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WordPress 5.5 – what's new?

Few days ago WordPress released candidate for WordPress 5.5. As we can read on their official blog: "This is an important milestone in the community's progress toward the final release of WordPress 5.5". The target date release for 5.5 is August 11th and it will be the second major WordPress release of the year and is full of many new features and improvements. What's new? Let's check it out

New features and improvements in the block editor

In 2018 WordPress introduced a new writing interface called the block editor, also known as Gutenberg. Since then, Gutenberg has undergone many updates. WordPress 5.5 is packed with new improvements and features and thanks to them the block editor gained new functions such as:

  • Theme design toolkit extension,
  • Preview on devices,
  • Block insertion panel (it includes categories and collections of blocks and also integrates with the new block directory immediately after installation),
  • Support for various size units - em, rem, percent, vh and vw,
  • Image editing,
  • Editing (improved drag and drop, added parent block selection, contextual point selection, selecting multiple blocks to format at once, improved performance),
  • Third-party block support (searching, installing and inserting third-party blocks is now available using the new block directory),
  • Adding backgrounds and gradients to more types of blocks (groups, columns, multimedia, text),
  • New block diagrams.

Other important features 

Another new feature coming with WordPress 5.5 is updates management system. It allows you to enable auto-updates for any WordPress plugin and theme via the admin dashboard. Just click on the "Enable auto-updates" next to the plugin or theme that you want to be automatically updated. Yes, that's so simple.

WordPress 5.5 will come also with the new default XML sitemaps. Thanks to it search engines can easily index content from your website. The default address for the WordPress sitemap will be: /wp-sitemap.xml and will be able to accommodate an incredible number of web pages.

Next important feature worth to mention is lazy-loading images. This feature is great especially when images on your website take longer to download than plain text. Optimizing images is crucial if you want to boost the performance and speed your WordPress page. Thanks to this new default option your website will load a lot quicker since only these images that are visible on the user's browser screen are downloaded.

How can you help? 

If you want to be a part of the WordPress core development team there are many ways to contribute:

For more information go to: https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-5/

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