WordPress 5.9 is the first major release of 2022, as it was launched on January 25, 2022. This recent version brings new features and enhancements that make full site customization even easier.
We are pretty excited about all the new features and hope that building a website is going to be easier and more efficiently!
What to expect from the new WordPress 5.9 release?
It has big, new improvements to the list view and rearranging items are much easier. There is a big improvement in how you can insert blocks.
The biggest update to WordPress 5.9 of course is the new editor for full site editing and controlling the layout of your website. You now can change the structural design of the website, also have greater control over the typography and colours. All of this sound amazing! Let’s find out is it worth the thrill?
Updates to the WordPress website
On the WordPress website, you can reach the pattern directory, where you can find premade patterns for your project. You can copy and use them pretty easily. These designs are very basic, but you can still get a new idea or a guideline if you are stuck while building your new website.
The other new release on the official WordPress website is the photo directory. It is much more exciting in our opinion. The cool thing about it is that these photos are provided by users and you can use them freely in all your design ideas on the website. The good thing is that the repository is already quite big and still growing.
The new block builder and UX improvements
The new improvements are pretty exciting for multiple reasons. The first one we will start with is the much stability while editing, adding new blocks, and its content.
The update comes along with a much better list and faster editing and development. To access the list view you must click on the hamburger menu on the top left of your screen. You will see the list view open up on the left. This way it gives you a much clearer view of the content and its placement on the page you are building.
Before WordPress 5.9 you could click on a particular element and the one to be highlighted on your screen to be edited. Now the cool thing is that the panel lets you rearrange all elements on the page you are currently editing.
The drag and drop system of moving the element around gives the feeling of freedom and looks much more like one of the most popular page builders nowadays. You can drag and drop your new content basically anywhere you need. From the list view, you can fast save an element like a reusable one.
Another cool thing with the new release is that when you enter a text block for example a new paragraph is not automatically placed underneath. Also, the plus sign for adding a new block is fixed on the bottom right corner, which makes editing and building a much nicer process.
Full site editing - the biggest change in WordPress 5.9
This new feature gives you the ability to take control over every aspect of your website in one place. This gives you more options on how your project looks like and also faster to make any changes if needed.
The full site editing is based on the well-known block system. Now you can customize your headers, footers, create different page layouts.
To access the editor you should have a block-based theme active on the website. This is a little frustrating to most users of WordPress. That means that probably most of the themes we are using nowadays are not compatible with this new update and you are not able to work with the new editor. There is a big conversation among the community, but whether you like it or not, this is the official decision of the platform.
To reach the new editor you need to go to Appearance – Editor. The first thing you will notice is the absence of the so well-known Customiser we were so used to. It missing is because from now on everything will be done in blocks.
When you enter the interface of the editor you come to a whole new experience. On the top left corner there is the icon of WordPress and if you click on it – the panel opens up and you can see the areas of editing you can do. You can make changes to your website, to templates and template parts.
On the right part, you can see the icon called Styles. From here you can control the style part of your website – typography, colors, some defaults of blocks.
On the top, you can find a toggle which when opened you can make changes to your header and footer.
From the template section, you can make changes to individual parts of your website – single blog posts, template for a page, 404 page, archives, etc.
In the templates parts section, you can see and edit all your headers, footers, and of course, you can add new ones if you need to do so.
The overall idea of all these changes is pretty good – now you can easily take better control over your project looks, but the new user experience is way too complex. As we know WordPress is mostly used by people who don’t have coding skills, but all these new ways to customize the website might be too confusing and not so user-friendly.
After all, this feature is the new way of editing and building websites from now on. Most of the themes will develop something similar to this WordPress update.
New features for developers
WordPress 5.9 now supports theme.json inheritance for child themes. Blocks also get new attributes and multiple stylesheets support, giving more creative space for block developers.
Creating a child theme in WordPress 5.9 is simpler thanks to theme.json inheritance. Simply add a new folder for the child theme in the public_html/wp-content/themes directory and create the style.css file. Your new child theme is ready to use, with the global styles inherited from the parent theme.
New lazy-load modification is implemented to speed up loading speed. WordPress 5.9 now supports the latest PHP 8.1 and introduces an improvement to the PHP testing framework for better compatibility.
Language Selector on the Login Page
WordPress 5.9 allows users to select their language on the login screen. The language choice will also apply to derivative pages, such as the password reset screen and user registration. To activate this feature, users must install more than one site language.
Before updating your site to WordPress 5.9, be sure to backup all WordPress website files and databases. Also, check your theme and plugins for compatibility with WordPress 5.9 to prevent any malfunction.
WordPress 5.9 takes the full site editing experience further by adding a block editor, various new design tools, and UX improvements. WordPress 5.9 also introduces features to enhance web development and design, including bug fixes and new compatibility tools.
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