What to Expect in the New WordPress 5.8
The new WordPress 5.8 beta is currently scheduled for general release on July 20, 2021. This is the second key release of the year with added features and new improvements. The new release aims to merge the first version of full site editing (FSE) into WordPress core. Full site editing enables you to leverage Gutenberg blocks to create all site elements. In this piece, we will show you what is coming with WordPress 5.8 and how to prepare for it.
New Features in WordPress 5.8
WordPress 5.8 features an exciting new template editor. The template editor is a full site editing tool that enables you to design and save templates for your site and apply them later for any page or post. Once you switch to the template editor, you will also be enabled to add Site Editing blocks with a lot of ease. With this feature, you will have access to several essential blocks, including:
- Page List
- Post Tags
- Post Categories
- Post Featured Image
- Post Excerpt
- Post Date
- Post Content
- Post Title
- Query Loop
- Site Title
- Site Title
- Site Tagline
- Site Logo
Notably, the template editor relies on your WordPress theme and uses its inherent style. It is an optional feature, and you can easily disable it when need be.
Block as Widgets
WordPress 5.8’s new Blocks as widgets interface is undoubtedly a big step towards a full site editor experience. You can use the Customizer or visit the Appearance » Widgets page to access the new widget experience. Ideally, the Blocks as widgets feature is designed to bring flexibility to your WordPress sidebar widgets for an exceptional editing experience. Best of all, you can now use spacing, colors, typography, and other design elements without installing any plugins. You can also leverage the tool if you need classic widgets that are not available as blocks yet.
WebP Images now available to WordPress
WordPress has added a new file format for images being used on the web. The WebP image format can minimize your images by 25-34% while maintaining their quality. The current WordPress version doesn’t support WebP images, and users encounter errors when uploading a WebP image. However, with WordPress 5.8, uploading WebP images to your WordPress website will now be a breeze as it doesn’t need any plugins.
Editor improvements in WordPress 5.8
Undoubtedly, the block editor screen is where you spend most of your time developing content. Each WordPress release features some improvements, additional features, and bug fixes, all of which are designed to offer a better editing experience. Some of the specific improvements with the new WordPress 5.8 include:
- Easy to select parent block: WordPress 5.8 will always show a visible parent block button in the toolbar. This feature enables users to group blocks easily.
- Improved list view: WordPress 5.8 features an improved list view panel for viewing the complete list of blocks on your page or post, which means that you can now move to a specific block easily when dealing with more complex layouts.
- An improved select tool with block handles: The select tool now features a better block outline with a valuable handle for moving blocks up and down with a lot of ease. WordPress 5.8 has also added a better block highlighting that pops up as you move your mouse around different blocks.
- New Duotone Filters for Images and Media Blocks: The new New Duotone Filters is another exceptional upcoming feature in WordPress 5.8. Users can utilize the filters over their media blocks, such as images, galleries, and cover images. Although the New Duotone Filters come with presets, you can create your own by choosing the colors that interest you.
- Pattern Suggestions in Add Block Panel: When searching for a block using the Add Block Panel feature, the inbuilt editor will suggest patterns that you can instantly add. Ideally, there are several patterns available for users to explore and add.
- Improvements to Existing Blocks: WordPress 5.8 also features some improvements to existing blocks. You now have more colors to choose text, link colors and background. There is also a new way to adjust padding between columns. Additionally, choosing a gradient background for the stable block is now possible with the new release.
New PDF viewer
Before the recent update, WordPress did not have PDF viewer capabilities. One of the most exciting features of the new release is the PDF viewer block, which enables easy embedment of PDFs on your page. The feature also enables visitors to download the PDF file.
Under the Hood Changes
WordPress 5.8 comes with several under the hood changes that enable developers to explore and get creative with their themes, plugins, and projects. Some of the notable changes include:
- Termination of support for internet explorer: WordPress is ending support for Internet Explorer by the end of 2021. WordPress 5.8 has merged most of the changes needed to effect this new development.
- Use of block editor APIs: Context-aware filters will now use block editor APIs on multiple WordPress admin screens.
- Changes in recovery mode email message: Ideally, with WordPress 5.8, WordPress recovery mode, email messages will only be shown when email can be sent.
What Is WordPress 5.8 Release Schedule?
- May 25: Feature freeze/bug fix period
- June 8: Beta 1 was released
- June 15: Beta 2 drops
- June 22: Beta 3 released.
- June 29: Planned release date for release candidate
- July 1: Release candidate two drops
- July 13: Release candidate three release date
- July 19: Dry run for release of WordPress 5.8.
- July 20: WordPress 5.8 general release date.
How Can Businesses Prepare for the WordPress 5.8 Release?
The upcoming WordPress 5.8 release is a significant step towards solidifying WordPress’s site-building capabilities for an improved editing experience. However, for your business to maximize its benefits, you must prepare adequately. The following are some of the measures to take into consideration when preparing for the release of WordPress 5.8:
- Test the beta version of WordPress 5.8: testing the beta version allows you to familiarize yourself with the many features that come with the latest update so that when it is released, you won’t have issues navigating it. Don’t do the test on a live website to avoid issues with your production site. Ideally, the best way to test is by installing and activating WordPress Beta Tester Plugin.
- Back up your website: Backing up your data ensures you have the leverage should things go south when updating your website with the latest version of WordPress.
- Work with experts: You should seek advice from an IT expert on how to best upgrade to WordPress 5.8. Transitioning to the new WordPress 5.8 can be challenging, given the new features and improvements that come with the update. Having an IT expert to guide the whole process guarantees a smooth transition.
If you have questions about WordPress upgrades or need help with the upgrades when WordPress 5.8 is finally released, IT Network Solutions Group can help. Contact us today and learn more about our solutions.