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What’s New in WordPress?

The Palomar College WordPress system was recently upgraded to version 3.8. Here is a list of the most significant changes:

New Look for the Admin Interface

WordPress 3.8 admin overview

The new WordPress 3.8 admin dashboard.

The most obvious change when first logging in to version 3.8 of WordPress will be the new appearance of the admin interface. The goal with the redesign was simplicity and clarity. To achieve those goals a more modern, uncluttered design was implemented. The new design, coupled with a new font and fewer colors, is easier to read and navigate.

As an added bonus, the admin interface is also now easier to use on tablets and smartphones. Now it is possible to manage a site while on the go.

Improved Theme Chooser

The redesigned theme screen.

The redesigned theme screen.

The themes page where you choose a new theme for a site (which can be found under Appearance -> Themes) has been redesigned. Much of the clutter has been removed in favor of larger preview images. When more information is wanted about a particular theme just click on the image to view the details.

Smoother Widget Experience

Widget management is now easier. While the drag and drop interface can be really intuitive, it was very difficult to use in themes that contained many widget areas. The new design makes better use of screen space and has an option to choose a specific widget area from a list when inserting a new widget.

New Default Theme: Twenty Fourteen

A preview of the new Twenty Fourteen theme.

A preview of the new Twenty Fourteen theme.

There has traditionally been a new default WordPress theme each year and this time around it is Twenty Fourteen. The Twenty Fourteen theme has a striking design that looks very much like an online magazine. It offers three widget areas and two page templates to customize the look of the site.

WordPress 3.8 is a big step forward in combining a simple interface with vast capabilities. What do you think of the changes? Leave a comment below and let us know.

New Plugin: Send to Kindle

The Send to Kindle Button enables your readers to send content to their Kindle devices and apps to allow them to continue reading later.

◾Readers can send posts to multiple Kindles at once.
◾Posts can be saved in the cloud and accessed anytime, everywhere.
◾Configure how the button will look and which page types it will appear on.
◾Use the shortcode [sendtokindle] to place a Send to Kindle button anywhere.

More information about the plugin can be found on the Send to Kindle WordPress page.

New Plugin: Graceful Pull-Quotes

Pull quotes are common in many print and online publications. If viewing this post directly on the website, you should see an example of a pull quote to the right of this paragraph. With the addition of the Graceful Pull-Quotes plugin to our WordPress system now anyone can insert one in their own posts and pages. This plugin is easy to use but does require switching over to the HTML view to add the appropriate code. The trick is to wrap the text that you want quoted in an HTML span tag with the pullquote CSS class applied. For those of you who are not familiar with HTML that may sound difficult but its actually easy to do. Here are step by step instructions (after you have activated the plugin for your site):

  1. While adding (or editing) a post or page, switch to HTML view using the tab at the top right of your editing area.
  2. Insert your cursor at the beginning of the text that is to be turned into a pull quote and add the following HTML code: <span class="pullquote">
  3. Insert your cursor at the end of the text that is to be quoted and add the following HTML code: </span>

The Graceful Pull-Quotes plugin will generate a nicely formatted pull-quote for your post or page. If there are multiple pull quotes, they will by default alternate between the right and left sides. Information about customizing the look and behavior of the pull quotes can be found on the Graceful Pull-Quotes notes page.

If any Palomar College WordPress users have questions about using the Graceful Pull-Quotes plugin you contact me at

New Plugin: Simple Footnotes

A new WordPress plugin called Simple Footnotes has been installed and is now available for use by any of the WordPress sites on the Pages system. As its name implies, the Simple Footnotes plugin makes it easy to add footnotes to any WordPress post or page. To use it, simply add the following shortcode to your text:

[ref]Add the text (or URL) you want in the footnote here.[/ref]

The code will insert a superscript number at the location of the shortcode and place the contents of the note at the footer of your page or post. Here’s an example of how it would look after publishing your content:

The superscript number at the end of this sentence is automatically generated because of the added shortcode. 1 The footnote at the end of this post is also automatically generated and placed in the correct location.

That’s all there is to adding a footnote in WordPress using the Simple Footnotes plugin. If you are interested in using it don’t forget to activate the plugin from your site admin Plugins area.


  1. This is a footnote.

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