WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 is now available for testing!
This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Instead, recommendation is that you run this on a test site to play with the new version.
You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 in two ways:
- Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
- Direct download the beta version here (zip).
The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. This is just six weeks away, so your help is vital to ensure this release is tested properly and as good as it can be.
So what’s new in this 5.8? Let’s start with some highlights.
- Discover several new blocks and expressive tools, including blocks for Page Lists, Site Title, Logo, and Tagline. A powerful Query Loop block offers multiple ways for displaying lists of posts and comes with new block patterns that take advantage of its flexibility and creative possibilities.
- Interacting with nested blocks has been made easier with a permanent toolbar button for selecting a parent. Block outlines are shown when hovering or focusing on the different block type buttons. Block handles are now also present for drag and drop when in “select” mode.
- Introduces the List View, a panel that can be toggled and helps navigate complex blocks and patterns.
- Reusable blocks have an improved creation flow and support for history revisions.
- A cool new duotone block adds images effects which can be used in media blocks or supported in third-party blocks. Color presets can also be customized by the theme.
Patterns can now also be recommended and selected during block setup, offering powerful new flows. Pattern transformations are also possible and allow converting a block or a collection of blocks into different patterns.
New collection of Patterns and an initial integration with the upcoming Pattern Directory on WordPress.org.
- New template editor that allows creating new custom templates for a page using blocks.
- Themes can now control and configure styling with a theme.json file, including layout configuration, block supports, color palettes, and more.
- New design tools and enhancements to existing blocks, including more color, typography, and spacing options, drag and drop for Cover backgrounds, additions to block transformation options, ability to embed PDFs within the File block, and more.
- Includes improvements to how the editor is rendered to more accurately resemble the frontend.
Internet Explorer 11
Support for Internet Explorer 11 is ending in WordPress this year. In this release, most of those changes are being merged so use the Beta and RC periods to test!
Blocks in Widgets Area
- You can now use any block in your theme’s widget areas using the all new Widgets screen and updated Customizer.
- Existing third party widgets continue to work via the Legacy Widget block.
- Not quite ready for a full switch? To ease the transition, users can use the Classic Widgets plugin and themes can call remove_theme_support( ‘widgets-block-editor’ ).