WordPress is an open-source content management system that was originally created for blog publishing, but has since evolved into supporting various types of web content, and is still continuously evolving. It’s latest version, WordPress 5.4, is named “Adderly” after the trumpet playing musician, Nat Adderly, as WordPress has a tradition of naming versions after Jazz musicians. It was released on March 31, 2020, and is the first major update of WordPress in 2020.
Currently, WordPress is on a “development freeze,” which means there are no new features introduced to the editor but they are consistently improving existing features. In this release, a lot of the improvements focus on their content editor, mainly the block editor. “Every major release adds more to the block editor,” WordPress states.
WordPress 5.4 introduces two new blocks to their block editor.
1. Social Media Icons Block
You’re now allowed to add social media widgets to your posts. These widgets will allow your visitors to click on the logo of a certain social network’s site from your post and redirect them to your social media page. However, to allow your visitors to share your post into a social media site, you will still need a plug-in.
2. From Button to Buttons (with an “S”) Block
As the name change suggests, the previous button block is now in plural form. This improvement allows you to create buttons inside the same block, side by side! Now all you have to do is adjust the buttons’ colors, size, input links, and you’re good to go.
New Color Options for Multiple Blocks
WordPress 5.4 gives you new color options for multiple blocks, allowing you to pick gradients for the buttons and cover block, toolbar access to color options in the rich text blocks, and color options in the group and columns block.
New Block Selection Tool
Have you ever nested blocks inside a group block and had a hard time reselecting a certain block? If so, your life just became easier. There is now a button in the toolbar that allows you to easily select blocks. Just by clicking on this tool called the “select” tool, and clicking on the block that you would like to select.
Default Full Screen
With the ability to focus on your content more in mind, WordPress 5.4 sets your screen on fullscreen mode by default. You may click on the “W” icon in the upper left corner of your screen to reveal the admin area, but if you want to switch off the default fullscreen setting, you have to go to the editor settings and uncheck the “fullscreen mode” option.
Featured Images and Gallery Block Images Improvements
Just drag and drop your images to the “featured images” section, and instantly add your photo there. No need to manually upload them anymore. On top of that, you can now select the size of your images in the gallery block directly from the gallery block settings!
Latest Posts Block Improvement
The latest post block now includes “featured images,” which makes the block more appealing! You may choose to rearrange the images’ alignment and size.
Clearer Interface and Easier Navigation
You may now see which block you’re in very easily and quickly because of block breadcrumbs. The “tips” are also gone and has been replaced by a “welcome guide” that you may bring up only when you need it. Your screen reader now also tells you if you are in edit or navigation mode. Because of these new improvements, WordPress says that loading is now faster by 14% and typing by 51%.
Better Mobile Editing
Mobile editing in the WordPress app is now easier, with the toolbar placed on top, fixing the previous issue where it was hard to edit using the mobile app.
With the rise of the mobile app Tiktok, WordPress 5.4 now allows you to embed Tiktok videos to your posts. Although now, CollegeHumor is gone. 🙁
- Personal data exports now include users’ session information and users’ information. This may be found in the community events widget
- You may now see progress as you process export and erasure requests
- Privacy tools now have a newly improved, cleaner look
- Developers can now add custom fields to menu items.
- Keyboard shortcuts may now be added to the block editor.
- Two new APIs: block variations and gradients
- Simpler block styling
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WordPress Demo Website
Want to try out all the new features :). We keep an upto date demo site with the latest (sometimes even nightly builds) of WordPress that you are welcome to have a look at.
Please ask us for a username/password to test the site. This will let you test run all the new features without putting your live website at risk.