WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” was released on August 11, 2020; this was the second major release for WordPress in the year. WordPress 5.5 comes packed with several new features and improvements.
In each release WordPress has been introducing additions to the block editor, WordPress 5.5 is no different, and with this latest version, We’ve been following the development closely and testing the latest version to give you more updates about the WordPress 5.5 new features.
What is Block Editor? What are the new features of the Block Editor?
With WordPress 5.0 a new writing experience was introduced by WordPress in 2018. This writing interface was called the block editor or Gutenberg.
Since then every release of WordPress introduces a number of updates to the block editor. The WordPress 5.5 new features also focus on enhancing the writing experience immensely.
10 versions of the Gutenberg plugin (block editor) have been added to the core, resulting in several UI improvements, enhancements, and bug fixes that influence every aspect of the editing experience, right from usability to functionality.
It is not possible to list down all the WordPress 5.5 new features and changes, so we have picked up some of the best features and improvements and discussed them in the post below.
- New UI Design
- New Block Design Tools
- Inline-Image Editing
- Default Lazy Load Images
- Auto Updates for Plugins and Themes
New UI Design
WordPress 5.5 has come up with major UI improvements to the block editor. The block toolbar has been simplified, the colour contrast is stronger, new icons and buttons have been introduced.
There is an improved drag and drop feature and improved device previews. The latest version allows the formatting of multiple blocks at the same time.
The Rich Text controls now also display formatting options for subscript and superscript text. A new toolbar button can be viewed while hovering over the left side of the block toolbar; this button allows the selection of parent blocks in nested contexts.
The (+) button which is used for adding new blocks has also been updated, the new button is more noticeable and attractive.
New Block Design Tools
Many block design tools have been added and available in WordPress 5.5. The Height Control and Background Gradient tool provides control over the dimensions and background colour for a number of blocks.
Two additional features have been introduced but they’re still marked as experimental, the two features are padding control for Cover block and Link color control for Paragraph, Heading, Group, Columns, and Media & Text blocks.
The custom units and custom line heights feature to allow you to set height values for the Cover block. The enhanced height control feature allows you to jump values by 10 by just holding down the Shift key while pressing up or down.
In the earlier versions of WordPress, one could edit the images but the editing had to be done in the media library. The inline-image editing feature in WordPress 5.5 allows editing of images directly from the image block, without leaving the block editor.
One can scale the images, crop them, rotate or resize them on the spot without having to launch the media library. This will save a lot of time for users who publish several images on their website.
Just click the crop or resize button in the image toolbar to access the new editing options. Make the required edits, and once the changes are done you just need to apply them and the edited image is ready for use.
The new image is saved as an attachment in the Media Library; it copies the details like the title, description, caption, alt text, and EXIF data from the original image. Whereby giving you complete control over the new image versions.
Default Lazy Load Images
Images take a long time to download as compared to plain text, resulting in increased page loading time. Optimizing images for the web helps in improving the loading speed of the website.
The most common technique for image optimization is lazy loading the images. Under this technique, only images that are visible on the user’s screen are downloaded.
Other images keep getting downloaded as the user scrolls the screen. Under WordPress 5.5 new features, the lazyload image has been made a default option for all the websites. This feature is supported by all modern web browsers except Safari.
Auto Updates for Plugins and Themes
WordPress has a very powerful updates management system. In the older versions, one was able to auto-update the plugins and themes by making the required changes to the configuration or by installing a third-party plugin.
The new WordPress 5.5 allows one to enable automatic updates options for plugins and themes through the admin dashboard.
One just needs to visit the plugins page and click on the ‘Enable auto-update’ next to the plugins which you want to be automatically updated. Similarly, auto-update enabling is possible for themes also. Additionally, this guide can help you to check the latest version of WordPress and how to upgrade it.
Develop a website on WordPress 5.5
Are you looking to build a new website for your business? Do you wish to update your current website to WordPress 5.5 version?
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Contact us for more information on our web development and designing services.