The next major version of WordPress 5.8 is released on July 20, 2021. And it’s a pretty big update in terms of features list. The upcoming major release finally starts the process of adding full site editing (FSE) into WordPress core. But sadly it won’t be implemented completely as the whole process still needs some puzzles that need to be solved.
Other than full site editing there are multiple new features to look forward to. Below we will look at a list of features that are introduced with the WordPress 5.8 release.
What’s New in WordPress 5.8?
Multiple new features are implemented with the big release. Some bring new functionalities while others improve existing feature sets. No matter what, we are confident it is all for the better. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Blocks As Widgets
A big step towards full-site editing experience is the new blocks as widgets interface. You will find the new settings by navigating to wp-admin → Appearance → Widgets. Blocks as widgets will bring the flexibility of the block editor to your WordPress sidebar widgets. You’ll be able to use colors, spacing, typography, and other design tools easily.
Note: There is a Widgets block that will let you use the classic widgets.
WordPress 5.8 introduces the new template editor feature. It might not be the full site editing experience but it gives you control of creating your Template. The template editor will allow you to create and save reusable templates for your website. You can even use them later on for any post or page that you create. Switching to the template editor will allow you to add Site Editing blocks. You will find the following blocks.
- Site Logo
- Site Tagline
- Site Title
- Query Loop
- Post Title
- Post Content
- Post Date
- Post Excerpt
- Post Featured Image
- Post Categories
- Post Tags
- Page List
Note: this feature is optional, theme developers and users will be able to easily disable it. The template editor will rely on your WordPress theme and inherit its styles.
WebP Images Support
WebP is a new file format for images. By using the WebP image format, your images will be almost 35% smaller in size than the PNG and JPEG format without losing quality. But previously WordPress didn’t support WebP images. That’s changing now. With WordPress 5.8, you’ll be able to upload WebP images to your WordPress website.
Editor Improvements in WordPress 5.8
Each WordPress release comes with many improvements, bug fixes, and new features to improve the editing experience of the Gutenberg editor. Some of the editor improvements coming in WordPress 5.8 are:
- Easily Select Parent Block in Nested Blocks
- Nested blocks like columns and groups allow you to easily group blocks.
- WordPress 5.8 will now show an always visible parent block button in the toolbar.
List View Improvements
WordPress 5.8 comes with an improved list view. It will show you the complete list of blocks for your post or page. This would make it easier for users to select a specific block while searching. For instance, if you have multiple paragraphs in a specific column, you can navigate the list panel.
Duotone Filters for Images and Media Blocks
Another exciting feature in WordPress 5.8 is the Duotone filters. You’ll be able to use these filters over your media blocks like images, galleries, and cover images. It comes with a few presets and you can create your own presets as well by choosing the colors you want to apply. WordPress themes will also be able to add their own presets to match theme color schemes.
Pattern Suggestions for Blocks
Using the add block panel if you search for a block, the editor will now suggest patterns that you can instantly add.
Improvements to Existing Blocks
There are several improvements to existing blocks. For instance, more color options to choose text, background, and link colors. There is a new option to adjust padding among columns. You can also choose a gradient background for the table block. There is an improved Select Tool with Block Handles.
Support for New Emojis
WordPress 5.8 adds support for New Emojis and improvements that were introduced in Twemoji 13.1.0 such as the followings
- Cricket: the colors have been adjusted to improve readability on small screens and to prevent confusion with other Emoji that had a similar color.
- T-Rex: The color and posture of the T-Rex has been adjusted.
- Portuguese flag: A-line within the flag’s circle has been corrected.
- Thai flag: The proportions of the stripes for this flag have been corrected.
- Fox face: The symmetry has been improved.
- Transgender flag: The lines have been updated to prevent small gaps between stripes from showing when rendered with antialiasing.
- Rolling on the floor laughing: Adjusted to be less exaggerated and appear more natural.
Under The Hood Changes
WordPress 5.8 also brings many changes for developers for their themes, plugins, etc. Such as:
- WordPress will end support for Internet Explorer by the end of this year. (See details)
- Context-aware filters to use block editor APIs on multiple WordPress admin screens. (#52920)
- WordPress recovery mode email message will now only be shown when email can be sent. (#52560)
What All These Means for Our Users
We are excited about the possibilities of the added features. We are also hard at making sure our customers will make a smooth transition to WordPress 5.8 update while using our products. All our plugins will be made WordPress 5.8 compatible as soon as possible. You will be glad to know that some of your popular products have already received updates for WordPress 5.8 compatibility.
Though there are a lot of things that need to be done, we are confident you will not face any problem.
Excited? So Are We!
WordPress 5.8 is going to change a lot of things for the existing WordPress industry and the people involved with it. You can try out the official release by updating WordPress core from your site dashboard to check out the upcoming features for yourself. If you have any further questions do let us know in the comment section below. And as always take care.