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WordPress 5.8 officially released on July 20, 2021. The goal is to merge the first version of full site editing (FSE) into WordPress core. Full site editing allows you to create all site elements using Gutenberg blocks. WordPress 5.8 also offers a lot of improvements and new features we will cover in this article.
Test WordPress 5.8
We highly recommend testing major updates in a separate environment like Cloud WordPress, our WordPress staging solution, before pressing the update button on your live website.
Cloud WordPress allows you to create a fully functional, free WordPress site for sandboxing (with or without BoldGrid) in just a few clicks. Use a WordPress backup plugin like Total Upkeep to migrate your website for staging. Now you can make sure updating WordPress will not cause any problems on your website. It’s important to keep the WordPress software and all themes and plugins installed on your website up to date for security reasons.
You can also download the zip directly from WordPress.
New Features in WordPress 5.8
Several new block types will be available, including Page Lists, Site Title, Logo, Tagline, and Query Loop. The Query Loop block provides multiple layouts for posts and comes with new matching block patterns. Other updates include:
- A new panel called List View can be utilized to help navigate complex blocks and patterns.
- Additional image effects are available with a new Duotone block.
- With a new Widgets screen and updated Customizer, you can now use any block in widget areas.
WordPress 5.8 will also have improvements to several block related features.
- Nested blocks have a permanent toolbar with a button for selecting a parent.
- When hovering on the page, entire blocks are outlined so you can see exactly where you’re at.
- Block handles now appear when in “select” view, enabling drag and drop functionality.
- Improved flow when creating resuable blocks and added revision history support.
You can also look forward to new design tools and enhancements to existing block types, including more color, typography, and spacing options.
WebP Image Support
Starting with WordPress 5.8 you will be able to upload WebP images to the Media Library the same way you would upload a JPEG or PNG image.
WebP images are generally smaller than these other image types and is supported in all modern browsers. Using WebP images means your site will load faster to improve your site visitor’s experience.
However, you will still need to check with your WordPress Hosting company to ensure their services supports WebP.
New patterns are coming with this release, as well as an initial integration with the upcoming Pattern Directory on WordPress.org. You can now transform patterns to convert a block or collection of blocks into different patterns.
Block Patterns are also being added to every Core theme going all the way back to Twenty Ten. There is a complete list of bundled theme changes.
WordPress is officially ending support for Internet Explorer 11 this year.
WordPress 5.8 Release Schedule
- Full Site Editing passed first go/no go – April 14
- Beta 1 – June 8
- Beta 2 – June 15
- Beta 3 – June 22
- Beta 4 – June 25
- Release Candidate 1 – June 29
- Release Candidate 2 – July 6
- Release Candidate 3 – July 13
- Stable Release – July 20, 2021
Phases of Full Site Editing in WordPress
Here is the history of FSE and WordPress:
Be sure to check back weekly for the latest updates until WordPress 5.8 is released!
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