I am about to come upon another major release of WordPress 5-8 Tatum.
It’s going to be a pretty interesting update WordPress 5-8 will start the process of moving full site editing into the core, the block editor.
I’ll also get a few additions and updates and the web image format will now be supported by WordPress before we take a deeper dive into what you can expect with WordPress 5-8.
Now let’s get started.
WordPress 5-8 New Features
As I mentioned before, the biggest feature of WordPress 5.8 is the start of moving full site editing into WordPress core.
Now full site editing or FSC won’t be fully integrated with WordPress 5-8.
There are still some things that need work done before they are ready for the big time.
But here are a few of those FSC related additions for this update.
One of the first things that you’ll notice when you go to add in a new post or page is a wide array of new blocks that you can add to your website, you can now add in page list site title, site logo, site tagline, and query loop blocks to your website.
These are all added in anticipation of the rest of the full site editing coming to WordPress core later in 2021, or early 2022.
So obviously, you probably won’t be using the site title, logo, or tangling blocks right away.
But the page lists and query loop blocks might have some use for your website.
Right now, the pages of this block well list your website’s pages without you having to do anything.
Unfortunately, at the time of the writing of this article, you can’t delete a page from the list without deleting the block.
But hopefully, that has been or fixed down the road.
The query loop block allows you to customize the look and feel of the posts that you’re trying to load, including having a featured image, post excerpt, and more probably the biggest change coming in WordPress 5.8 is the new template editor, which sort of brings full site editing into the core.
Create/Edit a Poster Page in WordPress 5-8
To use this feature, create or edit a poster page underneath the template section in the right-hand menu, you can select a template for the poster page, or you can hit Edit to edit that template or hit New to add in a new template.
From there, you’ll be taken to a new editor screen where you can build that template from the header to the footer to the menus, and almost everything in between.
This is a pretty cool feature.
But do be aware that you using this will override whatever PHP template your theme is using for that content.
It might look a little weird with your theme.
I would highly suggest trying this in some sort of sandbox website where you can try it out and break things without messing up your live site don’t likely be the best way to learn how to use this new editor.
And for theme developers and website admins out there that don’t want this option to be available.
You can add and remove themes support blog templates to disable the template editor.
Also, another thing you will notice is a new screen when you go into edit your widgets, it’s going to look a lot like the block editor.
And in fact, you can now use blocks as widgets if you want. Now, don’t worry, you can still use your array of current widgets by using the legacy widget block.
And even when you go into edit your widget areas, every widget in there should still work so you won’t lose anything when you update to WordPress 5-8.
It’s just another option you have for customizing your website to your liking.
Also coming along with WordPress 5-8 is a new block pattern directory.
Similar to that of the plugin and theme directories you’re probably already familiar with.
If you don’t know block patterns are custom pre-determined arrangements for blocks.
For example, you might insert a block pattern that has two columns. With one column being an image and the other having a heading block and a paragraph block.
It makes creating complex page layouts much easier. And now developers will be able to easily offer their block patterns through this directory and you’ll be able to easily find and download the blog patterns you want to use for your pages and posts.
How this plays out in the real world remains to be seen, but I think it’s going to be a big boost to the block editor.
You can now add a big splash of color to your images and cover blocks with the duotone feature in the block editor.
With this feature, you can now add Instagram-like filters to your images that will take a bit more work to make them look just right.
To get this to work, you’ll need to select the image and then select the color for highlights and the color for shadows.
For example, WordPress recommends a Sephia light filter using brown for shadows and tan for highlights.
And the good news is that this will use SVG to add in the filter meaning that the original image won’t be changed at all, just in case you make a mistake with your colors.
Finally, there’s one technical addition that some people might like WordPress will now support the WebP image format before you had to use a plugin as a workaround to upload images in that format.
But native support for it should make it much easier.
What is a WebP? Well, it’s an image format that has higher compression than PNG.
Or JPEG images, meaning that you can show images that are smaller file sizes and increase your page speed if you run your website through Google Page Speed Insights, and you totally should be doing that you might have seen a message about display your images in a WebP or even JPEG x format.
This is what that’s referencing. WordPress won’t be converting your images to WebP II just yet, but maybe that’s something that will come in at a later release.
What do you think about WordPress 5-8?
What is your favorite feature or change? Or is there something that you’re concerned about?
Just make sure you only test it on a staging or development website.
Also, when WordPress 5-8 is released, make sure you have a way to properly update your website including taking a backup of the site beforehand.
But until next time, happy work pressing.