A new release of WordPress is here and brings us many exciting new features. This release is a big step towards full website editing. It creates new possibilities for easily adapting pages or editing images, for example. Read on here and find out what WordPress 5.8 brings!
The first new feature is the ability to add blocks to the widget areas on your website. This means you can add any block from your block library to widget areas like e.g. B. Add it to your footer or sidebar. This gives you even more freedom when it comes to the content and design of your pages. You can now create layouts with columns and spacers, or change the design by adding background colors, different fonts, etc.
This is another step towards making blocks the new standard in WordPress. The goal of WordPress is to be able to build pages using only blocks. We have been working with this feature for a long time, which is another step towards full page editing.
New blocks and templates for displaying your posts
There are many new blocks and templates added to the block library. One that we particularly want to highlight is the Query Loop block. This block allows you to display post types on each page and determine what information you want to display. You can display posts from a specific category or create a page with your most popular posts without any coding. And you decide whether to show the title, featured image, excerpt, release date, etc.
This new block gives you the ability to create pages around a specific theme while maintaining control over the design. And if you go to Templates in your block library and click Query from the dropdown menu, you’ll get suggestions on how to display those posts. Be sure to try this as it makes it easy to create new pages with a design that suits your needs.
The new template editor
Another feature of the complete site editing toolkit is the template editor. You must use a block theme or a theme that opted for this feature, then this editor is available in the post editor and allows you to create and edit templates for your content. This editor makes it possible to edit your pages while working on your posts. WordPress 5.8 also brings many new blocks (13!) that can come in handy when creating these templates:
- Site Logo / Site Tagline / Site Title
- query loop
- Post title / Post content / Post date / Post excerpt / Post image / Post categories / Post tags
- page list
Another fun feature in WordPress 5.8 is the duotone filter for your images. This filter allows you to choose colors for the shadows and highlights of an image. There are a few preset duotone colors to choose from, but you can also customize them to create your own duotone filter. You can select this filter when adding an image or title block to your post or page.
We recommend: use this filter to bring a bit more consistency to your images, to work on your branding (using your colors) or to make some images stand out more than the others. Experiment to find out if it’s the right filter for you.
An improved list view in your editor
This change makes editing and selecting your blocks a whole lot easier. Before this latest version of WordPress 5.8, you could already get an overview of the blocks used on your page or post. However, this was more of a popup that disappeared when you clicked anywhere else. Now when you select the list view at the top of your post editor, a sidebar will open where you can find all your blocks. And that sidebar stays with you until you decide you don’t want to see it anymore!
The technical aspects in WordPress 5.8
This release also introduces the Global Styles and Global Settings APIs. This gives developers the ability to customize the editor’s settings and styles by creating a theme.json file. In this file you can configure the existing and new editor settings and how much customers can customize. You have control over what features are enabled, block editor and block settings, how styles are managed, and custom CSS properties.
WordPress no longer supports Internet Explorer 11
If you are an Internet Explorer user, this is important news for you. Effective immediately, WordPress is dropping support for Internet Explorer 11. This means that if you have problems managing your website in the future, it will no longer be taken into account. Since this can (and probably will) become an issue at some point, WordPress suggests using a more modern browser that is supported.
Adding support for WebP
WebP is taking the web by storm and WordPress is jumping on the bandwagon. You are now able to upload WebP images to your website, but it is good to know that WordPress is not (yet) able to convert your jpegs to WebP.
What is WebP?
WebP is an image format that is relatively new and offers improved compression for online images. On average, the file size is much smaller than its counterparts (like JPEG or PNG), which helps your pages load easily and quickly, making them faster overall.
Adding additional block supports
We’ve already seen block support added in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, and this latest release brings us some new ones. WordPress 5.8 comes with a few new block support flags and options to customize your registered blocks. Read more about them in the API updates for block support dev note.