The New Era for WordPress: The Updates and How to Prepare for WordPress 5.8 Release
The dawn of a new WordPress era is just but around the corner. The Gutenberg and WordPress Core team is gearing up for the release of WordPress 5.8 on July 20, 2021. This upcoming release makes significant strides towards solidifying WordPress’s site-building capabilities by improving the features users have come to enjoy over the years.
That said, you must prepare your business for the looming WordPress updates to fully enjoy its benefits. But before we look at how you can do that, let’s first take a closer look at the updates.
What are the updates made on WordPress 5.8?
WordPress 5.8 presents some of the most exciting features since the launch of the block editor. Here is a look at these features.
- WebP Image Support: The new version of WordPress will now natively support WebP images. WebP will be a replacement for JPEG and 4PNG which means it will also support image transparency that initially could only be done using 4PNG. The advantage that it has over 4PNG is that it will be a much smaller file size. Moreover, you can use WebP images across various browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Firefox for Android.
- Template Editor: The template editor will be available to all sites that use the WordPress theme. Users can now create and edit custom templates for posts and pages using blocks. This feature will also include the new list view panel that gives users an overview of all the template sections and blocks.
- The Query Loop Block: This feature comes with various designs for how you can display the loop. Once you choose a basic layout for a starting point, this tool enables you to customize the blocks within the loop. Some customizations you can make include color, length of excerpt, topography, and more.
- Duotone Image Effects: This new core block adds some fun to using WordPress. Duotone filters enable you to colorize your images and cover blocks. Therefore, you can add a pop of color to your designs and style your images to integrate with your themes seamlessly.
- Widget Area Block: The new block-based widget screen in WordPress 5.8 is a welcome change to the old widget system, which was more rigid. As opposed to all widget systems which required that whatever functionality you are trying to insert be readily available as a shortcode or widget, this new version allows you to add a vast world of blocks to widgetized areas. Using blocks in widgets will give users more flexibility in inserting various items. Given that the Widget Area Block feature is relatively new, you may need a little time to adapt to it. While you try to figure this feature out, you can always use the classic widgets plugin until such a time that you are comfortable with this feature.
- PDF viewer: WordPress did not have PDF viewer capabilities before the recent updates. As such, the PDF viewer block is amongst its most exciting features. You can now easily embed PDFs on your page. Moreover, this feature also allows you to give visitors the option of downloading the PDF file.
- Pattern Directory: This feature is a valuable resource for users who design their own websites. Even so, at its launch, the pattern directory will only have patterns that use core blocks. However, using blocks from WordPress.org will be made possible in the near future.
There have been some discussions of allowing the use of any blocks from the Block Directory if someone inserted the pattern. Also, there’s a themed studio that inquired about submitting their own patterns that use the free blocks. In response to these suggestions, Shaun Andrews commented that while he believes that the suggestions were possible, there simply hasn’t been work done to enable those suggestions.
However, even in its current state, Pattern Directory has some exciting tools. For instance, its pattern transformation tool allows you to convert a block or a collection of blocks into different patterns.
- Reusable Block Flow: The reusable block feature will spare you from the hassle of copy-pasting from one post to another by allowing you to save complex layouts. Additionally, this feature will enable you to re-use the same snippet of texts across pages and posts.
- Blog List View: This feature shows you a list view of all blocks such that you can easily navigate to the block you want to use.
- Theme Building Blocks: Some theme building blocks available on WordPress 5.8 include the side logo, side tag line, side title, post title, post content, post date, post excerpt, and more.
How can businesses start preparing for the release of WordPress 5.8?
The wait is almost over. Soon WordPress 5.8 will be launched. Businesses all over are excited at the prospect of using the new features that this latest update will present.
However, you need to be prepared in advance if you want to get the most out of the upgrade. Below is an outline of some measures you should take in preparation for the release of WordPress 5.8:
- Test the beta version of WordPress 5.8: Avoid doing the test on a live website because the chances are that it may break up your production site. The best way to test the beta version is by installing and activating WordPress Beta Tester Plugin or directly downloading the beta version. Testing the beta version will enable you to get conversant with the various features of this latest update such that when it is finally released, you won’t have any qualms navigating through it.
- Back up your website: Backing up your data will act as leverage if things go wrong when you’re updating your website with the latest version of WordPress. Backing up your website will allow you to easily revert to its previous state if things go south.
- Consult an IT expert for advice on how to best upgrade to WordPress 5.8: Transitioning from one version of WordPress to another can be challenging, especially in WordPress 5.8, given the new features and improvements made to the earlier version of WordPress. However, with the help of an IT expert, you are guaranteed a smooth transition.
Whether you have questions about WordPress upgrades or need help with the upgrades when WordPress 5.8 is finally released, ECW can help. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company with the upgrades.
ECW Computers is an information technology company. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL, we specialize in providing unique, specially-tailored Managed IT solutions to businesses in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and across South Florida.