Today, March 31st, 2020, the latest WordPress version – the 5.4 “Adderley” – was released. It has been only several months since November when the WordPress 5.3 Kirk release took place to generate almost 50 million downloads.
Following its active development and the fourth release of the first major version of this year, we’re enthusiastic to see how the new features and upgrades work. Without further ado, let’s explore what’s new and what you should be prepared for with the 5.4 version.
The New Editor Improvements
WordPress 5.4 bundles together every Gutenberg update so far into one major version. Among other things, it comes with several Block Editor improvements and features, which can help content creators get more done and stay creative with the editor.
The New Gutenberg Blocks
The latest addition to the Block Editor are the Social Icons and the Buttons blocks.
Social Icons Block – It is one of the best additions to the Editor so far. With the Social Icons block, you can add links to your social media profiles from your blog posts. However, don’t get this block mistaken with a social sharing function. You’ll still gotta use a plugin to perform that.
Buttons Block – This block has been reinstated as a replacement of the Button block, and enables users to insert more buttons within one block container. Without this, you won’t be able to add buttons. However, the button blocks that you’ve already created will work the same.
Block Collections Updates
Collections allow you to group specific block types for better visibility in the Inserter menu, irrespectively of the block categories.
Default Full-Screen Mode
With the 5.4 version, now the editor will open in full-screen as a default. For now, it has not been accepted by everyone, as it goes against the fundamental usability principle of WordPress, and can be especially confusing for novice users.
This is why if you are not comfortable with it from the start, you can turn it off simply by selecting the preferred option from the pulldown editor menu.
New Keyboard Shortcuts
WordPress 5.4 also brings with it a new package labeled
to help you immediately incorporate registration, removal, and documentation of the provided shortcuts in the block editor. Developers can integrate their shortcuts by using the
The following is a list of the new API updates that are available for the Editor:
- Outdated Meta Attribute Sources
- Shortcode Transformations
- New AsyncModeProvider API
- Custom Media Upload Handler
- Simpler Drag-and-Drop
- RichText: New ‘onFocus’ Function
- New Guide component
- Deprecation of wordpress/nux
DOM Structure Changes
WordPress 5.4 also introduces numerous DOM structure modifications, that include blocks and richer text components without the redundant wrappers, simpler block margins, and eliminating the legacy “editor-” class name compatibility.
Out of the several menu updates in WordPress 5.4, the most significant ones are the keyboard accessibility improvements and the introduction of custom fields to menu items.
For the menu admin screen, now, you can designate the following five parameters:
$item_id: Menu item ID (integer)
$item: Menu item data object (object)
$depth: Menu item depth (integer)
$args: Object of menu item arguments (object)
$id: Navigation Menu ID (integer)
WordPress 5.4 offers a few privacy improvements as well, and among the most important ones are:
- Session Tokens, Community Events Location, and Custom User Meta are now incorporated into the Personal Data Export.
- Personal Data Exports now also includes a JSON file and a Contents table.
- New filters for Privacy-related email headers.
- Better interface for privacy tables.
- Replacement of the
REST API Modifications
Regarding the REST API improvements, among the more notable ones, WordPress 5.4 now offers an “OR” taxonomy relation setting in the Post Controller, filtered link embedding, and modifications in the WP_REST_Server method.
You can read the full list of improvements here.
WordPress 5.4 also features several widget updates, the most notable ones revolving around the Site Health, and Calendar widget.
When you first update to 5.4, the site health component will appear on your screen, providing you immediately with the health rating of your website, and with a link to the health page.
WordPress 5.4 will also alter the HTML in the Calendar widget by moving the navigation links to a <nav> element after the <table> element for generating valid HTML.
Additional Development-Related Updates
Besides the excellent new features and updates mentioned above, WordPress 5.4 provides extra treats for developers to make their work more practical and efficient:
Local WordPress environments
Favicon handle improvements
Better WP Login error information
Website ID parameter in Multisite
TikTok Embed Videos
Admin bar accessibility improvements
How DevriX Contributed
And before we close this news post, let’s talk a bit about how we contributed!
As a WordPress Development company with 50+ employees, we’ve always managed to contribute back to the WordPress Community. We’re thrilled to participate in each new version, giving back in various ways, whether through submitting patches to the Core, authoring plugins, translating strings, and much more.
And of course, just like for every other WordPress version so far, we have gathered together for a couple of weekends, and left our mark again with numerous patches and translations to the Core. And we are super proud of our own Toni Manoilov, which has his first official accepted patch to the Core. 🙌
There are still tons of improvements at hand, mainly focused on the Block Editor. However, things are pretty exciting in the WordPress world with the latest version. 5.4 brings a fresh breath of air to our beloved CMS.
Let us know what updates excite you? As the customization options continue to improve, who knows what’s next? One thing is for sure, the squad at DevriX will be there to contribute, and the integrations with each third-party and social platform will be even more intuitive. The answer lies in the next update!