WordPress 5.9 โ€“ The Final Step to Full Site Editing

Already with the last releases I wrote mainly about full site editing. This is the main focus of the core team in the current phase. With version 5.9, the last major features are now being incorporated into the core of WordPress.

There are now even more possibilities for the block-based themes from version 5.8. Not only the page or post templates can be edited via the interface, but also all other components of the theme.

Of particular note here is the header, which now has a navigation block that can be used to place menus on the page. At the same time there are the new cross-page styles that can be edited in the Gutenberg editor. Through them one can control the global appearance of blocks, such as e.g. B. Color palettes, fonts and layouts to adjust.

In addition, even the existing blocks can be individualized. If you will, this is an interface for the user to customize the ‘theme.json’. Oh yes, and the ‘theme.json’ gets more options to realize this with the upgrade to version 2.

In the end, the basis for the new themes is now complete, which – from the header to the content to the footer – is only built on blocks.

One of the first themes to take advantage of all of these full site editing features is the new Default theme. The Twenty Twenty-Two theme is made for exactly this and supports the new features. First of all, it is a very simple theme that I would understand as a canvas. Due to the blocks of Full Site Editing and Gutenberg, it is extremely flexible, versatile and invites you to try out the new possibilities and experiment with the many options.

It is probably best to simply download the new version in a free dev project to install and experience the new theme with your own hands.

One of my highlights is that it is now also possible to lock individual blocks from editing – previously this was only possible for templates. And also a little thing, but very practical in everyday life: In the list view of the blocks in the editor, sections can be collapsed and, if necessary, moved collectively. This makes it much easier to change the order on a page. For me as a developer, it is particularly interesting that WordPress continues to move in the direction of PHP 8 thinks.

PHP 8 was released over a year ago. Due to the efforts of the core team to make the use of the CMS as easy as possible, PHP 7.4 is still supported. This is WordPress not yet 100% perfect in dealing with PHP 8. To make the transition easier for developers, some polyfills for array and string functions are loaded from PHP 8 if the PHP version used is older. So developers can already use them, even if the website is still running with PHP 7.x.

It’s also important to know that there will still be some deprecation warnings. If you want to know more about this topic, I recommend the core article on WordPress 5.9 and PHP 8. Otherwise I can only refer to the official DevNotes on WordPress 5.9 in general. Here you will find even more exciting changes, especially for developers.

For users who have one complete page builder with all possibilities are looking for, WordPress 5.9 is a huge thing. be who design would like to be in control and limit the editor’s options will initially be skeptical about the new capabilities of Gutenberg and Full Site Editing. Theme developer get even more options.

I think it will be really cool when CSS container queries are reliably supported by all browsers in the future. But that will probably take a while. What are your highlights of WordPress 5.9? Have you already installed and tested it?


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