Wordpress: Visual editor missing on Edit Page screen

Posted on 2014-08-13
Last Modified: 2014-08-17

I have been asked to update a Wordpress website to the latest version. However I am an inexperienced Wordpress user so this presents some challenges. I have copied the website to a test server ( so that I can experiment safely, but I am concerned that after updating the core Wordpress application from 3.3.1 to 3.9.2, there is no wysiwyg editor on the lower part of the Edit Page screen.

I will be using the wrong terminology here, so I have attached images to show you what I mean. One image shows what I call the top edit area of the Home page. It is blank (unused, for some reason) but has the wysiwyg editor available. The other two images show part of the lower edit areas, one for WP version 3.3.1 (wysiwyg editor present) and one for WP version 3.9.2 (HTML only - no nice, user-friendly tinyMCE type editor).
Upper area of the Edit Page screen in WP 3.9.2Lower area of the Edit Page screen in WP 3.3.1 (wysiwyg editor present)Lower area of the Edit Page screen in WP 3.9.2 (no wysiwyg editor)How do I get (or enable) a wysiwyg editor for the lower areas of the Edit Page screen in WP version 3.9.2?

Question by:Danimika
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    by:Tom Beck
    The TinyMCE editor was upgraded to v4 with Wordpress 3.9.1 and there have been many reported problems like this. You can Google it yourself, but the fix is the typical one for all WP problems; deactivate all plugins, revert to the generic 2014 theme. If the visual editor comes back under those circumstances, switch back to your theme, reactivate the plugins one at a time and re-test the visual editor. You may find that a certain plugin breaks the visual editor at which point you will need to look for an upgrade or replacement for that plugin.
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    I don't think that TinyMCE not appearing is because of a plugin or theme conflict in this case

    Those extra boxes ('Heading' and 'Content') aren't standard entries on a Wordpress installation - I think they're something that your specific theme gives you.

    What you call the 'upper area' is stock Wordpress, but your 'lower area' isn't - that's something that your theme is adding in.  TomBeck is likely right about the recent upgrade of Wordpress's use of TinyMCE for its own forms but I don't think that disabling plugins would bring it back - I think more likely the theme is referring back to the now-not-there older TinyMCE

    I know this isn't really points-worthy because it doesn't actually answer your question - I can't help in directing you what to change to make the new TinyMCE appear in those three bottom boxes, but I don't think it's worth trying to disable stuff.  If you change your theme those fields may not appear at all.

    As they're just there to control the three boxes along the bottom of your pages though, I'd guess you wouldn't change their content that often anyway - so although it's a winnable game if we dig, I wouldn't consider it one worth playing.  If it were my site I'd create a temporary page or post, use the WYSIWYG editor to format the text as I wanted it, view the HTML sourcecode and copy/paste it into one of those boxes.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thankyou Tom Beck and RedLondon for your feedback and advice. It is much appreciated and I understand the cause of the problem much better now.

    I am not good enough at Wordpress to dig around and change code to make the new TinyMCE appear in the bottom boxes, but I think it is important to have an up-do-date version of Wordpress so I will see if I can persuade my client to let me do the upgrade. (She is the one that has to do the editing, and I don't think she can cope with HTML!)

    RedLondon, I like your suggestion about formatting the text on a temporary page and pasting the source code into the required box. Maybe my client can manage that OK. Cheers, Danimeeka.

    Featured Post

    Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

    Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Introduction HyperText Transfer Protocol ( or "HTTP" is the underpinning of internet communication.  As a teacher of web development I have heard many questions, mostly from my younger students who have come to t…
    Foreword (May 2015) This web page has appeared at Google.  It's definitely worth considering! How to Know You are Making a Difference at EE In August, 2013, one …
    This video teaches users how to migrate an existing Wordpress website to a new domain. provides powerful tools for surveying targeted groups, and utilizing data from completed surveys to find trends, discover areas of demand or customer expectation, and make business decisions on products or services.

    729 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    19 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now