WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) in the world, which makes it a top-drawer consideration when building a new site. It is used by 41% of the top 10 million websites.
WordPress 5.8 is finally here and there are a lot of great changes for its users. The new version include many small under the hood improvements and significant changes that will change the way we all work with it. Named in honor of Art Tatum, the legendary Jazz pianist, WordPress 5.8 is the second significant release of the year for this popular CMS.
WordPress 5.8 Features
WordPress 5.8 brings tons of changes and enhancements, so let’s take a look at it.
WebP Image Format Support
WordPress is allowing a new image format and now supports WebP. It is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP images are around 30% smaller on average than their JPEG or PNG equivalents. This resulting in sites that are faster and use less bandwidth.
Full Site Editing (FSE)
Probably the most important update in the WordPress 5.8 is FSE. But what exactly does Full Site Editing mean? Here is the answer. From now on all WordPress users will be able to use the Block Editor to alter any element of your site. That includes the header, footer, and sidebar. Without doubts, it’s really pretty amazing feature. However, to do that, you will have to install a theme that supports the FSE functionality.
To put things simple, Full Site Editing allows WordPress users to customize the design of their site without having to write any code.
Style and Colorize Images
WordPress 5.8 makes possible to colorize your image and cover blocks with duotone filters. Duotone can add a pop of color to your designs and style your images to integrate well with your themes. You can think of the duotone effect as a black and white filter, but instead of the shadows being black and the highlights being white, you pick your own colors for the shadows and highlights.
Manage Widgets with Blocks
WordPress 5.8 introduces an all-new Widgets screen and enhanced Customizer. Now you can add blocks both in widget areas across your site and with live preview through the Customizer. As a result, this opens up new possibilities to create content. You will now be able to freely change the colors, typography, and spacing, without having to install any plugins.
There is a new set of blocks available in Theme editor mode introduced in WordPress 5.8:
- Site Logo
- Site Tagline
- Site Title
- Query Loop
- Post Title
- Post Content
- Post Date
- Post Excerpt
- Post Featured Image
- Post Categories
- Post Tags
- Page List
The template editor allows creating new post/page block templates and saving them for later use. It is a special mode available in the post editor that allows you to create, assign, and edit block templates to specific posts and pages. You can use the Template Editor feature combined with your WordPress themes. By default this new feature hasn’t been enabled, but if you want to use it, you can easily enable it in the Settings.
WordPress 5.8 Dropping support for IE11
Support for Internet Explorer 11 has been dropped as of this release. This means you may have issues managing your site that will not be fixed in the future. If you are currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a more modern browser.
New Pattern Directory
WordPress 5.8 introduce the Pattern directory for Block Patterns, which gives you more options to set up layouts of blocks, by themes and plugins. The pattern is a predefined set of blocks that you can use on any page, post or special page or listing item. You can think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block.
What’s Before you update to WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”
Before running any major update of WordPress, make sure to backup your website. We recommend making a complete backup that includes your WordPress database, WordPress files, themes, plugins, media library, etc. before proceeding with the update.
For more information about all changes in the new version, you can refer to the official announcement.