Introducing WordPress 3.8

December 12, 2013 · 33 comments

in WordPress

Introducing WordPress 3.8

wordpress logoWordPress 3.8


Today, WordPress 3.8 was released

3.8 is the first revision we’ve had in a long while that brings some very VISIBLE changes that you’re going to need to pay attention to so you don’t feel in your own dashboard!

If it feels like we “just had a new update” you’re right because we are now on this new accelerated release schedule that makes it easier for the WP community to do smaller more frequent updates rapidly. That was explained here.

This update will bring a lot of admin area of your site.  These changes include:

o Admin page coloring changes (courtesy of the integrated MP6 plugin).  You’re likely to find that you like the custom color schemes available as part of your admin user profile. 

o Dashboard layout changes (courtesy of the integrated DASH plugin).

o Also changed is the widgets area (courtesy of the integrated widgets area chooser plugin

o And the integrated THX38 plugin and activated. 

(When I say these are now integrated it means that they became part of the main core code and you will not see them in your plugins area but that they were originally plugins at one time.)

I’ve invited my colleague MaAnna from BlogAid to introduce you to these changes. I’ll go over some of these points in more depth later this week. 

As you can see, this is a VERY visually rich change that is going to take some getting used to! 

My standard recommendations apply here: 

o Wait exactly a week before upgrading – but not more than a week – to balance out the risk of upgrade issues with the risk of getting hacked if you don’t upgrade.

o Upgrade your plugins and themes BEFORE updating the core files. If a plugin is going to break WP it’s likely an old version – give the developer a chance to have handed you an upgraded copy before you install WP and then find yourself in limbo. Almost all failed upgrades come from theme and plugin incompatibilities. 

o Backup both posts/pages (database) and images/themes (contents) using a high quality plugin such as BackUpBuddySave 40% off BackupBuddy or anything iThemes sells through December 31. Use coupon code: HOLIDAY40

o Our team offers backup and upgrade services if you feel stuck – so there is no reason to wait more than the week. 

o You can view the official release notes here if you like. 

According to one WP group: “If you use WordPress and use Thesis theme (even customized themes), DO NOT upgrade to WordPress v3.8 until you hear further. There is a glitch in Thesis that needs to be fixed first. Chances are high that you will BREAK your website.”

Got questions? I’m here to help!

Let me know what you think!

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: If you’re a subscriber to the WP video library, you will be getting updated training videos that cover these changes soon. 

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Suresh Khanal December 12, 2013 at 5:59 am

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the news. Looks WordPress is going to improve impressively. I guess a bit more life is added to 3.8 dashboard? It was the least cared if looked through design and visual pleasant view.

Kudos to your suggestion to wait for at least a week. I’ve already suffered in earlier updates and this time I’m not going to update without taking a working backup first :D


Shan December 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

So, they’ve dispensed with the auto-updates already?
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Kim Castleberry December 13, 2013 at 5:26 am

Auto-updates are only for “point releases” aka “minor releases” such as the jump from 3.7 to 3.7.1. It will not make the jump to 3.8 due to that being a major/primary update. These primary updates are way more likely to break things so the auto-update tools are configured to leave that to the blogger. There is a code tweak you can make to force it to do major updates I’m told but I don’t chance that (even though I have autoupdate enabled for point releases).


Toby Elwin December 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Thanks for the preview and advice, greatly appreciated.

I am comforted when I take your lead on these updates/upgrades.


Julieanne van Zyl December 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Looks great, especially the widgets, I don’t like dragging and dropping. Will be interesting to see if it works with the dynamic widgets plugin I like so much. I’m going to back up and update tomorrow. Thanks Kim!
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marquita herald December 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Great video and overview – I especially found the review of changes to the widget area helpful because I use that quite a lot. Hopefully as this roles out there will be few bugs to deal with.
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Jane December 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Thanks SO much for the details Kim. When I got the update notification in my dashboard, I started typing just-ask-kim on my address bar. I knew you would be the first to share something on the topic.

I like the new update, given that there are nice visual features.


Kim Castleberry December 13, 2013 at 5:24 am

Awww, your so sweet Jane <3 You’ve been in my thoughts a bunch this week and I hope you’re starting to feel better. If ya need anything gimme a shout.


Jane December 14, 2013 at 1:32 am

Hey Kim, I’m improving. But the whole process is a lot frustrating and takes forever – given that its December!

Thanks for your love gal :)


Biswajit December 13, 2013 at 1:29 am

Thank you Kim for this article. I like it.


Sirangi Kalpana December 13, 2013 at 3:22 am

Wordpress is considered as one of the best platform for blogging. And this new wordpress 3.8 looks awesome a great review….


Donna Merrill December 13, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Kim,

I usually follow that golden rule to wait a while, but the service that is handling this for me updated me today.

So far so good I must say. I loving all the different colors and there are quite some new changes I need to get used to…..once again!

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Cherrie Bautista December 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm

But, but I just updated my theme two days ago… and I did it manually, which is like installing a new theme! Could it be that my theme has another update coming for the 3.8 WP version? Oh well, the joys of blogging… Love the sneak peek video. I feel like the change is similar to the ios7 update in iPhones, totally new look and feel.
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Rick Lelchuk December 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Terrific info, Kimberly. Time to gird my loins, make my backups and upgrade. Thanks to all those folks on for being our test bunnies. Much appreciated.


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Dr. Erica Goodstone December 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Hi Kim,

I knew you would have something to say about this new upgrade. Since I was hacked into just last week (and possibly because I had not upgraded a few plugins and WP on some of the sites/Optimize Press sales pages that I rarely use, I decided to just do it. I started with those lesser sites and one got stuck in Maintenance mode for quite some time, meaning it just showed that message “Maintenance Mode.” I thought it might be permanently damaged, but it finally got installed. Then, I moved on to the others.
I do need to back up one of my sites.

BlueHost does back up files but is that enough? Is BackUp Buddy complicated?



Samuel Jeffery December 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for this great review for Wordpress 3.8. I think this is the sleekest interface I’ve seen and I’m loving the new changes and look.


Sarupa Shah December 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

Kim…seems like Birds on the Blog have upgraded and I love it…it seems much faster and less clunky…I can’t wait for the upgrade on my site now too!!! Never thought it would happen but I guess my inner geek is reveling in all this and loving it ;)
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Kyle Nelson December 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Thanks for always having fresh updates about wordpress updates. I know when i see a new update roll out my first thing is to jump over to your blog to see what the news about it is :)

Thanks Kim!
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Chery Schmidt December 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Hi Kim! I was going to go tonight and do an upgrade on my whole blog as I noticed yesterday that I did indeed get a few notices I guess you are saying though here that I should wait a 5 or so days. HUH?

I did just write this into my to do list for Friday. Thanks for all you do Kim!! Happy Holidays My Friend! Chery :))
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Ashton Dawson December 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hi Kim,
I am having trouble just processing the 3.7 Wordpress update. It always breaks my site when I try to update. I have tried to update three times already, and it is still breaking my site, even with the default theme, and the latest plugins. Version 3.8 seems like a great upgrade, but how can I use it if 3.7 won’t even update? If you have advice for me please, let me know. Thanks,


Kim Castleberry January 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Ashton, did you get this sorted yet? If it’s still going on, please elaborate on “breaks my site” and the things you’ve tried.


Ashton Dawson January 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

I haven’t gotten this sorted out yet. I tried the manual update procedures given by Wordpress, and i also tried the automatic update. When my site, “breaks,” I lose everything on my blog site, and it becomes inaccessible to me.


Rachel Lavern December 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I like the new dashboard design–it is more modern and visually appealing. I plan to upgrade my sites this week (except for the two using the Thesis theme).

We were also happy that the new version is named ‘Parker’ in honor of Charlie Parker, the legendary saxophonist!
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Sharing Mart December 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I am feeling so much happy after upgrading to Wordpress 3.8. Thanks for your nice information. Should take backup before upgrading to 3.8. It will save your precious content.


Rebekah Radice December 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I don’t make an update to my site without reading your synopsis of the Wordpress changes first.

Thanks for always offering your perspective and clearly spelling out what these changes mean. I’m off to backup and update. :)
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Anonymous December 16, 2013 at 3:58 am

I am planing to update my website this month. I like the new dashboard it is appealing.


Pau December 16, 2013 at 4:01 am

Thank you for all the info and the heads up! I will be a lot less confused now when I upgrade my wordpress, and I will be sure to make some backups before hand.
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Himanshu December 17, 2013 at 5:27 am

hello Kim,

It is my first visit on your blog, very nice & unique design. WordPress 3.8 is one of the best update which I have seen..

I am fully agreed with your recommendations, we should update our plugins before upgrading to the latest version. I have discussed this issue with my friends but many of them did not take this thing seriously.

I just got your blog from one of the best WordPress Facebook group. I will follow you for further WordPress updates..

Thanks for sharing this update news with us. happy blogging.. :)
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Konstantin December 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

Thanks for the comment about upgrading plugins before WP. Not too keen on the new admin look are you? It’s not as easy to read – it’s all so big and has a lot of spacing!


Jim Kansas December 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Wow, another update – hope it lives up to your great review! Most looking forward to how the widgets are going to work. Thanks again.


Jazib December 18, 2013 at 4:37 am

you are really helpful.
Word press new version launched..
I think still much needed changes it lacked,


Eldon Beard December 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

I always wait at least a week, sometime longer, before applying these updates. So far I’ve never had issues with anything “breaking”, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I have heard of “Backup Buddy” but use a different backup method that is likely more complex. Would love to hear your comments on the BB plugin.
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Burguera December 22, 2013 at 7:08 am

Thanks for your information. I run my blog on wordpress and I am always afraid of changing upgrading the version. With your comments is is easier to decide.


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