WordPress 5.9 is released today - what's new?

January 26,

Today is the day that WordPress 5.9 will be released.

So, what can we expect from the newest WordPress Core release?

WordPress 5.9 was finally released today, after being postponed until the end of 2021. And WPbeginner have done a fantastic guide about these new changes. So, let's have a look at what we can anticipate.

Full Site Editing is Here

WordPress 5.9 continues to strive toward allowing users complete site editing, as it did in version 5.8. This is meant to make it easier for people who don't know how to code to have more influence over how their site looks inside specific themes.

This is less of an issue for us because we've been building bespoke custom themes for our customers for years to give them more creative flexibility.

wordpress 5.9

The site editing experience will be greatly enhanced with this next update. These new features make it easy to customise your WordPress theme without having to know any code, allowing you to create a website with a truly distinctive look.

Site-Wide Blocks are now available

Under the 'Theme' category, WordPress 5.9 will introduce ten new blocks designed exclusively for complete site modification. These blocks are:

wordpress 5.9
  1. Navigation
  2. Template Part
  3. Header
  4. Footer
  5. Post Author
  6. Next Post
  7. Previous Post
  8. Post Comments
  9. Term Description
  10. Archive Title

Styles for the Entire Site

With new tools that let you globally adjust font, colours, and spacing, you can now make site-wide changes to your styling. When editing a post or page, you can access the styling interface from the upper right corner of your screen. You have the option of saving them as site-wide or template-specific changes. Individual blocks can now be styled both globally and individually.

wordpress 5.9

New Default Block Based Theme; Twenty Twenty-Two

WordPress 5.9 will launch with a fresh new default theme named Twenty Twenty-Two, as it will be the first major update of the coming year. The new default theme makes advantage of all of the new site editor's interesting features. It's intended to be the most customisable default WordPress theme ever, giving users complete control over every aspect of their site's appearance.

Enhancements, Support, and Fixes

As with any new release, there are a slew of upgrades and tweaks to guarantee that WordPress keeps up with rapidly changing web technologies. WordPress 5.9 includes the following:

  • Update to jQuery 3.
  • Improved support for PHP 8

In addition, any well-maintained platform or programme will receive continuing bug fixes. Their bug reporting ticket system is used to handle and address these issues.

Image Lazy Loading Optimisations

With LCP (or biggest contentful paint) being an essential page experience measure in Google's Core Web Vitals, WordPress 5.9 has made adjustments to its lazy loading functionality to shorten time to LCP. LCP is improved by 7% on average when the initial content image on the page is not lazy loaded.

With the introduction of WordPress's performance team last year, we're hoping to see even more gains on important page experience metrics.

Gutenberg 12.4 Updates are live

Gutenberg version 12.4 was actually released on January 19th, and 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.

Gutenberg Block Editor Updates and Tweak

The block editor has been improved in 5.9, with the following features:

  • In list view, drag and drop sections to easily move
  • Heading controls have been improved
  • Previews of URLs in their entirety
  • The site editor's navigation block can now be used on posts and pages
  • Social icons have been improved

This could be a bit confusing for anyone looking to run a set website. The good news is that at Culprit Design, we actually offer a range of support, and always up to date and future-proof websites. Just take a look at our plans.

I'm a UI / UX Designer living in Sheffield. I have a real passion for everything digital, movies and motorbikes.

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