Welcome to WordPress 5.9, “Joséphine”!

The latest WordPress version, 5.9, named in honor of acclaimed international jazz singer Joséphine Baker, claims to be the most versatile WordPress release so far.

It was initially scheduled for release on December 14, 2021 but due to several open issues and unresolved bugs, the final release has been finally released on January 25, 2022.

Maybe the most important new feature in WordPress 5.9 is Full Site Editing (FSE). And  many 5.9 features are only available if you’re using a theme that supports Full Site Editing, such as the brand new theme, Twenty Twenty-Two.


Say hello to Twenty Twenty-Two

The first default block theme in the history of WordPress! This is more than just a new default theme. It’s a brand-new way to work with WordPress themes.

Block themes put a wide array of visual choices directly in your hands, from colour schemes and font combinations to page templates and image filters, all from the Site Editor. So in one place, you can give Twenty Twenty-Two the same look and feel as your organisation’s other materials—or take your site’s look in another direction.


The navigation block

The Navigation block can be considered as one of the most impactful theme blocks. The block has been there for a while, but now that all pending issues and blockers listed as WordPress 5.9 must-haves have been fixed, it can finally be used and be considered as one of the most powerful WordPress features (merged into the core).


Global styles

WordPress 5.9 introduced a graphic interface that allows users to customise style presets for their websites (i.e. theme.json), either globally or at the block level, without writing a single line of code. The Global Styles mechanism should significantly alter the way one is used to customising the appearance of one’s websites, as Global Styles affect several aspects of WordPress site design.


New features and improvements to several blocks

Aiming to make images behave more consistently across different contexts, WordPress 5.9 delivers new features and improvements to several blocks. The Gallery Block has been completely refactored. Treat every image in a Gallery Block the same way you would treat it in the Image Block. Style every image in your gallery differently, or make them all the same, except for one or two. Or change the layout with drag-and-drop.
Various changes to the Featured Image and Site Icon blocks give users more granular control over respective images.


The power of patterns

The WordPress Pattern Directory is the home of a wide range of block patterns built to save you time and add to your site’s functionality. And you can edit them as you see fit. If you need something different in the header or footer for your theme, swap it out with a new one in a few clicks. With a nearly full-screen view, the Pattern Explorer makes it easy to compare patterns and choose the one your users need.


The power of patternsPerformance improvements

We’ve also noticed performance improvements in several areas of the CMS, such as the block editor, block themes, lazy loading, etc.

There are even more improvements to explore. The official announcment for 5.9 can be found here.

Here at LUV we have the skills and tools to help you with your WordPress project, being a new build or a migration from another older version, so drop us a line here.