What's New in WordPress 5.8

Our beloved WordPress has us used to its impressive updates, and the new version 5.8 is no exception. As we could see with the two previous versions, part of the efforts have been focused on Gutenberg and for good reasons: it's easy, it's comfortable, and it's VERY fast. WordPress 5.8 furthers its goal of a fully editable Gutenberg site, but also adds support for native WebP image format, the ability to use blocks as widgets (sidebar, footer, etc), and a few more things we'll tell you about. in this analysis. Do you already have your coffee or tea served? Let's go!

WordPress “Tatum”

Maybe you didn't know that each new version of WordPress is, at the same time, a dedication to Jazz. In this case, WordPress 5.8 pays tribute to the great Art Tatum, a pianist from Ohio but who established himself mainly in Cleveland, later in greater New York.

Considered one of the most virtuoso pianists of the last century, he certainly deserved a place in the series of WordPress tributes as well. If you click on his image here, you will be able to know his music if you have never heard it yet.

FSE: Full Site Editing

As we have already advanced in the intro, the new FSE Template Editor is the special star of the new version. FSE, for the acronym of Full Site Editing (Full Site Edition in Spanish), it provides us with even greater control of the design blocks. In case someone was late to the party, “blocks” are the way that page and post content is sorted and generated via Gutenberg in WordPress. And for those who didn't even know about the “party”, Gutenberg is the name of the native WordPress editor. Although limited in some respects, it is lightning fast.

Themes in general are chosen for the capabilities and design style they provide and clearly this ability remains intact in the new WordPress, but at the same time blocks can now be used to control how content is displayed, including “ sockets” of the Header, Footer and Sidebar.

The Template Editor is the first step in FSE technology to create and save custom templates to use wherever you like, Page or Post alike. These templates support images, logo block, post publication date and other typical Page elements.

By clicking on “new”, an editor opens and there we can use all the Gutenberg blocks including the new ones in this new version of WordPress.

  • Site Logo
  • Name of the site
  • Short description of the Site
  • Entry Category
  • query loop
  • Entry Title
  • Post Content
  • Input Labels
  • Page List
  • Entry Date
  • Entry Excerpt
  • Post Featured Image
  • Sign In/ Log Out

It is important to clarify that the new Template Editor is disabled by default; WordPress does not intend to add functionality that many people, as a result of having their site finished, will not use. On the other hand, when an Admin uses the benefits of his Theme and is used to creating content in a certain way, it is likely that Gutenberg and the new Template Editor will not be attractive to him. If this is not our case, we must add the following line of code to functions.php

add_theme_support( 'block-templates' );

To achieve this, let's remember to use the Theme Editor as shown in the screenshot below:

After this step we will have the Template Editor working.

Gutenberg blocks inside Widgets

I risk formulating that all of us who have designed with Gutenberg wanted it to happen: to be able to use blocks within so-called WordPress “widgets”. It is not minor at all, because now we can create custom Headers and Footers 100% when our intention is to have an ultra-light site with a theme according to and/or based on Gutenberg (such as the extraordinary blocksy).

We can use the Gutenberg blocks for Headers/Footers/Sidebars in Appearance → Customize.

It is also possible to add blocks as Widgets from the page in question: Appearance → Widgets

Welcome WebP

Although Webp is an image compression format that many sites already use today, the truth is that to benefit us with its optimization power we had to resort to third-party plugins (for example, the great Optimus HQ). Until version 5.8 of WordPress, if we wanted to upload a WebP image to our media gallery, it would reject the upload on the grounds that it was not secure.

Typical WordPress error when trying to upload WebP before new version 5.8

In reality, it is not that WebP is not secure, but that WordPress had to prepare for this format, the security of the system behind our sites always being the most important thing.

The advantages of WebP

Webp is a bitmap file format (photos, images) that has both lossy and lossless compression.. It is the direct competitor of JPG, and the winner, because with the same file size between JPG and WebP, the latter is the one that provides the best definition. If you are interested in testing the difference in weight and quality between a JPG image and another WebP, you can convert any of your photos to WebP using this online tool. If you have already updated to the latest WordPress, you will be able to upload your WebP files without any problems.

There is also a newer, third “in discord” format, called AVIF. Although WordPress does not accept it yet, it will probably be a step to come.

New features in Gutenberg

Since Gutenberg was born, each new version of WordPress has given it more tools and greater flexibility. The WordPress 5.8 version takes another step forward in this site builder, expanding its functions and possibilities. Let's see the strongest points:

Nested Block Selector

Gutenberg now permanently displays a toolbar button that allows us to easily select a “parent” block. Just click on this button and the main element will be selected. This is very useful for quickly navigating through blocks while editing content.

New block "Query Loop"

WordPress 5.8 brings a new special block called “Query Loop”. This block allows to display continuous lists of posts according to different query parameters and visual configurations that we ourselves stipulate.

Thanks to the Query Loop block we can display lists of posts or pages based on categories, author, specific keywords and other customization criteria.

New “List View” panel

WordPress 5.8 introduces a new way to navigate through complex block hierarchies. When enabling the panel list view we can clearly see the organization and hierarchy of the blocks, which makes it easier to organize the setup in general.

Block pattern suggestion in the “Add Block” panel

When designing a page, if we search for any block within the panel, it will show suggestions of related patterns. This helps us create eye-catching and interesting designs. Soon we will have available an integration with the directory of patterns published in the official patterns of WordPress.

Duotone Effect for Images and Media Blocks

In WordPress 5.8 it is possible to apply a new duotone filter to images, within media blocks and even third-party blocks. It can be thought of as an Instagram filter, if you will, which converts the medium to two colors. Both colors can be chosen without restrictions, and we can even choose one of the presets as shown in the screenshot below.

General additions

  • More color options to choose text, background and link colors.
  • New option to adjust padding between columns.
  • New gradient background option for table blocks.
  • WordPress support for Internet Explorer 11 is removed.
  • New theme.json for theme developers it will be the central point for configuring existing and new controls in the editor (best explained here).
WordPress is a Content Manager as a result of global collaboration. In the WordCamp Europe The following video was shown to demonstrate the Gutenberg editing enhancements.
youtube video player

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