WordPress released the WordPress 5.8 stable version. It announced the first Release Candidate on June 29th and released the second candidate seven days later. And the last release candidate, WordPress 5.8 RC3, is available for testing from July 13th.
The CMS giant hopes to release the stable version to the public on July 20th, paving the way for full site editing and other exciting features like WebP images support and managing widgets with blocks.
Unfortunately, it’ll be dropping support for Internet Explorer 11. But what would the new release mean for WordPress lovers?
For years, WordPress has dreamed of merging full site editing into WordPress core, and the new template editor provides the first step to WordPress’ future, making it the headline feature for WordPress 5.8.
Full Site Editing (FSE) makes designing pages and posts using the Gutenberg editor more straightforward, giving users more control over using blocks in website designs.
In addition, they can create and save custom templates and use them for any post or post.
Sadly, WordPress 5.8 will disable this feature at default, but users can activate it by adding a line of code in the function.php file.
add_theme_support( 'block-templates' );
Gutenberg Block as Widget
As another attempt at full site editing, WordPress 5.8 will support the Gutenberg block as a widget, meaning people can use any Gutenberg block in the Customizers as a widget.
This new feature will enable WordPress website designers to design WordPress headers and footers with widgets with greater flexibility.
Users can add blocks to their widget area in their theme via the Customizer on the WordPress Appearance menu, and they can use the new Classic Widget plugin to revert to the old-style widgets page layout.
Support for WebP Images
For lovers of WebP images, WordPress 5.8 comes with another good news.
The new update will support WebP images, enabling them to upload and use the images natively within their themes.
This update comes against the backdrop of WebP images’ growing popularity, as more and more websites rely on them to improve loading speed—as they can reduce image file size up to 25 to 35 percent compared to other image formats.
WebP image-loving WordPress users often count on FTP clients to add the images to their upload folder, but the new update will make uploading directly to the media library seamless.
Improved Gutenberg Block Editor Functionalities
Soon, WordPress users will enjoy new and improved Gutenberg block editor functionalities.
The new block editor will unpack exciting capabilities like, nested block selector that provides a permanent toolbar that lets users navigate blocks while editing content.
It’ll also introduce a new “List View” panel that makes navigating complex block hierarchies seamless, enabling users to see block organization and hierarchy clearly—making it more straightforward to organize things.
Some other exciting features of this new update includes:
- A new “Query Loop” block that allows users to display a continuous list of posts based on different query parameters
- Suggested patterns for blocks to help users create beautiful designs
- Duotone effect for images and image block
Taking an Early Look at the New Features
WordPress has released the stable version to the public, so you can take an early look at the new features by installing WordPress RC3.
WordPress recommends trying the new updates on a staging environment, as the release candidates are unstable and might conflict with plugins and the theme of your primary website. It advised using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin and selecting the Bleeding edge channel and Beta/RC Only stream to test the RC.
WordPress is an open-source content management system that lets people design beautiful websites. It powers two in every five websites on the internet, making it the simplest and the most popular way to create websites and blogs.