has to be bad. Not everything in life is perfect in every way. What do I miss most about the new WordPress? This right here, the ability to edit images settings in the posting screen.
In the old version on the right, you click edit on an image in the posting screen, click over to the Advanced Settings and you can add a border, add space between images, resize the image, just about everything you need to get your image looking good within your post. Ok, so you couldn’t crop, but does anyone really upload an image that needs cropped?!
One of my clients had some issues with font sizes. She likes to easily change the size of some text within her posts. To be fair, she was using a plugin for that feature and didn’t realize it 😉 In her case, I simply needed to go in and redo some settings in the plugin. Which is when I found the fix for my little issue.
I’m about to recommend you install the same plugin. Why? Because it has helped in formatting posts and if you add one little feature you will get the ability to add border and spacing to your images returned. Yay! What’s the plugin? TinyMCE Advanced.
Install and activate that little plugin then go to Settings -> TinyMCE Advanced. This little plugin allows you to add, remove and rearrange all of the little buttons on your editor. All you do is drag and drop the buttons you want. Drag and drop. Easy.
First, if you like using different sized fonts, drag the Font Sizes button where you want it. Next, drag up the Edit Image button (my favorite)! You’ll see there are a lot more options you can play with. Remember to keep it simple, you don’t need all of those. I personally feel Text Background color looks tacky, you don’t need it. I also doubt you’ll need a print button. I don’t know why you would print your own blog post.
I’m going to leave it at this. What have you found that you love/hate with the new WordPress? Writing this post, I used the drag and drop feature for images. I don’t normally keep my image folder open, but if I did, I can see where this would be a nice feature. If I could remember to stop closing the folder. Give me your frustrations and let’s see if we can find a work around for you like I did with the images for me.