Announcing WordPress 5.8

Dear Bates WordPress Community,

In an ongoing effort to keep our website up to date, safe, and easy to manage, this past Wednesday we upgraded WordPress to the latest version, 5.8. Thanks to Jake and SDI for keeping us on the cutting edge. Here are the key changes to look out for:

  • Widgets/Sidebars can now use Blocks. This means that any Block you would normally use in the Block Editor is now available as an option alongside existing sidebar widgets. While this change opens up some interesting possibilities such as using the Upcoming Events Block or Gallery Block in a sidebar, in most cases you’ll simply enjoy a more visual sidebar editing experience.
  • The Block Editor has an “outline panel” for hard to reach Blocks. Have you ever had a hard time clicking precisely on the Block you want to edit? The outline panel can help. Click the “list” icon (three little staggered lines) in the upper left and a panel will open showing each Block of your document in a hierarchical list. The outline panel makes it easy to jump around in long documents, as well as visualize how complex nested Blocks are working together. 
  • Finally, WebP Images. Upon upload, images will be converted to WebP from this point forward. The WebP image format looks as good as PNG and JPEG and features smarter compression for smaller file sizes. This reduction in file sizes means faster page load times, particular for pages that use multiple images. Site speed consistently ranks highly in usability testing so the speed improvements here will offer an improved user experience.

To schedule a WordPress help session or refresher for the new semester, please email me directly, and we can find a time.