After a bunch of Beta releases earlier this month, WordPress has finally released its version 5.5. Every new update of WordPress gets us excited, and this one is no exception.
Moreover, this WordPress version has got a lot of new changes introduced this time that are focused on SEO, speed improvements, and the safety of a WordPress website overall.
But before you head towards updating WordPress to its current version, don’t forget to run a complete backup.
Without much ado, let’s see what WordPress 5.5 has got in store for us. In this article, we will review the top features introduced by WordPress 5.5.
Auto-Updates For Plugins And Themes
With the new WordPress 5.5, it is much easier to keep your plugins and themes updated. This is done to prevent site hacks and to keep the overall working of the site more functional and stable.
Updating your plugins and themes is quite easy.. Here is how you can:
- Auto-update plugins
To auto-update your plugins after the update of WordPress 5.5, you need to visit your Admin dashboard. Click Plugins from the left-hand side menu. To the right, you will see all your installed plugins and an automatic updates column. Click on ‘enable auto-updates’ on each of the plugins you want to auto-update.
You can also look for the Border Image plugin in this list, and set it for auto-update.
- Auto-update themes
To auto-update WordPress themes, you now need to click on ‘Appearance’ from the left side menu and choose ‘Themes’ from the drop-down menu. Now, on the right screen and click on ‘enable auto-updates’ on the themes you want to update.
Block Editor Improvements And Additions
Block Editor was first introduced into WordPress with its version 5.0, which is also known as Gutenberg. WordPress 5.4 update is majorly based on Block Editor improvements and WordPress 5.5 is following the same rhythm by further enhancing its functionality. Here are the additions in WordPress 5.5 block editor:
- Block patterns
Block patterns are newly introduced to the Block Editor. This section of Block Editor is added to reduce the load of setting the layout of your block. Block patterns have some readymade commonly used block patterns that need to be added to your block without much effort.
Currently, the number of patterns released is not much, but they will keep on adding to it gradually.
- Block Directory
Block Directory can make your website much better and advanced. Now block editor provides a new block directory that has various WordPress plugins of new blocks. You can search for the type of block you want to add, and it will list down the available WordPress plugin for the same.
Further, to add the block to your page, tap on ‘ Add Block’ below the plugin. That’s it, the block will be added. WordPress 5.5 provides a plethora of such new block plugins, so it’s unlikely for you to leave your search unmatched.
- Inline image editing
With WordPress 5.5, it is much convenient to edit your images now. You no longer have to open your media library to edit images, do so wherever your image is placed. This means you can resize, crop, rotate your image anywhere, and see the changes happen simultaneously.
- UI improvements
The block editor has also made changes to the block toolbar you see when you click on any block. It now has more options like crop the image, superscript, subscript, etc., moving blocks up and down and much more. Also, it is much bigger and broader in size now.
- Updated content previews
Content previews are always welcomed before you finally publish them for the world to see. To make it more convenient for you, WordPress 5.5 has enabled content previews to preview your content responsive. You can now view them through your mobiles, tablets, PC, and any screen size.
Lazy Loading Images
This is yet another amazing transformation added to the WordPress 5.5. This is a speed improvement made that will make your WordPress website load quickly even if it is loaded with images.
Lazy loading is a technique that will allow your website you load as required. That is to say; it loads only the part that is in the viewing screen of the user. Only when the user scrolls down, the rest of the website begins to load. This decreases the loading time of the website resulting in fewer bounce rates and enhances its performance.
To see this feature in action, click here.
XML Sitemaps By Default
SEO is indeed important in a content marketing strategy. To help you out with it, WordPress 5.5 has now released its default XML Sitemaps. XML Sitemaps is a file that helps search engines to discover your content and be able to go through it well. They can index the content on your posts and make them appear on search results.
Having this on your website, by default, will make your SEO efforts pay very well.
Using .Zip File To Upload And Update Plugins And Themes
If auto-updates doesn’t suit your website, you can always do the process manually when desired. However, previously this could only be done through FTP or file manager.
WordPress 5.5 has made it better now. You can update or load the latest version of your plugin and theme by uploading a .zip file of it.
This can be done through the Admin dashboard itself. For uploading plugins, Plugins>Add New> Upload Plugin. Now, just choose your file you want to upload and select ‘replace current with uploaded.’ Your plugin will be updated and uploaded.
You can follow similar steps for themes. For uploading themes, Appearance> Themes> Upload Plugin. Choose your current file to upload and select ‘Replace current with uploaded.’
The Wrap Up
Apart from this, there are various other small improvements in WordPress 5.5 here and there. This includes various accessibility changes, keyboard navigation improvements, multi-block selection and edit, improvements for developers, and much more. Tell us your favorite WordPress feature in the comments.