WordPress 5.5 is rolling out a new update on August 11, 2020. The core software is still in development but you can take a look and test it out via the beta test version. If you plan on testing it out, it’s best practice to perform a backup of your website before installing the plugin or implement the beta test on a staging environment. Along with the user interface change and design, you can expect new features and layout features with the Gutenberg Editor. New Pattern layouts, inline image editing, and default lazy loading are just a few key features this update incorporates. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.
New Pattern Layouts and UI Improvements for the Block Editor
If you’ve ever used premium page builders such as Elementor, Divi, or Avada, you will notice they all offer premade layouts you can use on your website. Now with the new Block Patterns a version of this capability is now available for WordPress core. These pattern layouts allow you to quickly create page sections with different column layouts, fonts, colors etc. Want to change parts of the layout? No worries! You can still edit the layout because each layout is composed of blocks.
This update also incorporates new features to make the Block Editor more user friendly. With WordPress 5.5, you’ll notice there are borders around toolbars and buttons, new icons, and focus highlighting as you move across blocks while writing. This makes it easier to edit your page and clearly see where all your tools and option settings are located.
WordPress 5.0 Block Editor
WordPress 5.5 Block Editor
Block navigation and placement has also improved. It will now be easy to move and place both regular blocks and nested blocks anywhere you would like on your page. In the previous WordPress version. it was a bit challenging to adjust nested columns and elements and it would be hard to select the exact block you need to edit. When you open the block and navigation menu, you’ll be able to quickly search, select , and edit any block you like.
New Performance Updates
What good is a website if it doesn’t perform or work? You want your website to get noticed and rank high for web traffic. Before you may have had to implement additional plugins to boost your SEO, but with WordPress 5.0 new performance features it automatically does some of the work for you.
If you have a slow website, one of the key things causing that are un-optimized images. One solution is Lazy Loading. Lazy Loading means images are only downloaded when they are visible on the user’s browser screen. Other images are downloaded as a user scrolls down your website. WordPress 5.5 will make it a default option for all sites by adding the ‘loading’ attribute to img tag. This attribute is supported by all modern web browsers (except Safari). You can also resize your images using the new inline image editor. Optimizing your images is a much easier task now.
Another tool many people use for SEO strategy are XML sitemaps. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of your website content in XML format. This helps search engines like Google to easily discover and index your content. WordPress 5.5 automatically comes with a built-in sitemaps feature. It will create a new sitemap index file called wp-sitemap.xml which will contain links to all other sitemap files it will generate. This built in feature only creates basic sitemaps, but if you want more advanced options popular premium plugins like All in One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO are compatible with the new update.
As you can see WordPress 5.5 is rolling out with many great things and will make your website production with WordPress more efficient and quick. If you need further assistance with Gutenberg and how blocks work, check out our free WordPress training manual.
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