The biggest changes in recent years are coming to WordPress on July 20, 2021. The update is WordPress 5.8 and the following paragraphs briefly outline the changes users can expect to see.
In fact, the WP 5.8 version is currently available for testing. There is a WordPress Beta Tester plug-in available that allows users to test the new version on their computers or on a staging site. In six months, the full version will release, and the changes will impact every WordPress user and every WordPress website. According to WP, there are 91 new functions and enhancements to existing functions as well as bug fixes.
A few of the changes are:
Improved block editor
In addition to the changes noted above, the WordPress 5.8 version comes with improvements to the block editor function. In a nested block, it may prove difficult to select the parent block. The new and improved 5.8 makes the parent block always easy to find with a parent block button that resides on the toolbar. Users can also name reusable blocks to save and use later.
The new Gutenberg list panel
The new list panel shows all the blocks on a post or page. This function makes it simpler to move to a particular block in a complicated arrangement of blocks in a post or page. This new function makes it easier to select the right layer for the blocks you want to edit.
The select tool with handles
The block outline now has a handle to make it easier to shift blocks up or down. The block outline also benefits from improved highlighting as the user navigates among the blocks.
Customizing is the key. Version 5.8 comes with Duotone filters for use in images as well as media blocks. Some Duotone filters are preset, but users can also design their own presets by selecting the colors they want to appear. Or users can create their own presets to coordinate with color schemes. There are also shadows and effects that provide design options in addition to the original WordPress options.
When using the add block feature, the new editor throws out ideas for patterns that are easy to add. This will be a public library of beautifully designed pattern suggestions that users can copy and paste to their own sites.
Existing blocks just got fancier.
The new 5.8 has more color options for text, background, and links. And gradient color is an option for the background in the table block. There are new fonts, new sizes in fonts,
The PDF viewer
This function is brand new with version 5.8. The PDF viewer block makes it easy to embed PDFs on a WordPress website. In addition, not only can website visitors view the PDF, there is an option that permits viewers to download the PDF to their own computers.
Other developer changes
Here are some ways WordPress will change in the coming year:
The first step is to back up your data so, in the event, anything goes wrong while you update your website with the latest and greatest version of WordPress, you will have a restore point with saved data.
The second step is to test 5.8 on a beta testing site. Users can do this by downloading the WordPress Beta Testing plugin. Alternatively, users can directly download the beta testing version. Testing helps users become familiar with the recent changes and comfortably using them before the final version releases in July.
The third step is to consult with an IT professional to guide you on how best to upgrade your website to WordPress 5.8. IT professionals can help make your transition an untroubled one.
If you want to discuss anything related to this topic, please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our WordPress experts. We look forward to helping you grow your business with WordPress.
If you would like to learn more about what to expect from WordPress 5.8, you may enjoy the June 2021 article from wptavern.com entitled “WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 Released: New Blocks, Widgets Screen, and Pattern Directory on Deck.”