WordPress 5.4: These innovations are in the latest version

WordPress 5.4

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28 June 2020

The latest version of WordPress, by far the most popular content management system in the world, has been available since the end of March. The new version 5.4 runs under the version name "Adderley" - a reminder of the American jazz musician Nat Adderley. WordPress 5.4 brings a whole series of essential updates that will make the design of websites even faster, easier and more secure in the future. We inform you about the most important changes and innovations of WordPress Adderley.

The new Welcome Guide

Especially for newcomers to the world of WordPress, the new Welcome Guide is an extremely valuable aid for their first steps with the world's largest CMS. Anyone accessing the Block Editor for the first time will now be greeted with a "Welcome Guide" pop-up. The new Welcome Guide replaces the previous introduction. The guide is designed as a short slideshow that provides WordPress newcomers with the most important information in a short form. Users who want to delve deeper into the possibilities of the Block Editor will find a link to the detailed Block Editor Tutorial from WordPress at the end of the guide, where all information about the editor is available in detail.

Currently, the Welcome Guide is only available in English. However, the German translation should be available in the near future. Users who want to go through the guide again can call it up again via the menu "More tools & options".

WordPress Full-Service
WordPress 5.4

The new Social Icons Block

The integration of social icons has so far been one of the weaknesses of WordPress, which is why many users have resorted to special social icons plugins. This will change with version 5.4. For the first time, WordPress now has a well-integrated tool for setting links to social networks quickly and easily on posts and pages.
The new Social Icons Block provides icons in three predefined styles and contains over forty icons for all important social media sites. In addition to the heavyweights Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, the icons of LinkedIn, Pinterest, Spotify, Vimeo, Skype and Etsy are also included. The order of the icons can, of course, be individually adjusted by the user.

The new Buttons Block

Buttons play a crucial role on websites as call-to-actions and for navigation. Accordingly, the developers of WordPress have dedicated themselves to improving the buttons integration in the current version. The previous "Button" block is replaced in WordPress 5.4 by a new block called "Buttons". As the new name of the block in the plural already indicates, from now on not only one, but several buttons can be integrated into a block. For users, this innovation has a high practical added value. Until now, they had to take the diversions of inserting separate columns when arranging several buttons next to each other. Now several buttons can be arranged in a single column block.

Buttons can be designed with the new function in two predefined styles, either filled with colour or only with a coloured frame. Of course, users are free to design their buttons completely individually with different text and background colours. Those who want to bring more colour into play can create very individual buttons using the colour gradients feature.

Update of the block design

Gutenberg blocks

An innovation with a very high practical benefit for WordPress users is the improvement of the block design in version 5.4. The feature of uploading the post image directly into a post via drag & drop has proven to be extremely practical. The times when users had to "laboriously" upload and select the image via the media library are now a thing of the past.

In addition, the "Recent Posts" block in the new WordPress version has been spiced up with a few new features. In version 5.4, the post image can be displayed as well. In addition, the content can be displayed either in full or in the form of a text excerpt.

Perhaps the most important practical improvement to block design concerns text colour. In previous WordPress versions, users could only set the colour uniformly for an entire text block. For fans of colourful websites or users who liked to highlight individual words or sentences in colour, this was a massive restriction. In version 5.4, WordPress users can now enjoy complete colour freedom. They can display individual words and sentences as well as entire paragraphs within a text block in different colours.

Expansion of the Gutenberg Editor

The Gutenberg Editor is undoubtedly the future of WordPress. In the coming updates, it will successively replace the previous Classic Editor. The developers of WordPress already pursued the ambitious goal of enabling the editing of all website components with the Gutenberg Editor in the latest version. Until now, the scope of the Gutenberg Editor was limited to editing content. Menus and widget areas still had to be edited with the Classic Editor. In WordPress 5.4, the annoying switching back and forth between the Gutenberg and Classic Editor should be a thing of the past.

The SiteHealth Widget

WordPress 5.4: These innovations are included in the latest version sitehealth widget
The SiteHealth Widget

A significant new feature in terms of website performance improvement is the so-called "SiteHealth project". As the name suggests, this is a project to improve the "health" of a website. In the new version 5.4, WordPress users will find the new "Site Health Status Widget" in their dashboard, which provides information about the performance, security and condition of their website. In addition, the widget warns of any problems that could negatively affect the performance of a website. It also provides suggestions on how to improve security.

Improving the data protection options

Last but not least, the options for data protection have been fundamentally revised and improved in the new WordPress version. According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), website operators are obliged to hand over or delete data stored about a user upon request. To make this possible, the export functions for personal data have been improved in version 5.4. The export data now additionally includes session information as well as location data of users who have entered their location in the community events widget. In addition, the data protection tools in the new version can be better accessed via a clearer user interface.

Conclusion

The current version of WordPress contains a number of new features that primarily facilitate practical work in the design of websites. Above all, the new functions around block and button design will make work easier for many users in practice. The update of the Gutenberg Editor will also encourage some WordPress users to switch from the Classic Editor to the Gutenberg Editor in the future. And last but not least, the introduction of the new Site Health Widget will help to make WordPress even faster, more secure and more stable than in the past.

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