What’s coming in WordPress Version 5.8 • DieWebAG©

The WordPress 5.8 beta is expected to be released on July 20, 2021. It will be the second major release of the year and will include many new features and improvements.

We followed the development closely and tried out the new features on our test pages.

In this article we will show you what is coming in WordPress 5.8 with features and screenshots.

Notice: You can test the beta version on your computer or in a staging environment by using the WordPress beta tester plugin use.

Introduction to the template editor

WordPress 5.8 ships with the new template editor. This is a step towards creating a full site editing tool with the block editor, which means expect future releases to improve.

The template editor allows you to create and save templates for your WordPress website and use them later for any post or page.

If you switch to the template editor, you can add site editing blocks. A number of essential blocks are available, including:

  • Website logo
  • Website slogan
  • page title
  • query loop
  • post title
  • post content
  • By date
  • contribution statement
  • Post featured image
  • Post Categories
  • post tags
  • Sign in/out
  • page list

The feature is optional, theme developers and users can easily disable it.

The template editor still relies on your WordPress theme and inherits its styles.

For a more flexible approach you can you try SeedProd, which allows you to create custom landing pages no matter what WordPress theme you use.

Blocks as widgets

Another big step towards a full site editor experience is the new blocks as widgets interface.

Users can access the new widget experience using the customizer or the page Appearance » Widgets visit.

Blocks as widgets bring the flexibility of the block editor to your WordPress sidebar widgets. You can use colors, spacing, typography, and other design tools without having to install plugins.

There’s even a Widgets block that lets you use the classic widgets that aren’t available as blocks yet.

Not ready to move yet?

Don’t worry, you can disable this new feature by doing this Use Classic Widgets plugin. Just install and activate the plugin and it will disable the new Widget Blocks feature. If you have any questions or support, you can of course also contact us Contact our WordPress specialists.

WebP images come to WordPress

WebP is a new image file format for use on the web. By using the WebP image format, your images will be 25-34% smaller than PNG and JPEG without losing quality.

Currently, WordPress doesn’t support WebP images and users see an error when trying to upload a WebP image.

WordPress 5.8 allows you to upload WebP images to your WordPress website without using any plugins.

However, one downside is that if a user uses an unsupported browser, the image is not automatically replaced with JPEG or PNG.

If the majority of your users are using an unsupported browser, you may still want to use an image compression plugin.

Editor improvements in WordPress 5.8

The block editor screen is where users spend most of their time creating content. Each WordPress release comes with many improvements, bug fixes, and new features to improve the editing experience.

Below are some of the editor improvements introduced in WordPress 5.8.

Just select the parent block in nested blocks

Nested blocks such as columns and groups allow blocks to be grouped easily. However, it sometimes becomes difficult to select the parent block within a nested block.

WordPress 5.8 now shows an always-visible parent block button in the toolbar.

Improved list view

WordPress 5.8 comes with an improved list view. It shows you the full list of blocks in your post or page.

This would make it easier for users to jump to a specific block in more complex layouts. For example, if you have multiple paragraphs in a particular column, you can use the list box to navigate.

Improved selection tool with block handles

The selection tool now shows a better block outline with a handle to move blocks up and down.

In WordPress 5.8, you’ll also notice better block highlighting when hovering your mouse over different blocks.

New duotone filters for images and media blocks

Another exciting upcoming feature in WordPress 5.8 is the duotone filters. You can use these filters on your media blocks like images, galleries, and covers.

It comes with some presets and you can also create your own presets by choosing the colors you want to apply.

WordPress themes can also add their own presets to match theme color schemes.

Sample suggestions in the Add Block pane

When you search for a block in the Add Block panel, the editor also suggests patterns for you to add immediately. A few new patterns are available and initial work has been done to integrate them into the WordPress.org pattern repository.

Improvements to existing blocks

There are several improvements to existing blocks. For example, more color options to choose text, background and link colors.

Changes for developers

WordPress 5.8 will also bring many changes for developers to explore and use in their own themes, plugins and projects.

Below are some of these under the hood changes.

WordPress will end support for Internet Explorer at the end of this year. 5.8 has merged most of the changes necessary for this. ( See details )

Context sensitive filters to use block editor APIs on multiple WordPress admin screens. ( #52920 )

The email message in WordPress recovery mode is now only displayed when emails can be sent. ( #52560 )

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