I hardly ever use WordPress’ visual editor. As a web developer, it just feels more natural and efficient for me to compose pages and posts in the HTML panel, manually adding the markup I need to give me the control I want.
But because WordPress makes publishing to the web so accessible to a wide audience of varying technical aptitude, I get how important the visual editor is. In fact, it was a fairly non-technical client that first pointed out to me that the visual editor on their site had stopped working after a recent WordPress upgrade.
A little research turned up lots of posts in the WordPress forums from people having the same issue, although I don’t remember any specifically attributing the problem to an upgrade. I just assumed some file used by the editor had gotten corrupted somehow and that it was an isolated incident. I found a solution suggested by someone in the forums, it worked, and I moved on to other projects.
Over the last few weeks however, I’ve upgraded around half a dozen other WordPress installations for clients and they’ve all had the same issue. After the upgrade, the “kitchen sink” (the visual editor toolbar) disappears and the tab that switches between the Visual and HTML views doesn’t do anything. You can’t view the page or post content in the Visual mode.
The original fix still works but it involves adding a line of PHP to the wp-config.php file. Not overly complex but also probably not something your average WordPress user wants to try to do themselves. Luckily I found another solution that solves the problem and actually has some added benefit as well.
So if you’re having problems with the visual editor after a WordPress upgrade, or if you’re just looking for an easy way to get a little performance boost, try the Use Google Libraries plugin. Search for ‘use google libraries’ from the Install Plugins control panel page or browse to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/use-google-libraries/ and download it directly from the WordPress Plugin Directory.