WordPress is so unbelievably popular as a website platform that anytime a new version is released, this is big news. The newest WordPress version, 5.9, was released on January 25th. Here are the new features you need to know about.
Updates to the Block Editor
The new WordPress block editor launched with WordPress 5.0 and replaced the much beloved Classic Editor. With WordPress 5.9, there are a number of improvements to the block editor, including:
Block themes — just like the block editor uses blocks to create content pages, WordPress has expanded this out for its themes in general. By using a block theme (including the new official Twenty Twenty-Two theme), you can now go to a visual editor and alter your homepage and other page templates by moving blocks around.
New Navigation block — users can now create navigation menus from various blocks from page links, to site logos, etc.
Multiple Stylesheets per block — with version 5.9, multiple stylesheets can be registered for each block, reducing the total page-weight by only loading styles for blocks that exist on a page.
Enhanced lazy-loading performance in 5.9 — Lazy-loading images was introduced in WordPress 5.5 and later expanded to also cover iframes in WordPress 5.7. After earlier versions were discovered to have some minor performance issues, the WordPress 5.9 release has received some fine tuning to improve performance.
Other Performance Enhancements
Faster Page Loading
If you’re using one of the new block themes, you’ll be able to take advantage of enhanced site performance thanks to theme.json enqueuing all styles from one place as a “global stylesheet”. This will reduce the amount of CSS shipped with a theme.
In previous releases, all styles for all blocks were enqueued in a single file, leading to extra page load. With the 5.9 release, only what’s necessary is loaded when viewing content due to improvements that inline tiny stylesheets, and a tweak to only load a block’s CSS styles if the block exists on the page. What does all this mean? The WordPress team says it should dramatically decrease page load times.
Language Switcher for Admins
WordPress 5.9 introduces a new language switcher available on the login screen. This dropdown allows users to use the login screen, the password reset screen, and the registration screen in their own language.
Allow PDFs to be Embedded as Objects
With version 5.9, WordPress now allows the <object> tag to be stored in posts, when it has a type attribute set to application/pdf. This implementation also introduces the _wp_kses_allow_pdf_objects callback function, which is used to check if a PDF URL is safe.
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Have questions about how WordPress 5.9 might affect your site? Reach out to us today!