WordPress 3.9 – A Love Hate Relationship

WordPress 3.9 offered a lot of great updates to working with images including allowing users to drop images right in the editor and also resize images right in the visual editor.

With all the improvements, there is one big complaint among a large segment of the WordPress community (the size of that group is debatable) and that is over the removal of the input boxes for borders and margin in the image editor.

In past versions of WordPress, you could simply type numbers into the boxes and the editor would automatically add the code for the margins and borders. Pretty useful.
Wordpress Advanced Image Settings
I went to edit an image after updating to 3.9 and was a little surprised that the margin and border boxes were no where to be found. So I googled it and found a number of people complaining in the WordPress forums.

You can add this functionality back with a plugin but who one wants to add ANOTHER plugin on top of the 20 plugins they have running already?

Watch my video above to see the solution I came up with. This is how I will be styling my images going forward and it’s the “best practice” way to do it. I think this is what the WordPress developers are hoping people will do. The change was made is to the resulting website code cleaner by removing the inline styling and instead putting the styling into the CSS code. You can still use inline styling the same way but you’ll have to enter the code manually. Here’s a good description of how to do that from BobWP

Website CodeMany WordPress beginners aren’t happy because they don’t know CSS and like WordPress because it makes things really easy. I can’t say I blame them because I felt the same way.

The big question is this – Is WordPress really a platform for beginners? I don’t think so. It does make building a website pretty easy but I always tell people that they are going to want to know HTML and CSS to get the most of out WordPress.

If you want a simple drag and drop interface for building your site, there are some great website builder platforms out there.

But for those who want to stick with WordPress, watch my video above for a simple method of creating a few CSS classes to cover the most common image styles that you use one your website.


Here’s the code that I use on the video.


.imgupleft {margin: 0 20px 20px 0;}
.imgupright {margin: 0 0 20px 20px;}
.imgdownright {margin: 20px 0 0 20px;}
.imgdownleft {margin: 20px 20px 0 0;}
.img20 {margin: 20px;}
.img20zero {margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 20px;}
.imgzero20 {margin-right: 20px; margin-left: 20px;}


By adding this code to your CSS file, you will be able to utilize classes like “imgupleft” and “imageupright” to easily add the associated margins to your images. It can actually be easier than typing in borders and margins. You just need to decide beforehand what image styles you want to use and you can always add more classes to your CSS file in the future.

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  • Jerry

    Hi Ryan ! I appreciate your tutorial here, but it kind of leaves me hangin’. I want to use borders on images in WordPress.

    At 7:27/12:46, your video instructs, “Go to > Appearance > Editor, and whenever you’re editing in the editor, you want to use a child theme… I’m not going to cover how to do that in this video.”

    I can’t use the info you’ve provided on how to add borders and margins because I don’t know how to make a child theme (critcal missing step). Can you reccomend a tutorial on this subject ?

    Thank you !


    • http://WebEminence.com/ Ryan Bowman

      You can make the changes I described without using a child theme. You would just add the CSS to your style.css in your main theme file. But it’s always recommended to use a child theme when editing the theme files in case you mess something up. Then you can just delete the child file and revert back to the original theme.

      There are probably lots of videos on creating a child theme. I use the plugin One Click Child Theme to create it.

      And here’s a good description from the Elegant Themes blog:

      Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

  • keke

    thanks so much for your tutorial, problem is am trying to find out how to position a image on a slider thats not apart of the slideshow

    • http://WebEminence.com/ Ryan Bowman

      Not sure I understand what you’re saying, but if you want to overlay an image on top of a slider, you may look into absolute positioning. Research the CSS position property and absolute positioning.