The WordPress.org team has announce that version 3.9 of the popular CMS is in its third beta, and is tentatively scheduled to release on or around April 16.
Interestingly, the 3.9 update follows closely on the heels of the WordPress 3.8.2 security update
, an update that the WordPress Security Team characterized as “an important security release for all previous versions
” (emphasis added). WordPress users are strongly encouraged to update their sites in order to be protected from potential malicious attacks.
The WordPress Security Team obviously felt strongly enough about the security measures implemented in version 3.8.2, that they wanted to put out an immediate update, rather than waiting a week-to-10-days for the point-release update of WordPress 3.9.
If you have not already updated to WordPress 3.8.2, the security team says that the important security issues addressed in that patch are also included in version 3.9. There is no need to “stair-step” your updates to 3.8.2, and you can update directly to 3.9 if you wish.
WordPress version 3.9 includes several new features that are sure to please WordPress users, both new and longtime WordPress veterans alike.
For starters, you will no longer have to refresh your browser window every time you make a change in order to actually view those theme changes. As Search Engine Journal reported in an article
this week, “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.”
The report goes on to say that “all customizable assets in your theme,” such as widgets, can also be adjusted while in the newly enhanced live preview mode.
WordPress 3.9 will also include enhancements for:
• Drag and drop images
• Improved image editing
• Live preview of photo galleries
• Audio / video playlists
• Improved theming screen
The 3.9 update also includes several improvements for WordPress developers, particularly for plugin authors. The WordPress Core team said in a statement that TinyMCE received a major update. Also, WordPress 3.9 now uses the MySQLi Improved extension for sites running PHP 5.5.
For more information on the pending WordPress 3.9 release, you can visit the WordPress Core Developer blog here