Latest updates to Wordpress 5.5

WordPress’s newest update titled “Eckstine,” released in August of 2020, has brought many new improvements. Most of these changes surround the block editor, Gutenberg, which was introduced in a 2018 update. These improvements to the block editor are mostly centered around saving time in web design when creating your site.

Latest updates to WordPress 5.5

1. Inline Image Editing

Previously, when doing any basic image editing, such as resizing a photo, you had to launch the media library which added an extra step. This made photo editing quite inconvenient for those publishing a lot of images. With the latest update, you no longer need to open the media library to edit photos, and instead, you can edit directly from the block editor.

2. New UI Design

Similar to the past updates, the WordPress 5.5 updates bring a new UI design. These new improvements are not huge, but they do require some adjusting for those used to the old design. Some of the new design elements include block movers, device previews, improved drag and drop, stronger color contrast and a simplified block toolbar. The most noticeable changes include some new icons, a more noticeable + button and focus highlighting.

3. Block Patterns

Block patterns in essence are not technically new, since they were actually introduced in the March 2020 update. However, some new improvements have been made. Block patterns refer to block templates that WordPress provides for those unsure where to start when designing their block patterns.

Some will use these block patterns without any alteration, while others will use the block patterns as a jumping off point to get started and give them design inspiration. In the new update, block patterns can be found in the panel on the left side of the screen.

You will be able to search through the block patterns to find exactly what you are looking for. To make this feature even better, you will not only have access to WordPress developer’s patterns, but you can register your own patterns for easy access. This update will save users tons of time especially if they create many pages with similar design, you can save your design as a pattern and access it easily rather than recreating the pattern every time.

4. Custom Block Plugins

On top of being able to access WordPress’s developer’s blocks, you will now be able to build your own custom blocks, add your custom blocks to the (also new) block design directory and access other WordPress user’s blocks on the directory. Creating your own blocks only requires a knowledge of Javascript and it will give you the freedom to create anything you need for your website.

5. New Block Design Directory

One of the biggest advantages to WordPress over other website building platforms is that you have access to the entire community’s designs. Now, you will also have access to third party blocks, with an easy way to find what you are looking for. You can now easily search on the block design directory to find any block you are searching for. To make it even easier, the new update will bring an “add new block” button to easily insert blocks directly from the block inserter.

6. Lazy Load Images

Images can take quite a while to download and that extra split second can lose you a lot of potential viewers. Before lazy load, images on the entire page including the text would continue loading until the images were downloaded. This is often too long for an impatient potential reader to wait.

Lazy load images is an update that will save from losing those viewers by loading the most critical information first. When you open a page now, the text will load right away since it takes less time to download and the images will load as necessary, as the reader scrolls through the page. Technically, lazy load images is not a new concept and many developers would code it in. But now, with this new update, you can save time and make your website more user friendly since there is no need to write a specific code to defer image download.

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The list above features only some of the new improvements being added in the WordPress 5.5 update, since this release features a lot of new changes. With this new update, WordPress really focused on improving the user experience through simplifying and speeding up the website developing process. Overall, this update really focused on improving the block editor which should make creating your perfect website even easier and faster than before, offering benefits for all no matter if you are an experienced coder or a first time, beginner website builder.

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