WordPress 5.8 released with 300 new features

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The new release includes almost 300 new features and fixes. Website owners can now edit their pages with the Gutenberg block editor.

This week WordPress announced the release of WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”. This is their “latest and greatest release” and is now available for download or update in users’ dashboards.

The release is named in honor of Art Tatum, the legendary Jazz pianist. “His formidable technique and willingness to push boundaries inspired musicians and changed what people thought could be done,” the company says. 

Here are some of the major new features in Tatum

Manage Widgets with Blocks: Users can now add blocks both in widget areas across your site and with live preview through the Customizer. This opens up new possibilities to create content: from no-code mini layouts to the vast library of core and third-party blocks.

Display Posts with New Blocks and Patterns: The Query Loop Block makes it possible to display posts based on specified parameters; like a PHP loop without the code.

Edit the Templates Around Posts: Users can use the familiar block editor to edit templates that hold their content. They just need to activate a block theme or a theme that has opted in for this feature. There are more than 20 new blocks available within compatible themes.

Overview of the Page Structure: List View is a way to jump between layers of content and nested blocks. Since the List View gives users an overview of all the blocks in their content, they can now navigate quickly to the precise block they need.

Suggested Patterns for Blocks: Starting in this release the Pattern Transformations tool will suggest block patterns based on the block the user is using.

Style and Colorize Images: Duotone can add a pop of color to designs and style images (or videos in the cover block) to integrate well with the user’s themes.

Something for Developers to Explore

With this release, WordPress introduces the Global Styles and Global Settings APIs. These control the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks using a theme.json file in the active theme. This configuration file enables or disables features and sets default styles for both a website and blocks. If you build themes, you can experiment with this early iteration of a useful new feature.

“This release is the reflection of the hard work of 530 generous volunteer contributors,” the company says. They claim that collaboration occurred on over 320 tickets on Trac and over 1,500 pull requests on GitHub.