This week WordPress 5.9 was released. As was hinted in the BuddyPress 10.0 article, the most anticipated new feature in this new version of WordPress is full site editing. The Site Editor is a new feature to WordPress that allows block editor users to build their entire site with blocks. Unfortunately, full site editing is only available to content creators that are using a Block theme specifically designed to take advantage of the new feature.
Full Site Editing doesn't stand alone in WordPress as additional features and tools have been added for the site editor to come to life "out of the box" once version 5.9 is installed.
Full Site Editing in WordPress 5.9
In order to access Full Site Editing you will need to activate a Block Theme and one is now included with WordPress. WordPress 5.9 contains the content management system's first default block theme, Twenty Twenty-Two. The theme is more than a change in "look and feel" as it will also change your workflow when working with WordPress themes. The new theme offers our first taste within WordPress of block themes, site editing, and managing a whole host of visual choices including direct changes to color schemes, font combinations, page templates and image filters.
How do you access this editing feature? After activating a block theme, such as Twenty Twenty-Two, you will see the option displayed under the Appearance menu as Editor (beta). See the image below for an example.
With the availability of full site editing, in block themes you no longer need the Customizer. Instead, you have access to the Styles interface inside the Site Editor itself. The same goes for Navigation blocks.
Additional improvements in WordPress 5.9
With the user in mind, especially the blogger at heart, WordPress 5.9 offers new tweaks for your publishing workflow. Some of these new features include:
- Better Block Control - New typography tools, flexible layout controls, and other finer controls are now available for additional details.
- WordPress Pattern Directory - Home of a wide range of block patterns built to save you time and add to your site's functionality.
- Revamped List View - The List View lets you drag and drop your content exactly where you want it. Managing complex documents is easier, too: simple controls let you expand and collapse sections as you build your site.
- Improved Gallery Block - Treat every image in a Gallery Block the same way you would treat it in an Image Block. But wait, there is more! You can also style every image in your gallery differently or make them the same.
Features new in Wordpress 5.9 targeted for developers include: Theme.json for child themes, block-level locking, multiple stylesheets in a block, and a refactored gallery block. Additional information for both user and developer can be found in the WordPress 5.9 Field Guide. The original announcement for WordPress 5.9 can be found at WordPress.org.
Editor's note: WordPress is actually named WordPress 5.9, Joséphine after jazz singer and entertainer Joséphine Baker (1906 - 1975). Not only was she an etertainer, but also served as a French Resistance agent during World War IIand a civil rights activist. Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States. She is definitely a historical person worth getting to know better.