WordPress 3.9 Coming April 16: Here’s What’s New

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WordPress 3.9 is currently in its third beta and, according to the company, is scheduled to be officially released to all users on April 16th.

If your blog or website runs on WordPress, updating to the latest version is always recommended. With that being the case, we wanted to give you a brief overview of some of the main new features you can expect to see when version 3.9 comes out next week.

Live Theme Previews

Making a change to your WordPress theme, saving it, and then refreshing your browser window to view the changes is a thing of the past. Now you can see what everything looks like before it goes live. Under the Appearance > Themes > Customize page in the admin system you can now “Live Preview” themes.

You can also tweak all customizable assets in your theme, like widgets, while in Live Preview mode. While in Live Preview mode you also have the ability to upload, crop, and manage header images, and see how the image looks with the rest of your site before going live with it.


A Slew of New Image-Related Features

Drag and Drop Images
Now you can simply drag and drop images into the visual editor section while you’re writing a post, WordPress will automatically upload that media to your site. This is sure to be a tremendous time saver, especially if you use a lot of images in your posts.

Better Image Editing
Edit images directly in the visual editor while working on your post. No more having to leave the page and open up the image editing controls.

Live Preview Of Photo Galleries
Before, when you added a photo gallery to your post, all you saw was a placeholder box indicating where the photo gallery would be. Now you get a live preview of photo galleries while editing your post, so you can see how they will actually look on your site when published. 

I’m excited for this update as it offers a lot of new features designed to make lives easier for those who use WordPress on a regular basis. There are also some new features available for WordPress developers as well. For a full list of new features, including screenshots, please visit WPBeginner.


Matt Southern
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in... Read Full Bio
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  • Awesome! I’ve never really used the visual editor, I think this will make me use it more!

  • That’s really interesting… Of course, we also use WordPress themes for our websites.

  • Awesome features, Customization of widgets Live. Amazing 🙂

  • Has this already been rolled out in some places? One of the WordPress accounts I use already has a batch of new stuff. I must say, if this is the new picture editing thing then it’s a disaster. The quick resizing options have been removed. Hopefully these new features correct the issue, as opposed to implementing it. Innit.

  • Robert Reed

    WordPress is just getting better and better. These new features are really good ones, especially the gallery live preview and the new image editing feature. Image editing is a bit complicated now, I think.

  • Nice features, but why to take all that time to come up with such an abusive features? editing the pictures are the most useable one i think.

    the miss according to me is the auto-update feature, though it came a bit earlier, it just makes it unpleasant to have to edit the htaccess file for it to not do so, i ran into some issues when some of the plugins were´nt compatible with the updated version.