The WordPress core team released WordPress 5.8 on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. This release was named in honor of the legendary jazz pianist, Art Tatum. This release adds three key building blocks of the WordPress Full Site Editing (FSE) architecture. These three FSE components are the new template editor, the Query Loop block, and block-based widgets. There are three new “workflow helper” features. These are the improved List View, duotone image filters, and Pattern Transformations. There are several developer-specific features including the new Global Styles and Global Settings APIs, additional block supports, support for native WebP files, and dropping support or IE11.
You can read the announcement post here. Justin Tadlock did his usual solid overview of WordPress 5.8 on WP Tavern yesterday as well. You can get more detailed information from the WordPress 5.8 Field Guide.
The tagline on the official release page that is displayed after you complete the update to WordPress 5.8 is “the next stop on the road to full site editing.” As you work with the new features in the release, it definately feels like a “highway stop” on a long trip. There may be some “value” in the stop, but it is not ultimeltly the goal.The Template Editor and Block-based widgets have to be overtly activated in your theme. The same with global styles and settings. If your theme developer hasn’t done this yet, you won’t even see some of the new features. Some new features like the Query Loop block show the “potential” of FSE, but they are not complete enough to replace their commercial alternatives like one in Stackable. Based on our work with the release so far, we don’t expect to be using the released FSE components on client sites in the near term. We will be evaluating use cases on our own sites and share the results here.
Here at Outcome Labs, we are in the process of completeing our platform update verifications before updating our client production sites to WordPress 5.8. We expect to complete this process this week. If you are on an Outcome Labs Care Plan, your site will be updated as sooon as we complete the verification process. If you have any questions or need help, please contact us.