- [Instructor] WordPress 5.5 was released on August 11 2020. It has some important updates to the design and functionality of the block editor, also called Gutenberg, and here's a quick rundown. Number one, the settings sidebar is now hidden by default. As of WordPress 5.4, so the previous version, the document and block context sidebar is hidden by default when you first open the block editor and go into either a post or a page. To reveal this sidebar go to the WordPress toolbar and click on the cog in the top right hand corner. This opens a sidebar and from here you have access to the document context and if you select an individual block you have access to the block context. All of this is covered in more detail later on in the course. Throughout the rest of the course I'll leave this sidebar open to gain access to it so we can look at all the features and you can open and close it anytime using this cog up here in the corner. Number two, new block editor design. With 5.5 the block editor has a new design language. Looking at WordPress 5.4 on the left and 5.5 on the right you can see these changes in action. The new design language is flat, square, has a higher contrast, uses new icons, and the buttons are larger and easier to interact with. Let me make this clear. This is a visual overhaul of the block editor and the functionality remains the same across these two versions. So when you've watched the rest of this course, while the look of the blocks and the block editor is what I'm showing you in 5.4, the functionality is exactly the same across all of these versions. The only difference is the visual appearance of the functionality. Even so here's a breakdown of the most noticeable visual differences. First of all, the Add New Block button is now a black or blue square that you see either here in the content or up here on the WordPress toolbar instead of a circle with a plus symbol inside it. Second, selecting a block you no longer get an outline around the selected block telling you what you just selected and the block toolbar above is larger and displays the new icons in a larger and easier to interact with format. The functionality is still exactly the same, it just looks different. Third, the main block selector showing all the blocks has been moved into a sidebar on the left hand side. When you open it the content shifts to the right to remain aligned properly. This has changed from the original look where when you open this selector it would be super imposed on top of the content in a modal box. To get to this block selector you either click the button in the WordPress toolbar or you can go to Add A New Block then click the plus symbol and click "Browse all" and the same sidebar opens. From inside the sidebar you have access to all available blocks and if you hover over any of the blocks you can see a preview of the block over on the right hand side over the main content. That brings us to number three, block patterns and the block directory. In 5.5 the block selector has two new features: block patterns and the block directory. Block patterns can be accessed from a separate tab inside the block selector and they do exactly what the name suggests. They provide a pre-configured set of patterns or layouts or groups of blocks that you can use to add into your content. To add a block pattern simply create a new block, then click on the plus symbol, go to patterns, and find the pattern you want to select. So in this case I want this two column text with a heading. Once the new block pattern is added it's really just a collection of blocks with blocks inside it that's already been pre-configured for a specific layout. Now you can edit it in any way you would normally. You can change the alignment of the block pattern, you can move the block pattern in context using the tools, and you can also go in and edit the individual blocks inside the block pattern, change out the content, or even add or remove blocks from inside the block pattern. Because once it's added into the post or page it just becomes a block collection and you can do whatever you want with it. Blocks and block groups are covered in more detail later on in the course. The second update, the block directory, is accessed via the search function so it's not immediately obvious that it's there. The idea of the block directory is you can now search for any block type, and if you don't have the block type you're searching for installed the block directory will surface new options for you to install directly into your site. So if I search for Google Maps you'll see I don't have any Google Maps blocks installed. So instead I go to the block directory and see all of the blocks available from the block directory. Now the block directory works like the plugin directory or the theme directory, you can download and install things directly, only here it happens in the context of the block editor. So you can install the new block directly from here and use it right away without having to leave this view. So that gives you the option of augmenting your site and adding new features while you're working with content. Now as of this recording the block directory was just released and there aren't that many blocks available. But I expect over time this block directory feature and what blocks are available will increase and improve dramatically and you'll see a lot more innovation in this area. Number four, inline image editing. The block editor now has some limited inline image editing. I can show you what I mean by adding a new image block here and uploading an image to my media library. Once the image is inserted I can make some minor edits to it by selecting the image and clicking this crop icon. From here I can now select a predefined crop for me. I can set up a square, I can use some different layouts, here I have different landscape and portrait layouts. So in this case I'll say square. Then I can drag the image behind the selectors, I can pick exactly what I wanted to appear inside this new crop. So let's say this and click Apply. If I click on that icon again I can also do things like rotate the image. Now as you can see the functionality of this editor is still quite limited. There isn't that much you can do, cropping and rotating is all. But I expect over the next versions of WordPress you'll see more functionality added to this edit feature and you'll be able to do more with images once they're placed inside the context where they're going to be presented. That said, once you've cropped or rotated your images, you can still do all the same things you always could with images. You can resize them using toggles and you can also choose the alignment or set up a caption or move it within context. So this is just added functionality on top of what we already have. Fifth and finally, auto updates for plugins and themes. With WordPress 5.5 themes and plugins are updated automatically. That means as long as your themes and plugins come from the WordPress theme or plugin directory, when a new version is released your site automatically updates those themes and plugins. That doesn't mean you shouldn't check, you should still pay close attention to ensure your themes and plugins are up to date, but it means that job is a lot easier than it was before. Those are the main updates to WordPress 5.5. Now go ahead and start your journey to learning WordPress.
Note: This course covers WordPress 5. The training will be updated as WordPress evolves.
- Installing WordPress
- Creating posts and pages
- Formatting text
- Publishing and scheduling posts
- Adding images, audio, and video
- Bulk editing posts and pages
- Working with reusable blocks