The WordPress core team has turned its attention to the release of WordPress 5.8 – the second major release of 2021.
Set to launch on July 20, the latest major release will present a new range of features to help evolve the world’s most popular content management system.
While the software is still in beta development, developers can already get their hands on what’s coming and a general release is locked in for July 20, 2021.
Below is a breakdown of what you can expect to see in WordPress 5.8.
Full-Site Editing (FSE)
The primary upgrade planned to be included in the release of WordPress 5.8 is full-site editing (FSE).
According to the WordPress core, “Full site-editing is where the promise of Gutenberg gets proven—the technical aspects meet the philosophical aspects as a user-focused tool meant to empower the user to create, and express, and sustain themselves online.”
The original intention was to fully roll out FSE in WordPress 5.8, but this release will only partially introduce FSE to WordPress. This partial rollout of FSE aims to put the core in a position to merge later in the year, while also raising awareness and increasing the skills of the WordPress community along the way.
- Discover several new blocks and expressive tools, including blocks for Page Lists, Site Title, Logo, and Tagline. A powerful Query Loop block offers multiple ways for displaying lists of posts and comes with new block patterns that take advantage of its flexibility and creative possibilities.
- Interacting with nested blocks has been made easier with a permanent toolbar button for selecting a parent. Block outlines are shown when hovering or focusing on the different block type buttons. Block handles are now also present for drag and drop when in “select” mode.
- Introduces the List View, a panel that can be toggled and helps navigate complex blocks and patterns.
- Reusable blocks have an improved creation flow and support for history revisions.
- A cool new duotone block adds images effects which can be used in media blocks or supported in third-party blocks. Color presets can also be customized by the theme.
- By default, WordPress will create the sub-sized images as the same image format as the uploaded file.
- This modern image file format was created by Google in September 2010, and is now supported by 95% of the web browsers in use worldwide.
- It has distinct advantages over more commonly used formats, providing both lossless and lossy compression that is 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs and 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images.
- Patterns can now also be recommended and selected during block setup, offering powerful new flows. Pattern transformations are also possible and allow converting a block or a collection of blocks into different patterns.
- New collection of Patterns and an initial integration with the upcoming Pattern Directory on WordPress.org.
- New template editor that allows creating new custom templates for a page using blocks.
- Themes can now control and configure styling with a theme.json file, including layout configuration, block supports, color palettes, and more.
- New design tools and enhancements to existing blocks, including more color, typography, and spacing options, drag and drop for Cover backgrounds, additions to block transformation options, ability to embed PDFs within the File block, and more.
- Includes improvements to how the editor is rendered to more accurately resemble the front-end.
Internet Explorer 11
- Support for Internet Explorer 11 is ending in WordPress this year. In this release, most of those changes are being merged so use the Beta and RC periods to test!
Blocks in Widgets Area
- You can now use any block in your theme’s widget areas using the all new Widgets screen and updated Customiser.
- Existing third party widgets continue to work via the Legacy Widget block.
- Not quite ready for a full switch? To ease the transition, users can use the Classic Widgets plugin and themes can call remove_theme_support( ‘widgets-block-editor’ ).
The upcoming WordPress 5.8 release is being personally led by WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg, and the CEO’s involvement is a good indicator that this release will pack a punch. Expect