WordPress has just rolled out latest WordPress update 5.4 that goes by the name of Adderley. It is available for download from March 31, 2020. The updates are all set to release a lot of good changes in block editors and improvements in speed.

Read on to find more detailed information on the new features and changes, so are well-equipped to create a site on WordPress.

Block Editor

A lot of things in the block editor have been remodeled to better align with Gutenberg plugins. If you aren’t already using Gutenberg plugins, now is the time to give them a try. This is because, with this new upgrade, anything working on Gutenberg is supposed to be faster and more efficient.

Overall, block editor has been revamped to give a 14% decrease in loading time and 51% decrease in time it takes to type. This will surely boost the functioning of your theme.

Some of the most prominent block editor changes are:

  • New social icons block
  • You can choose from 39 available social icons to link to your corresponding social media profiles or pages.
  • New buttons block
  • It allows you to add multiple buttons side by side. This block is an improved version of the existing Button block.
  • A welcome guide modal instead of tips.
  • Increased color support like additional color options, inline text colors for Rich Text blocks. Headings block will also offer control over the text color.
  • Featured images support in the latest posts block
  • Breadcrumb bar in the navigation block
  • A new TikTok embed block.
  • You can use this block to display short video content to your blogs and pages from the trending social media app TikTok.
  • An improved image editor feature that allows you to adjust image sizes as you require.
  • You can now set fixed widths to columns

These changes and more are focused on making a more streamlined block usage and easier navigation, this is what can be seen on this website as well. The tabbing and block selection has been improved considerably allowing for easier block switching and editing. Features like drag and drop for featured images, captions for table block and fixed menu bar make it even easier to move around the block editor.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Block editor keyboard shortcuts can now be added by users to have their custom shortcuts with the help of theme package called @WordPress/keyboard-shortcuts.

Gradient Theme APIs

The new WordPress release allows developers to add a lot more color to their pages with the help of newer APIs for gradient backgrounds.

Markup And Style Changes

Some changes have been made in the markup and style as a result of code cleanup and standardization. Let us list down a few of them:

  • editor – >block-editor (class prefix name change)
  • The edit-post-layout__content class has been removed from DOM
  • Unused and redundant div wrappers are removed.
  • Removed block paddings and negative margins

Block Scaffolding

A new package called the create-block allows developers to create a directory structure for the block editor plugin.

Block Collections

Collections allow for a new way to group blocks based on their visual representations.

Block Variations

The Block variations API allows developers to manage, add and delete block variations that can be chosen from when adding content to pages.

Developer Focused Changes

Developers will have an easier time adapting to the new version as the code is cleaner and the new updates provide a lot of opportunities to develop faster web pages. Some new additions include

  • New CSS classes
  • Corrected Calendar widget
  • Favicon enhancements
  • Hooks to add custom fields to menu items
  • support for error parameter that allows collecting more details on errors
  • WordPress multisite gives customizable notifications now.
  • Admin bar Will now on be loaded into the wp_body_open instead of wp_footer
  • REST API has been modified to provide optimized web pages.

Here is a wonderful example of how developers experimented with the new features of WordPress.

Improved Health System

For smoother web site operations the Adderley version has made some cool updates to the health system. You can find a new widget on the admin dashboard page that will show the health stats of the site and also warnings on any potential issues. You can even find detailed information on each issue and suggestions on actions to take.

Adkins will also receive periodic verification emails as a way to improve site security.

Accessibility Improvements

Navigating the dashboard and editor has been made much easier with supports for :

  • Keyboard navigation on media modals
  • Better multi-block selection
  • Legible privacy policy guide that is easier to read.
  • Tabbing support and many more

Images, in particular, are well handled in this version. Some improvements like automatic image rotation and improved upload speeds for large images along with the editor accessibility improvements make it easier to use it from a smartphone as well.

Privacy Improvements

With 5.4, you can export additional information like session details, location data, and table of contents along with personal data exports.

The Next Steps

As is evident, WordPress 5.4 doesn’t disappoint at all. It has, instead, taken the excitement to an all-new level with its advanced features. What are your views on this? Let us know in the comments below.