WordPress 5.4, the upcoming upgrade of the most popular CMS platform in the world, is set to be released on 31 March 2020. Below, we look at the main improvements that will come into effect with this version.
Gutenberg, the block editor for WordPress, has evolved significantly since its release, coming up with updates in every new version of the platform. The upcoming upgrade will once again bring an improved editing experience through new functionalities, improvements, and solutions to old problems. These changes aim to make Gutenberg more accessible and work-friendly.
In addition to the editor, Site Health is another functionality that is being consistently improved, and it is no surprise that WordPress 5.4 will feature an upgrade of this instrument as well.
We don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, so let’s have a closer look at the enhancements you can expect from WordPress 5.4.
WordPress 5.4 Development Cycle
Here is the WordPress 5.4 release schedule:
• 11 February 2020: Beta Version 1
• 18 February 2020: Beta Version 2
• 25 February 2020: Beta Version 3
• 3 March 2020: Release Candidate 1
• 10 March 2020: Release Candidate 2
• 17 March 2020: Release Candidate 3
• 24 March 2020: Release Candidate 4
• 30 March 2020: WordPress 5.4 Dry Run
• 31 March 2020: Target date for the release of WordPress 5.4
New Gutenberg functionalities
With the release of WordPress 5.4, all Gutenberg versions from 6.6 to 7.5 will be combined in the core. This means that if you haven’t used the block editor for a while, you will find many enhancements in the platform’s upgraded version.
WordPress 5.4 will mainly feature improvements of the block editor, including new useful functionalities and upgraded old ones. Of course, this is great news for all users because a better editor will offer even more opportunities for the creation of amazing websites.
New Welcome Guide
You’ve definitely come across this functionality when a platform you use undergoes changes. Gutenberg’s new Welcome Guide introduces all new users to the editor and its functionalities.
With the help of a slideshow, you will have the change to explore the main instruments and the opportunities they offer.
In case you want to revisit the guide, you can start it by clicking on the three dots at the upper right corner and then choosing ‘Welcome Guide’ from the Tools section.
New block for adding social media buttons
Some of you know this functionality as Social Links. In WordPress 5.4, the developers have transformed it into Social Icons – a block where you can quickly and easily add buttons to your accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media. Previously experimental, the block became stable with the release of Gutenberg 7.5 in February.
The Social Icons block allows you to choose among three predefined styles for the visualization of the social media icons: Default, Logos only, and Pill shape.
Important: The Social Icons block only allows you to add links to social media profiles. If you want to add social media sharing buttons, you need to use a separate WordPress plugin.
You should also keep in mind that Social Icons was added to and works properly on Gutenberg 7.5. If you use an earlier version of the editor, the plugin may not work as expected, so it’s important that you upgrade to the latest version.
New block for adding CTA buttons
At present, Gutenberg allows you to add one CTA button only. This will change with the release of WordPress 5.4 where you will have the chance to add several CTA buttons side by side.
In addition, you will be able to choose between two styles for the buttons, use your own text and colors, and add gradient. The latter option comes with a number of predefined combinations you can use as a starting point for changing the colors of your CTA buttons at a later stage.
Improvements to existing Gutenberg functionalities
In addition to the many new Gutenberg functionalities, WordPress 5.4 will introduce upgrades of many of the block editor’s existing functionalities. Below you can learn about some of these improvements.
More options for coloring block elements
One of the first Gutenberg improvements you will notice after you install WordPress 5.4 is the richer palette of colors for block elements, including covers, columns, and group blocks.
You will be able to change the colors of the background and the text for all blocks within a group, including Columns blocks.
More options for coloring texts
At the moment, you can change the color of the entire text within a paragraph. In contrast, WordPress 5.4 will let you change the color of every word or phrase as you wish.
Embedding TikTok videos
You’ve probably heard about TikTok – the Chinese video-sharing social networking service that boasts over 1.5 billion users around the world and has become particularly popular among 16-24-year-olds. In response to the TikTok craze, WordPress developers have decided to add an option that allows you to embed TikTok videos in your pages.
More options for adding images
The possibility of adding images to your pages has been around for a long time. However, WordPress 5.4 will refine this feature by adding a Drag & Drop functionality.
You will also be able to choose the size of the images you add.
Another improvement is the addition of images next to the links to your latest articles.
A more user-friendly Site Health status
In WordPress 5.4, the Site Health status, which shows your website’s security and performance, will appear in the main menu. You will thus be able to keep an eye on your website’s state of operation at all times.
The WordPress upgrade will also feature numerous improvements for developers.
As with any previous version, WordPress 5.4 will come with many enhancements that you will definitely appreciate. Follow our blog in the upcoming days to learn more about the official release of WordPress 5.4 and any other important news related to the platform’s latest upgrade.