WordPress 5.5: What’s New in the August 2020 Update

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For the second major WordPress update this year, version 5.5 offers many features and user interface improvements, including the Gutenberg Block Editor, which can be used to build your website.

A layout made easier

You can find and install new blocks in the editor in the new directory. This is a WordPress plugin that you only need to add to get this new block by exploring a special bar. If you cannot find a block that meets your requirements, you can also search for the feature: You will get the results from this new block directory.

New updated block models

With WordPress 5.5, you also have access to new block templates that can be used with the most commonly used settings to quickly add them to your layout. A new block model was added to this list.

Improvements to move or modify blocks

If you need to check your layout, these new features will satisfy you. WordPress 5.5 brings a number of new features to the editor to make it easier to move or edit blocks:

  • The ability to easily copy and move blocks,
  • A multiple-selection layout, which allows you to modify several blocks at the same time,
  • The selection of the parent block in nested blocks, such as group or column blocks.

Image optimization with the integration of lazy-loading by default

Announced in the WordPress 5.4 update, the “lazy” HTML attribute will be activated in the next version of CMS graphic tags by default. This is a technique to slow downloading images while browsing so that only images that are displayed on the screen when needed are displayed. A load delay significantly increases the speed and performance of site loading.

This saves bandwidth for everyone (users, hosts, ISPs), makes it easier to browse the web for those with slower internet connection speeds, saves electricity, etc., explains Jake Spurlock, Technical Account Engineer for Automattic.

WordPress notes that lazy-loading is now supported by all web browsers except Safari.

Online image editing made easy

The next WordPress update will also help users do some basic image editing. In the media library, you can crop, resize, or rotate visual images. This option is available on your page so you can quickly make changes to your image without leaving the editor. For example, the menu offers different sizes (16: 9, 4: 3, 3: 2), depending on the shape of your visual image, your landscape, or your portrait.

XML sitemaps included in WordPress

A sitemap file is used to list all publications. This helps search engines find and index content easily to improve your SEO. The next update contains the sitemap and activates it by default in WordPress. The CMS in particular will integrate the homepage, publications, pages, but also taxonomies (user-defined categories, tags, and taxonomies) or author archives.

This version offered by WordPress provides the basic functionality needed for the site map XML protocol. If you already use a WordPress plugin for your SEO, e.g. B. Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack, you don’t need to do anything. This extension has its own XML site and offers advanced customization features that give you better visibility in search engines.

Automatic update of plugins and themes

It is recommended to use the latest version of WordPress plugins and themes to protect your business website or blog. If CMS is based on an efficient update management system, you can use WordPress 5.5 to enable automatic updates for various elements of this dashboard. Simply open the plugin page and click Enable automatic update the desired extension button. This gives you more control over your plugin and ensures that you use the latest updated version for your site. For themes, you will have to go to Appearance> Themes; then, you will have to click on the proposed automatic update button.

Comment tester WordPress 5.5

While its official release has been announced for August 11, 2020, the WordPress 5.5 version is currently under development. It is not recommended to be used on a production site. If you nevertheless wish to try the new features offered by the new version of the CMS, we recommend that you configure it on a test site.

To access the WordPress 5.5 beta 2 version, you can:

  • either install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, by choosing the “bleeding edge nightlies” option,
  • either download the zip folder and install it on your test site.

Since the release of the previous version, WordPress 5.5 beta 1, the CMS announces that it has fixed 48 bugs, many of which impacted the proper functioning of the block editor. Other actions in the new Beta 2: Dashicons icon font has been updated and fixes have been made on broken widgets.

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