I know what you’re thinking. “Hang on, Ipstenu… You told us about 3.7 just a couple months ago! What’s wrong here!?”
Intentionally, WP developers were working on 3.7 and 3.8 at the same time. So while 3.7 had a set of goals, 3.8 had a different set, and … well it was complicated to work on, but we did it!
Once it’s released (expected tomorrow morning, Pacific time), we’ll start pushing out the new version for everyone on a One Click Install. You will not have WordPress auto-upgrading itself like it did for 3.7.1, as the internal auto-upgrader is for MINOR releases only.
Unlike 3.7, where the changes were hidden behind a curtain, you can’t miss what’s new in WordPress since the whole admin dashboard got done-over. Don’t think that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of code fixes. Security fixes, tweaks to lingering memory issues, a little more PHP security, and the usual speedups. There have been very few bug reports that weren’t cosmetic, just to break your brain a little.
So here’s what I think you guys will like the best:
Snazzy New WordPress Dashboard:
Modern New Design!
The backend of WordPress had work done. A nip here, a tuck there. With rigorous testing via the MP6 plugin we now have a responsive, high contrast, easier to read admin. This means the WordPress dashboard is now far more accessible than it has been in the past, and includes new color schemes for even more flexibility. Can’t read black backgrounds? We have red and blue, as well as the ability to extend into purple, green, brown, and anything else you can think of.
You on your iPad and your best friend on the Surface will now enjoy the same, awesome experience writing posts for WordPress. While WordPress has been Retina ready since 3.5, we’ve now eliminated blurry edges with vectors and font icons (which you can use on admin pages for your themes and plugins). Plus the home page on the dashboard is 40% the size of 3.7, speeding your experience every step of the way.
Refined Theme Management!
No more squinting to see if the screenshot of the theme is what you wanted! With our new theme interface, you can easily visualize your installed themes. You may not notice it right away, but the theme installer has also gotten more than just a fresh coat of paint. It too is faster, cleaner, and easier to read.
Widgets, Widgets, Widgets!
Finally editing your widgets will be a responsive environment. No more of the “Drag-drag-drag. Scroll-scroll-scroll.” experience, now the widgets flow logically, shrink and expand, and space is not wasted. Bonus feature: click-to-add means it’s now even easier for you to adjust your widgets on a touch-screen device (we said it was device friendly, didn’t we?).
The New Default Theme:
In 3.7, WordPress released the Twenty Thirteen theme, which was a bold and colorful choice for a default theme, and most noticeably NOT generic. Gone were the days of “A theme anyone can use for anything!” and embraced was the idea that a default theme does not need to meet everyone’s every need. Twenty Thirteen was a blogging theme, but Twenty Fourteen is a magazine-style theme. With Twenty Fourteen, we stepped up the game and made a striking design that does not compromise WordPress’ trademark simplicity. Twenty Fourteen is the most intrepid default theme yet.
But I Have A Problem!
Flush your cache first on your browser, as well as any plugins (DreamPress, this means you too with the Varnish plugin). While it’s unlikely, it’s still possible that something’s holding on tight to JS and CSS. A hard flush of the cache is always a good idea here.
If you have weird errors like you can’t drag and drop menus or widgets, it’s probably a jquery conflict, which is sadly related to themes and plugins. That means you’ll have to do the old standard: turn off all your plugins. Given that there are 28,000 plugins hosted by WordPress.org alone, it’s impossible to test everything and every combination. If you find there’s a problem, remember to report it to the plugin/theme developer so the next guy is okay.
I know it sucks to have to turn off your plugins and such, but it’s all we’ve got so far.
I found a broken theme/plugin!
Tell the developer ASAP. Go back to wherever you got the theme/plugin and there should be a support link somewhere on the page. If not, I generally take that as a sign I’m using the wrong plugin/theme.
That said, give them some time. While many devs have tested on the beta and release candidate versions, it’s really time consuming to do all that and it’s easier than you think to miss things. Remember, your devs are people too!