WordPress 3.8 Released with a New Theme, New Dashboard Design and More! - ManageWP

WordPress 3.8 Released with a New Theme, New Dashboard Design and More!

wordpressThe team at WordPress has just released the second update in their new plugin-first development process. WordPress 3.8, in keeping with the jazz musician theme, has been codenamed “Parker” for saxophonist, Charlie Parker.

I highly recommend you update the WordPress Core immediately. Not only will this give you access to the new features, it will also go some way to helping combat various security issues.

There are a few major enhancements in this version of WordPress. Parker comes with a several major improvements especially in its design elements. There is also a great looking new default theme, Twenty Fourteen.

Let’s take a look at a few of these new features.

The New Dashboard Design

overviewThe WordPress dashboard has been given a completely new and modern look. The design has taken away the multiple shades of grey that has been common for so long and instead replaced it with a bold, clean design.

The typography has been replaced with an Open Sans typeface to make the text far friendlier and cleaner. This improves both the mobile and desktop viewing experience.


Not only has the dashboard been given a design makeover, there is now a way to completely change the color scheme of the admin area on a per profile basis. With the addition of 8 new colorful options you can now make your dashboard a more personal experience.

The Twenty Fourteen Theme

twentyfourteenIt’s been a couple of versions since we were given a new default theme. However, the wait for Twenty Fourteen was absolutely worth it and I think this is the best default themes we’ve ever been given.

This is a really modern, clean and professional looking theme. It utilizes a left hand sidebar that can be used for navigation as well as standard widget usage.

There is an excellent featured content section that displays at the top of the home page. The items in this section can be managed using a single tag and can be styled to use a grid based post system or a slider.

It won’t be for everyone, but as with Twenty Thirteen, I’m happy to see Automattic making bold decisions with their default themes.

Other Features

Parker is packed with new features. The themes page allows you to quickly see all of your installed themes, and clicking on each one opens a window with greater detail about that theme. This makes the whole theme selection process much cleaner.

A great deal of work has gone in to improving the widget page in the dashboard. Previously, widget management was a little awkward. There was a lot of dragging items around the page. Now when you click on a widget you are given a list of locations it can be used. Simply clicking on that location will add the widget. You can then open that widgetized area and order them as normal.


This is a superb new version of WordPress and one I think everyone is going to enjoy. I highly recommend you install it as soon as possible and play around with the number of new features.

This update to 3.8 will not happen automatically as it’s a major software revision, so you will have to install it manually (or of course using ManageWP ;-)). You can download the update from WordPress.org.

Let us know what you think of Parker in the comments.

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy.co. He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!


  1. wpdil

    Its an awesome changes in wordpress. i think Every blogger like it.

  2. Maddy

    nice collection keep it up and thanks for sharing

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Maddy :-)

  3. Derek

    When we changed the header and saved it the preview shows the change but the website is still displaying the old header. Help?

  4. Megan Alvarez

    Hi Tom! Nice post. This new WordPress update is very nice and very attractive I may say. Can’t wait to try and explore it. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Megan :-) glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Darnell Jackson

    This is cool looks like the best update yet I’m still on an older version I’ll wait and hear what the initial feedback is from most bloggers and upgrade by the spring.

    Thanks for the preview.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Darnell!

  6. Keith Davis

    Hi Tom
    I’m pretty pleased with 3.8 and love the new interface.

    Behaps the best thing about updating WordPress, is how easy the process is, a real one click update.

    The only thing I hate about updating is having to make sure that everything is backed up first!

    1. Tom Ewer

      Good to hear Keith! :-)

  7. Ricky Onsman

    Of the 38 sites I manage (all through ManageWP, of course) the upgrade to 3.8 went smooth as a whistle. On 3 sites, though, each had their own little disasters: headers and footers gone, sidebars all over the place, one had all content disappear. It didn’t take too much trouble to fix, mostly wrestling themes and plugins into playing nice with WP 3.8, and 3 out of 38 is not as bad as it could be, but it definitely pays to keep your eyes open and see what effect the upgrade has had on your sites. Just glad I had ManageWP to help me through.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Glad to hear it Ricky! Always here to help :-)

  8. Authorselvi

    This really helped me a lot. I’ve been having problems with WordPress older version, it’s just seems so complicated. Now, I have wordpress 3.8 parker modern version to work on from your article.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Great to hear! :-)

  9. deprito

    When access dashboard with mobile phone, it’s very attracting :)
    Nice for WPdeveloper!

    1. Tom Ewer

      Glad you liked it deprito :-)

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