Yesterday, WordPress released another version, which again includes many cool features. This version is a big step towards the direction of site-wide editing. It opens up new possibilities for us to easily change our pages, add interest to our images, and make other improvements to our favorite open source platform. Let’s take a look at what WordPress 5.8 brings!
The latest version of WordPress is here! It brings us many new features, adjustments, improvements, and version 10.7 of the Gutenberg plugin. Want to know what’s in it for you? We will list the most important changes and explain what you can do with them.
The first feature we are going to discuss is the possibility of adding blocks to the widget area on your website. This means you can add any block from the block library to the widget area, such as the footer or sidebar. This gives you more freedom when it comes to the content and design of the page. You can now use columns, spacers to create layouts or change the design by adding background colors, different fonts, etc.
This is another step in the direction of making blocks the new standard in WordPress. The goal of the WordPress team is to ultimately create a seamless experience where you only need to use blocks to build pages. This feature is another step on the road to complete site editing.
New blocks and modes for displaying posts
Many new blocks and modes have been added to the block library, the one we focus on is the Query Loop block. This block allows you to display the post type on any page and determine the information to be displayed. You can display posts in a certain category or create a page with the most popular posts without any coding. You can decide whether to display the title, featured image, excerpt, release date, etc.
This new block allows you to choose to create pages around specific topics and maintain control over the design. When you go to the mode in the block library and click “query” in the drop-down menu, you will get suggestions on how to display these posts. Be sure to give it a try because it will help you easily create a new page with a design that meets your needs.
New template editor
Another feature that is part of the complete site editing toolkit is the template editor. You will need to use block themes or themes that have chosen to use this feature, but when you do, this editor is available in the post editor and allows you to create and edit templates for your content. This editor allows you to edit pages while working on posts. WordPress 5.8 also comes with many new blocks (13!), which are very useful when creating these templates:
- Site logo/site slogan/site title
- Query loop
- Post Title/Post Content/Post Date/Post Excerpt/Post Featured Image/Post Category/Post Tag
- Log in/out
- Page list
Another interesting feature introduced in WordPress 5.8 is the duotone filter for images. This filter allows you to choose colors for the shadows and highlights of the image. You can choose some preset duotone colors, but you can also customize them to create your own duotone filters. You can select this filter when you add an image or cover block to a post or page.
Use this filter to bring more uniformity to your images to build your brand (by using your colors) or make some of them stand out more than others. Go experiment and see if it works for you.
Improved list view in the editor
This may not be the most significant change, but it will make editing and selecting blocks easier. Before the latest version of WordPress 5.8, you were able to get a rough idea of the blocks used in your page or post. However, this used to be more like a pop-up window that disappears when you click anywhere else. Now, when you select the list view at the top of the post editor, this opens a sidebar where you can find all the blocks. This sidebar stays with you until you decide that you no longer need to see it!
Suggested mode of block
When you are working on the content and editing one of the blocks, you can also select the “Mode” tab. This tab will suggest a mode based on the block you selected, and adapt the current content to the mode you selected. This version brings some new modes, and we can look forward to providing more mode suggestions in future versions.
You can also find these modes by adding a new block, going to the “Mode” tab, and selecting one of the drop-down items. Currently, the block editor provides modes for buttons, columns, gallery, title, text, and query.
Now it’s more technical stuff
This version also introduces global style and global settings API. This allows developers to customize editor settings and styles by creating a theme.json file. In this file, you can configure existing and new editor settings and determine the number of customizations that the client can customize. You can control the enabled functions, block editor and block settings, style management, and CSS custom properties.
In addition, if you are a theme builder, you can use this early version to experiment with a new feature that might make your life easier.
WordPress no longer supports Internet Explorer 11
If you are an Internet Explorer user, this is an important news for you. As of now, WordPress is dropping support for Internet Explorer 11. This means that if you encounter problems administering your website in the future, you will not be investigated again. Since this may (and may) become a problem, WordPress recommends considering using a more modern browser that they support.
Add support for WebP
WebP has taken the Internet by storm, and WordPress has joined it. You can now upload WebP images to your website, but it’s worth noting that WordPress (yet) cannot convert your jpeg to WebP. Do not know what is WebP? This is a relatively new image format that provides improved compression for online images. On average, their file size is much smaller than their counterparts (such as JPEG or PNG), which helps keep your pages lightweight and load fast.
Add additional block support
We have seen block support added in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, and this latest version brings us some new support. WordPress 5.8 comes with some new block support flags and options to customize the blocks you register. Read more about them in the development notes on block support API updates.
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