WordPress 5.8: Stay Tuned July 20
Over the past two decades, WordPress has rapidly become the most formidable website builder on the market. Dynamic and flexible, WordPress powers over 40% of the websites on the internet.
In addition to creating any website imaginable, this open-source software boasts impressive features that only get better with time. The website building solution releases two to three major updates each year. Each update tucks on additional features that help you to create and manage your website.
Targeted for release on July 20, 2020, WordPress 5.8, the latest release, is poised to bring some highly anticipated features. These updates are geared towards making WordPress more user-friendly while reducing site bloat to improve loading speed.
WebP Image Support
WebP is an image format that uses superior compression technology to create smaller but vibrant images with a transparent background. WebP replaces the bulkier JPEG and PNG images with a smaller-sized image. Image size is a critical factor for a webmaster because it influences the loading speed. With WebP images, you can pepper your content with numerous images without lowering your site’s loading speed. In addition, the native WebP capability also reduces the number of plugins to install on your WordPress website, further improving the loading speed.
Block List View
The Gutenberg list view introduces a togglable panel to help you navigate complex patterns and blocks. The update expands the list view from a drop-down menu into a scrollable tab on the left side of the screen. It opens an elaborate menu displaying each block and its associated features.
It makes it easy to edit page elements by clicking on them from this tab. It also makes it easier to work with page layers as each of them is easily accessible. You can also enter an HTML anchor on each block for easy navigation.
The design patterns library compiles some of the popular WordPress builder blocks. You only need to scroll through the library, pick the pattern you like, copy, and paste the design on your website. This innovative feature lets you create world-class page designs without spending an excessive amount of time and effort. Or without any technical coding skills whatsoever.
Duotone Image Effect
As the name suggests, this is an image filtering feature that allows you to manipulate image colors. Now you can add a custom two-color filter to any image you upload on your website. Then, simply click the picture to open the editing menu. A circular icon on the toolbar represents the new Duotone menu. Pick from preformatted color pairs or create a custom color combination to match your theme.
The PDF Viewer is the newest block on WordPress, and it allows you to embed PDF files on your site. First, you must add the PDF block to your page to let you upload the file. From there, you only need to locate the file from the media library then upload it. You can enter the file’s title, caption, and brief description before uploading each file.
Clicking on the Options icon in the top right corner allows you to customize the file’s properties. You may display the PDF file as a scrollable inline embed or have it as a downloadable file. You may also customize the file’s height in the PDF viewer and include a download button for easy access.
Nest Block Selector
The Nest block selector provides you with a handy way to navigate between various elements in each block. The new feature adds a new icon on the far left corner of the toolbar. Clicking the Nested block selector takes you to the layer immediately above the current layer. It allows you to systematically navigate through all the layers on your site and track your position on the list view display.
Reusable blocks are a time-saving feature that allows you to make updates across your website. You only need to select the block you wish to reuse, such as the heading, and then create a reusable block. Since the update lets you name the reusable block, you can create as many as you wish.
This feature improves content creation flow and makes it easier to review and update heading. The reusable block comes in handy if you constantly review and update content to incorporate new information and SEO purposes.
Theme Builder Blocks
A theme builder lets you create custom templates that are automatically applied to all or parts of your website. For instance, you create a template for all your blog posts or product pages on your site. Then, the theme builder automatically adds the content to predetermined points on the custom template on publishing a blog post. That saves you the need to recreate the design with each blog post.
A theme builder lets you create a responsive website without writing a line of code. Instead, you simply drag the site elements to where you want them. A builder comes in handy when you don’t wish to use an off-the-rack theme. Or when you crave more flexibility when building a WordPress website.
WordPress 5.8 comes with a highly customizable query loop to let you display the list of posts on your website. The update eliminates the need for template tags when customizing posts inside the loop. The Gutenberg controls let you customize every aspect of the loop. You can customize the loop’s appearance, number of posts in the loop, fonts, images, excerpts, and more.
Clicking the List View gives you more options to customize your query loops, such as appearance and sticky posts, and improve the reader’s experience.
Widget Area Block
WordPress 5.8 transforms widgets into blocks to give users more control over their site design and content. While most WordPress support widgets, their location varies between themes. The header, footer, sidebar, or the area right below the content are the most popular widget areas.
The new Widgets screen and updated customizer in the latest release allow you to use any block in your widget area. If you prefer third-party widgets, you can use them through the Legacy Widget block. If you like the traditional look, you can still use the Classic Widgets plugin.
The newest WordPress release now comes with a template editor to let users create custom templates for your site. Previously, this feature was available with select themes such as Elementor and DIVI themes. Now template editor has become a part of WordPress to let you build websites and pages faster.
You can customize and configure elements such as images, text, and grid columns to fit your content. Pre-configured templates give your site a consistent look and feel that complements your brand identity.
The Bottom Line
WordPress 5.8 is a feature-packed update that makes it easier to you to create and manage your website. It comes with more drag and drop features that allow you to custom various parts of your site without writing a line of code.
In addition, the release is bound to help your site’s loading speed by reducing the number of plugins that you need to install. Some features such as Theme Builder Block and List View might take getting used to. But once you’re accustomed to them, you’ll be off to a flying start.
Feel free to contact us and learn more about WordPress 5.8.
With over 35 years in the business of supporting and implementing technology for the SME market, and 6 years previously in Corporate IT and Voice. I have seen a great deal of change. The only common thread is I have always focused on the Business Wise application of Technology. We always try to look 5 years ahead of the current technology to make sure our clients are on the right track to meet current and future needs.