WordPress 5.9 finally launched today, after it was pushed back from its original planned release date in late 2021.
Let’s take a little look at what we can expect to see in this new version of the CMS.
Improvements, Support & Bug Fixing
As expected with any new release, there is a host of updates and changes to ensure that WordPress continues to function well with ever evolving web technologies. 5.9 includes:
Update to jQuery 3.
Improved support for PHP8
There’s also the usual ongoing bug fixing that any well maintained platform or software receives. These are managed and resolved through their bug reporting ticket system.
Image Lazy Loading Improvements
With Google’s Core Web Vitals making LCP (or largest contentful paint) an important page experience metric, WordPress 5.9 has looked for ways to reduce time to LCP by making changes to its lazy loading feature. By not lazy loading the first content image on page, improvements of 7% on average are seen to LCP.
For sites with multiple languages installed, users can now choose their preferred language at login, from the login screen.
Gutenberg version 12.4 was actually released on January 19th. It continues its evolution to improve the native site editing experience in WordPress.
The latest release included a host of accessibility improvements, new and improved blocks, bug fixes, shortcuts, reminders, and more. You can read about it all here.
Full Site Editing- Continued.
Building on what began in WordPress version 5.8, 5.9 continues to work towards giving users full site editing. This aims to made it easier for those with no coding expertise to have greater control over how their site looks within certain themes.
This is less relevant to us, as we’ve been creating bespoke custom themes for our customers to provide them with greater creative control for years.
Block Editor Improvements
There are improvements to the block editor in 5.9, which include:
Drag and drop to easily move sections in list view.
Improved controls for headings.
Rich URL previews.
The navigation block in the site editor can now be used on post and pages.
Improved social icons.
More Site-Wide BlocksAdded
There are 10 of these new site-wide blocks, which live under the theme category. They include:
Next & Previous Post
Global Styling & Block Styling
You can now make site-wide changes to your styling with new tools to let you globally edit typography, colours and spacing. You can find access to the styling interface in the top right corner of your screen, whenever you’re editing a post or page. It gives you the option to save them as site-wide changes, or template specific.
You can now also style individual blocks both globally, and on an individual basis.
There you have it! A very brief overview. Let us know what your most anticipated changes are, and don’t forget the importance of keeping WordPress Core and plugins up-to-date.
If you need help keeping on top of updates, general maintenance, support, and managed WordPress optimised hosting, take a look at our WordPress Support plans.