WordPress 5.8, and the journey continues. As per reports, 42% of all websites powers by WordPress, and the most popular CMS in the world – WordPress – is constantly evolving. After WordPress 5.7, there are again numerous innovations in this second major release for 2021! Originally four majors were planned, but the main version, 6.0, is not scheduled for 2022.
The use is made more user-friendly and also easier for laypeople. After the Gutenberg editor, which was introduced in 2019, has established itself, the new major release of WordPress 5.8 will again feature helpful features and improvements that simplify the creation of various pages and the design of blog articles.
WordPress 5.8 was finally released today, on July 20, 2021, as last planned. The aim was to combine the first version of Full Site Editing (FSE) in the WordPress core. Full Site Editing means, in particular, that all site elements can be created with Gutenberg blocks – with this release now also the widget elements. Furthermore, some improvements and new functions include block updates, new design blocks, WebP image support, and even better full site editing.
We have compiled the most exciting changes and a small roadmap for the new features in this post.
Roadmap WordPress 5.8 Release
WordPress is currently working on the 2nd phase of the Gutenberg project, which makes it possible to manage content in a new way. Unlike the Tiny MCE Editor, Gutenberg uses so-called blocks for all elements of a post or a page. Each block represents a component for a specific feature.
• In phase 1, the new block editor in WordPress 5.0 was published in 2019.
• In phase 2 in 2021, the WordPress development team will integrate complete site editing into WordPress. The aim is to make the entire website adaptable and edit global elements such as headers and footers beyond the context of individual pages and posts. We’ll show you what to expect in the WordPress 5.8 beta version, which will be released on July 20, 2021 (with screenshots):
Table of contents of the new features of WordPress 5.8
- Block updates
- Blocks as widgets
- Enhancements in the block editor of WordPress 5.8
- WebP images come to WordPress
- Further improvements for developers
To the block updates
Several new block types are now available, including Page Lists, Site Titles, Logo, Tagline, and Query Loop. The Query Loop block offers multiple layouts for posts and comes with new matching block patterns. Other updates are:
- A new panel called “List View” can be used to navigate complex blocks and patterns more easily.
- Additional picture effects are available with a new Duotone block.
- With a new widgets screen and updated customizer, you can use each block in widget areas.
Blocks as widgets
Another big step towards the full-site editor is the new “Blocks as Widgets “interface. You can test the unique widget experience using the customizer or going to the View> Widgets page. Blocks as widgets give you faster & more flexibility for editing your WordPress Sidebars, Headers, and Footers. You can use colors, spacing, typography, and other design tools without installing plugins. In the widgets block, you can also use the classic widgets that are not available as blocks. This new feature can also be deactivated by installing and activating the Classic Widgets plugin.
Improvements in the block editor of WordPress 5.8
We have summarized some improvements and new functions that await you in WordPress 5.8. Most of the improvements relate to the block editor, which you probably spend most of your time with.
- New Duotone filters for images & media blocks
An exciting feature that will be introduced with the release of WordPress 5.8 is the duotone filters. With this editing tool for your pictures, galleries, and cover pictures, you can change the picture’s mood at the push of a button without having to dig deep into picture editing programs. Duotones can be anything from simple shades of gray to a mixture of any two colors. Shadows and highlights can even be inverted, depending on the chosen color. The duotone filters come with many presets, but you can also create your color presets. The new theme JSON file configuration also enables developers to set a range of duotone colors to match their design.
- Improved panel for list view
There are several enhancements to existing blocks. You’ll get more color choices for choosing text, background, and link colors. WordPress 5.8 will come with an enhanced list view panel —for example, it will show you the entire list of blocks on your post or page. It also makes it hassle-free to work in more complex layouts because you can easily switch to a specific block. For example, if there are multiple paragraphs in one particular column, you can use the list box to navigate.
- Select parent block in nested blocks
Nested blocks, such as columns and groups, make it more effortless to create an advanced layout. Sometimes, though, the design can get complicated to choose the parent block within a nested block. 5.8 now shows an always visible button for the parent block in the toolbar. Now, in WordPress 5.8, the parent block button is always visible in the toolbar.
- Improved selection tool with block handles
The selection tool will now show a better block outline with a handle to move the block in the new version. In WordPress 5.8, you’ll also find more robust block highlighting when you hover the mouse around blocks.
- Sample suggestions in the “Add block” area
In WordPress 5.8, there are also some improvements to existing blocks, e.g., more color options for selecting the text, background, and link colors. It also has an advanced control feature to adjust padding, margin, border, animation, and more, between the columns. For the table block background, you can also choose between fill and gradient backgrounds.
WebP images come to WordPress
Developed by Google, WebP is a new image format that provides both lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. By using the WebP image format, your photos will be 25-34% smaller than PNG and JPEG with no perceptible loss in quality. However, when you try to upload a WebP image, it will show an error because WordPress doesn’t currently support WebP images. One disadvantage is that if a user uses an unsupported browser, the image will not automatically replace JPEG or PNG. So if the majority of users are using an unsupported browser, it is best to use an image compression plugin like TinyPNG anyway.
New design options for developers
WordPress 5.8 introduces the API Global Styles and Global Settings for developers, which helps them manage the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks via a theme.json file. The introduction of Global Styles and Global Setting makes it easy to adjust the design and options. Up to now, PHP functions were necessary for this. Similarly, the new block.json file makes it easier to determine settings & metadata for the blocks. To know more, you can read the relevant notes for developers.
Full Site Editing (FSE) will change the way users design and develop their websites. The new set of features is still underway. However, when they rolled out in the market, they will undoubtedly revolutionize the Block Editor interface and provide unparalleled control over the websites’ designs to non-technical users.
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