Support » Fixing WordPress » How To Troubleshoot Visual Editor Issues

  • Okay.. I have seen a lot of people reporting various issues with the WordPress editor after updating to version 3.9.

    Remember… remain calm!! WordPress would not have released this update if there were problems with the core software. The update definitely works. BUT.. many themes and plugins have been affected by the update.

    Main Reason
    TinyMCE version 4. This is the software used to run the WordPress content editor. The framework has completely changed.. and most all plugins and themes which modified aspects of the tinymce editor will have to be updated. Plupload has also been updated.

    There have also been changes with how WP Galleries are handled, displayed, and processed.

    Empty your browser cache manually, and make sure to clear any caching plugin you are using in your WP admin panel. The content editor is notorious for serving cached files. Manually emptying and refreshing your browser cache may be the answer.

    So, what do you do if your editor is not loading properly??

    1. Deactivate all plugins.. yes, ALL plugins.
    2. Switch to the defualt 2014 theme… because we know it works.
    3. Manually empty and refresh your browser cache.

    These steps are VERY important.. and should be followed concisely!

    Now.. with NO plugins.. the default 2014 theme.. and a clean browser cache… go back and see if the editor loads properly.

    If Editor Loads Properly
    Now.. the editor should load properly. If it does not, skip to the next section.

    We have a working editor again; YAY! Now, we have to get our theme and plugins back.

    Testing Theme
    Start with your theme. Go back and switch to the theme you were using. Then, go back to the editor page. Test to see if the editor is still working properly.

    If it does not… you know the issue is with your theme.

    If it does… continue….

    Testing Plugins
    Now… let’s begin re-activating our plugins ONE AT A TIME. Each time we activate a plugin.. we are going to go back and see if the editor loads properly.

    If a plugin was at fault.. you will eventually find a plugin that causes the editor to load improperly. That is your faulty plugin. You will need to contact the plugin author and see if they are aware of the issue.

    Digging Further
    If you are feeling super savvy… you can dig into this further by exploring the browser console.

    99 out of 100 times the editor does not load properly.. it is a javascript issue of some sort. By using our browser inspection tools; we can usually see the issue in real time.. exactly as it is occurring.. and extract useful information for troubleshooting.

    This Codex Page has more information for how to troubleshoot these errors.

    If Editor Still Loads Improperly
    If, after all of these troubleshooting steps, the editor is still loading improperly… and there are no error or warning messages in the browser console… then something MUCH deeper is going on.

    You may need to manually re-update your WP installation… or work out another solution. In this case, I would suggest starting a new forum topic, explain everything you tried above.. and explaining any other important facts you can determine.

    I work in the editor extensively. I can assure everyone it works properly in WP 3.9. I see these issues all the time.. and 99% of the time, it is an incompatible plugin or theme.

    Hope this helps 🙂

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 44 total)
  • Thanks! I finally figured out the problem: ZipList’s plugin doesn’t want to play nice with the new upgrade. I’ve already contacted the author about the problem! 🙂

    If we switch from a premium theme to the standard 2014 theme then switch back, will everything be saved from our previous set-up?

    I run a credentialed hockey blog and cannot lose everything we have built so far.

    The only thing not working for me is the insert/edit link radio button in the editor. Think it might be related to my theme (megnet) needing to be updated.


    Thread Starter Josh


    If we switch from a premium theme to the standard 2014 theme then switch back, will everything be saved from our previous set-up?

    I cannot say with 100% certainty. Every theme is coded differently. However, if the theme is reputable.. and coded by a respectable author, who follows WP best practices.. then chances are you will not lose anything.

    I’ve seen most themes revert their widgets to the ‘unused’ section of widgets on the admin widgets page. Then, when you switch back, you just have to drag them back over to their appropriate sidebar locations.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Thread Starter Josh


    Thanks Ipstenu, I appreciate the recognition.
    Part of that came from you anyways 😉

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    Seriously, much thanks Josh. This is great.

    I really need help with my insert link issue. Still cannot get it to work. Its not the theme (tested plus had developer test).

    De-activated all plug-ins, cleared browser cache.

    This is the ‘inspect element’ in Chrome for the insert/edit link and remove link buttons.

    <div id=”mce_26″ class=”mce-widget mce-btn” tabindex=”-1″ aria-labelledby=”mce_26″ role=”button” aria-label=”Insert/edit link” aria-disabled=”false” aria-pressed=”false”><button role=”presentation” type=”button” tabindex=”-1″><i class=”mce-ico mce-i-link”></i></button></div>

    <div id=”mce_27″ class=”mce-widget mce-btn” tabindex=”-1″ aria-labelledby=”mce_27″ role=”button” aria-label=”Remove link” aria-disabled=”false” aria-pressed=”false”><button role=”presentation” type=”button” tabindex=”-1″><i class=”mce-ico mce-i-unlink”></i></button></div>

    My question about the media/visual editor is “where did the options for changing borders and spacing go?”

    I click on the image in my post, click on the pencil icon, click on the advanced menu drop down (where I would expect to find it), and it’s not there. Am I missing something?

    I just want to share that I have tried every single one of these fixes and none of them worked. I realize the support is offered by volunteers and for that I am thankful and deeply appreciative. And so what follows does not apply to you guys but instead, the people who push out code at WP.

    I find it absolutely ridiculous that WP would release 3.9 without offering some type of a warning that BASIC functions, like typing a post in Visual Editor may not work. And the “fixes” that have been suggested here and elsewhere work for some but not all. Even when these fixes do work, it seems like it is a major hassle that can severely damage the appearance and function of a site. I read one post here where someone had a site that was credentialed and that switching themes was a non-starter. Again – ridiculous that a drastic step like changing themes would even need to happen.

    What on earth were they thinking? I know I am not alone with this. This was just a gigantic mess and we now have a situation where a huge part of the blogging community cannot “post” because WP pushed out this version. It’s like telling people “Here is a new version of our paper product” and forgetting to tell people that “oh, your pen may not work.”

    And don’t we just love that on one day, we all upgraded to 3.8 and not just 24 hours later, 3.9 is pushed out.

    Sorry for the rant but my ability to use WP is completely stalled now. I know I am not alone. I truly hope someone reading this who pushes out the code reads this.

    Again, to the moderators here, you guys rock and I certainly am appreciative. Just wish the fixes mentioned worked for me (I really did try them all).

    Whoever is reading this from WP who creates the newer versions, please make sure that WP users see a warning of some type when they sign on to WP that advises them of major issues that “could” happen as a result of the upgrade.

    Thread Starter Josh


    Thank you for your thoughts. While I know you must be dealing with a great level of frustration (I know, I’ve been there before); there is a flip-side to everything.

    Scenario 1:
    Using WP in it’s ‘vanilla’ installation.

    If you used WP without any additional themes or plugins, I can assure you, there would be no issues.

    Scenario 2:
    The issues arise from the VAST numbers of themes and plugins out there. I develop many WP plugins, so I have experience here.

    Plugins tie, hook, filter, and otherwise modify basic WordPress core functionality.

    If these developers are not “on the ball”, and update their software accordingly.. things can train wreck rather quickly.

    WordPress developers send out notifications constantly to those who take the time to subscribe. I was aware of this update about 10 months before it occurred.

    I receive numerous emails from the dev group tracking progress and referencing closed trac tickets and lead developers posts.

    There are plenty of resources to see what’s going on “behind the scenes” of WordPress. A Google search should yield plenty of matches. If you’d like me to post some links, I’d be happy.

    I’m not trying to argue one side or the other… just offering my $0.02.

    Thank you for the kind compliments to the ‘mods’ 🙂


    Thanks and listen, I think you and all the mods are gold – for real. I also appreciate your perspective. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Truly!

    I am just going to wait and see a day or two and see what gets pushed out from my theme (Asteroid) and the connected plug-ins. Really not much else I can do.



    Thread Starter Josh


    My pleasure. And thank you for listening with open ears.

    Stick with it. In the end.. you’ll have a much stronger site.. and more experience from these difficult situations 😉

    Take care!

    Thanks ruralvic, that’s fixed my issue.

    Thanks also to everyone who helps here and to you Josh who sent me an email to get me to this thread.

    This is the tinyMCE error that my chrome console is showing but it does not specify a plug-in….anyone know what this means and how to decipher it?

    Deprecated TinyMCE API call: <target>.onNodeChange.add(..) plugin.min.js?ver=4021-20140412:1

    Thread Starter Josh


    The plugin.min.js part is what TinyMCE uses to namespace each tinymce addon (bold, italic, subscript, underline, etc.).

    But, what I don’t understand is why the adding of one of these plugins is triggered on onNodeChange. That’s almost a red flag to me.

    I don’t think WP (I could be wrong) would do that… so it almost certainly sounds like it’s coming from a plugin or theme.

    Did you go through my steps above? Do you receive this error AFTER you’ve deactivate ALL plugins; switched to the default 2014 theme; AND manually emptied your browser cache?

    EDIT: onNodeChange is, in fact, depracated. In the new TinyMCE framework, you would use something like:

    ed.on('NodeChange', function(e) {
        // your functions here

    So this MUST be coming from a plugin or theme.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 44 total)
  • The topic ‘How To Troubleshoot Visual Editor Issues’ is closed to new replies.