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WordPress 4.0 “Benny” released with minor updates and some quirks

WordPress 4.0 Released with some minor feature enhancements

Usually a .0 release of any software indicates some major changes have gone on under the hood.  That’s not really the case with WordPress 4.0.  Mostly, users will notice an improved post creation process (especially as embeds (like from youtube, twitter, etc) now appear live instead of requiring you to ‘preview’ or ‘publish’ your post to see them) —

WordPress 4.0 has also made some improvements to the Media Manager, including an infinite visual scroll through all of your items, and it is much easier to edit things like title, alt, caption, description, etc for your images although you still cannot change the filename (which frustrates the heck out of me since the filename still plays an important part in SEO).

As always, backup your database before upgrading to WordPress 4.0 and check to see whether the plugins that are critical for your blog are compatible with the newest version of WordPress (if they’re not, you’re probably better off holding off on upgrading as there’s little mention in the release notes about there being any major security updates with this particular release..)

Unfortunately, I’ve been experiencing a number of problems with WordPress 4.0

I did the upgrade on this particular blog without following my own advice (although I did backup my db) and have already noticed that the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast isn’t functioning properly.  Oh yay, can’t wait to see what else is broken.  I’m not overly concerned, though, as the plugins I use tend to be regularly updated, and WordPress SEO by Yoast is certainly no exception.

I’ve encountered some problems with embeds.  Unfortunately when using short codes for some embeds like:

[wpvideo bUdzKMro]

which I copied directly from the wordpress.org site’s video’s “Share in WP Post” feature) not only is there no such “live preview” but the video isn’t even embedded in the published post which doesn’t really make much sense to me… In order to provide you with the video describing all the new ‘features’ of WordPress 4.0, I had to click on the “Text” tab in the editor and then paste the HTML for the video:

<embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://s0.videopress.com/player.swf?v=1.03" width="400" height="224" wmode="direct" seamlesstabbing="true" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" overstretch="true" flashvars="guid=bUdzKMro&amp;isDynamicSeeking=true"></embed>"

And even then, once I switched back to the “Visual” tab in the editor, there was simply a placeholder for the video – not a live preview…and even worse, when I published the post, the video shows up simply as a big empty spot as you can see at the end of this post!

I’ve also found some problems with linking — when I highlight the text I want linked and click on the hyperlink button in the Visual editor’s toolbar, nothing happens.  So I can’t link without actually editing the HTML, which REALLY SUCKS.  I do not know if this is a problem across all WordPress 4.0 installs, or if one of my plugins is causing this odd problem, and unfortunately right now I don’t have time to investigate as I’m very busy painting a commissioned pet portrait of a standard poodle who, sadly, has recently passed and I need to make sure it perfectly reflects his spirit.

Here’s where the video should appear but does not in the preview, AND on the published page it displays the WRONG video (a VideoPress demo instead of the WP 4.0 demo – don’t know if the share feature provided me with the wrong code to embed or what the deal is there…) plus I wasn’t even able to view the video in fullscreen:

Recommendation: Don’t Upgrade to WordPress 4.0

UPDATE:  I have now upgraded all of my sites to WordPress 4.0 for quite some time (seemed important for security reasons, even if it was quirky).  While in honesty I haven’t had much time to recreate the problems I initially experienced here on How to Blog, I have found it to be running smoothly and working well on all of my sites.  If you haven’t upgraded yet, you most definitely should.

In conclusion, based on solely my own personally experiences (and I haven’t even really spent much time with it), I would recommend holding off on upgrading to WordPress 4.0…  I’ve experienced the above-mentioned WordPress 4.0 problems on OS X Mavericks in both Safari and Chrome.  Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that at this time…

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