The newest version of WordPress is already out and available for download. In this article, we will look at the most interesting improvements and new features of the most popular CMS platform in the world.
In line with tradition, WordPress 5.4 ‘Adderley’ bears the name of a famous jazz musician, in this case the US jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley.
WordPress 5.4 is the first major update of the platform in 2020, and we can reassure you that it won’t disappoint you. It comes with multiple improvements that will considerably change the way in which users create and manage their content.
A few weeks ago, we looked at some of the expected enhancements. Now, we can already explore the official improvements, which you will be able to benefit from as soon as you upgrade to the platform’s new version.
GUTENBERG: NEW FUNCTIONALITIES AND MANY IMPROVEMENTS
Gutenberg, the block editor for WordPress, has evolved significantly since its release, coming up with updates in every new version of the platform. These updates have given website owners flexibility, useful instruments, and a user-friendly interface.
New Welcome Guide
WordPress 5.4 comes with a new Guttenberg Welcome Guide introducing users to the editor’s functionalities and updates.
With the help of a slideshow, you have the chance to explore all the main instruments and the opportunities they offer in just a few minutes.
You can revisit the guide at any time by clicking on the ‘Welcome Guide’ in the Tools section.
Once you upgrade to WordPress 5.4, you will notice two new blocks in Gutenberg.
1. Block for adding links to social media
As the name itself suggests, the Social Icons block gives you the opportunity to add buttons to your accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media.
You’ll see a list of the most famous social media. Select the ones you use and add links to your profiles on them.
It’s important to note that 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.
2. Block for adding Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons
Those of you familiar with Gutenberg know that the CTA-related block isn’t new, since you’ve had the opportunity to add a CTA button. That’s right – one button!
With the updated Buttons block, you can now add several CTA buttons side by side.
WordPress 5.4 offers a choice between two button styles: a single-color button and a gradient-based button.
Full-screen display by default
WordPress 5.4 shows the block editor in full screen by default.
You’ll notice this change much more easily in the latest WordPress installations or if you access the administrator’s part via a new device or a different browser. If you move from version 5.3 to version 5.4 and use the same device and browser you’ve used in the past, you won’t notice much of a change in Gutenberg’s appearance.
You can turn off the full-screen display by unchecking the option in the editor’s settings.
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Improvements to existing blocks
In addition to the new blocks, the revamped Gutenberg features improvements to many of the existing blocks as well. Here are some of the most significant changes:
1. More coloring options
WordPress 5.4 offers more coloring options, allowing you to design more attractive posts and pages.
A highly anticipated improvement, which is now official, is the opportunity to change the color of every word in a paragraph. In the platform’s previous versions, you could only change the color of the whole text in a block.
In WordPress 5.4, you can also change the colors of the text and the background on your covers, as well as of the content in a group block.
2. Select tool
Another enhancement is the introduction of a Select button in the Tools section, which allows you to mark separate blocks with a single click. This functionality is particularly useful when you want to mark a block within a group.
3. Drag & Drop functionality for adding images
As an editor with a design based on the Drag & Drop functionality, Gutenberg has long allowed users to add diverse content by dragging it to the desired position.
Unfortunately, this functionality didn’t apply to the addition of images.
Before the release of WordPress 5.4, to add an image, you had to select and upload it manually. With the upgraded version, you can add pictures/banners to a page or a post by dragging them.
4. Selection of image size directly from the Gallery block
While we’re talking about images, we should mention the improvement of the Gallery block. After you upgrade to WordPress 5.4, you will notice that you can change the size of the images you add directly from the block.
To change the size of an image, click on the ‘Images Size’ category in the right bar, and choose the size you want to use.
5. Addition of images to Latest Blog Posts
In the past, the Latest Blog Posts functionality didn’t feature images. This is no longer the case because in WordPress 5.4, the links to your latest posts appear next to an image. What’s more, you can choose the image’s size and alignment. This is a very important improvement that will make older posts even more engaging.
6. The improved mobile version of the toolbar
If you’ve ever edited something on your website or blog via a mobile device, you’ve most likely had difficulties using the toolbar.
Given the growing use of mobile technologies for anything related to the Internet, it’s hardly surprising that the WordPress team has solved this problem in the latest version of the platform. After you install WordPress 5.4, open your website on a mobile device and you’ll immediately see the fixed Toolbar that allows for easier editing.
7. Embedding TikTok videos
TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service that’s growing more and more popular with young people around the world. If you use it and want to share your funny videos on your website, you can do it in WordPress 5.4.
You can embed a TikTok video on a page on your website in the same way you embed a YouTube video. You simply add a link to the video and WordPress visualizes it for you.
Site Health status moved to the admin dashboard
As we expected, the Site Health tool, which shows your website’s security and performance, has been moved to the admin dashboard. With the more visible Site Health status, you will be able to take timely actions to ensure the optimal operation of your website.
Improved privacy tool
WordPress 5.4 comes with some improvements to the privacy tool and, specifically, of personal data exports.
There are two new sections with regards to downloads: Session tokens (information about user-agent, last login, and IP) and Community Events Location (information about a user’s location). You can download this information in HTML or JSON format.
We shouldn’t forget all WordPress improvements aimed at developers. You can find more information about them in the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide.
Like any of the previous updates, WordPress 5.4 comes with many enhancements that you will appreciate. We hope this article serves you well as a starting point in learning about them. What you need to do now is upgrade to WordPress 5.4 and start taking full advantage of the platform’s new and improved functionalities.