It’s time to jump for joy, WP users! Just four months after the WordPress 5.3 version was released, the hard-working team of WordPress developers decided it’s time for a new version to see the light of the day. WordPress 5.4, the “Adderley”, was released on March 31th 2020 and is available for download or update in your Dashboard.
This WP version comes with more efficient processes that can help your website visitors get more engaged. How? Be sure to read the rest of this post to find out.
Why the “Adderley”, though?
Well, the creators, Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald (and over 555 volunteer contributors) decided to name the 5.4 version “Adderley” to honor the great, American jazz trumpeter, Nat Adderley.
Adderley is known as an innovator (he pioneered a sub-genre known as soul-jazz) and is one of the most imaginative jazz artists of his time, who recorded nearly 100 albums. And something tells us WordPress 5.4 is going to be just as bold, sharper soloist as Adderley was.
What does WordPress 5.4 bring to the table?
A lot of things.
WordPress 5.4 comes with over 120 enhancements and feature requests and over 200 bug fixes. Those enhancements and features include improvements in the block editor, user interface, performance, and your site’s security and privacy. Here are the newest features you need to know about:
Note: If you want a full-blown, detailed guide on WordPress 5.4 enhancements and improvements, be sure to check out the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide.
You will be able to play with the Fullscreen Editor, the default in WordPress 5.4
In the WordPress 5.4 version, you will be saying hello to the Fullscreen Editor, and we bet you are going to like it. If, for some reason, you don’t find this enhancement necessary, you can turn it off by clicking on the Editor settings and unchecking the “Fullscreen mode” option.
You will be able to play with two new blocks
Yep. Not one, but two, brand-new Gutenberg blocks 一 Social Icons and Buttons. These blocks can help you add social media icons and CTA buttons in a snap of a finger, making your pages and posts more interactive.
Note: A Buttons block is replacing the old Button block. The new block allows you to add more than one button, as many as you want, and place them side by side.
You will enjoy coloring the blocks
The creators also played with the colors of the blocks 一 they added Gradients in the Buttons and Cover blocks and included color options in the Group and Columns blocks. By playing with the colors, you’ll be able to create more engaging layouts for both your posts and pages.
You won’t have issues with selecting the blocks
WordPress 5.4 brings a new button in the toolbar, which allows you to select blocks quickly. We see this tool coming in handy in moments when you have several blocks placed inside a group block.
You’ll be able to place/replace multimedia in every block quickly
The developers also made sure that the process of adding or removing multimedia elements in every block becomes more intuitive and faster.
You’ll be able to navigate easily using the keyboard
If you like using your keyboard while making changes on your site, you don’t have to worry about the navigation being slow. WordPress 5.4 brings better tabbing and focus.
You won’t have trouble with the Editor loading time
Speed was a major priority in the release of the “Adderley”. That’s why developers made sure that the Editor is 14% faster than the one in the previous version, and added 51% faster time-to-type.
You’ll be able to find all the info about the block editor in the Welcome Guide
Creators decide to make a Welcome Guide, which you can read anytime you need guidance on how to make changes on your website. You can read the Guide any time you wish, as many times as you wish.
You’ll be able to tell in which block mode you are in
In WordPress 5.4, you won’t have to constantly check in which block mode you are in, that is, whether you are in a block’s Edit or Navigation mode. Even if you have restricted vision, your screen reader will tell you which mode you’re in.
You’ll love the enhancements and the looks of privacy tools
When it comes to privacy settings, creators made sure that the personal data exports include users’ session information, as well as users’ location data from the Community Events widget. Additionally, the look of the privacy tools got a bit more polished.
Note: Personal data export comes in two files, in HTML and JSON.
Are there any features built specifically for developers?
Of course, there are! Some of the features are going to affect theme and plugin developers mostly are:
- Adding custom fields to menu items, without a plugin or writing custom walkers.
- Block styling is simpler due to the lack of negative margin or default padding.
- Registering the collections of blocks by namespaces across categories.
- Two new APIs — block variations and gradients.
- The block editor now supports TikTok, and the CollegeHumor is gone.
How can you switch to or download the new WordPress 5.4?
If you want to update your website automatically, all you need to do is navigate to the Updates icon in your Dashboard and click the Update Now button. If you do decide to update your site, keep in mind that, while your website is being updated, it will be in maintenance mode. Once the update is complete, your site will return to normal, and you’ll see the “Welcome to WordPress 5.4” screen.
Once you have updated WordPress, you’ll also need to update your site’s database. You can do so by clicking on the Update WordPress Database.
If you are dabbling into WordPress and thinking about building your WP site, you can download the 5.4 version from the official WordPress.org site.
Are there any words on WordPress 5.5?
From what we have read and heard, no. The WordPress team didn’t mention anything about the 5.5 version. However, knowing how committed and diligent WordPress creators are, WP 5.5 is probably in the works.
Currently, we must say we are pretty pleased with WordPress 5.4. We are especially excited to play with the block styling and to see all the features the two new APIs have to offer.
So, now that you are familiar with WordPress 5.4, what’s your opinion on it? What is your favorite feature in the newest WP version? We would love to read your thoughts, so feel free to leave them in the comments down below. 👇