WordPress 5.9 Talking Points for Meetup Organizers: Six Features You Will Love About This Release

As you know, there’s a new version of WordPress coming soon. This update brings some exciting features your way. As we get closer to the major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. of WordPress 5.9, we’d love the support of community members and meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. organizers like you to spread the word!

As with all releases, WordPress 5.9 can benefit from your help in the following ways:

  • Plan release-focused meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. to share the latest features in 5.9 with your community.
  • Organize 5.9 testing sprints to test the release features.
  • Email your local meetup groups to inform members about the upcoming release.
  • Individually test 5.9 release features, share your feedback, blog about release features, and amplify them on social media. 

Your testing and feedback of WordPress 5.9 Beta 2 (and the Release CandidateRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. when we get there) is important and appreciated. Or you can use the Beta Testing Plugin and be the first to see all new features in action.

1. Experience the Power of Full Site Editing

WordPress 5.9 marks the first version of Full Site Editing in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. This version includes holistic support for block themes. You can find available blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. themes under the “full site editing” tag in the Theme repository. 

Additionally, 5.9 comes with more than 30 theme blocks, such as the navigation editor, site logo, and site title, that allow you to build and customize all parts of your website. 

The introduction of block themes is only the beginning. We plan to add more exciting features in future releases to build on this solid foundation.

What’s Exciting about Block Themes?

You can now personalize your entire website using blocks. Block themes are endlessly customizable—your imagination is your only limit. Once you’ve installed a block theme, you can modify it through the site editor and the styles interface. The components of block themes include its block templates, block template parts, and the custom styling offered through theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.. Learn more about block themes in our documentation.

Say Hello to Twenty Twenty-Two, the New Default Block Theme.

To usher in the next generation of themes, we’ve released the new default theme of WordPress 5.9–Twenty Twenty-Two. The inspiration behind its subtle design is the playful yet resilient nature of birds.

This default theme is among the first to be built with Full Site Editing at its heart, and it requires minimal CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site.. By using the incredible power of patterns, you can customize this theme in countless ways without needing numerous skills.

2. Change the Look of Your Site With the New Styles Interface and theme.json Enhancements

If you liked theme.json, you would be happy to know that the new styles graphic interface provides greater global design control. 

You can now completely customize the styles on your site, changing the look of different elements and blocks. Edit everything, from the typography and the colors of the button blocks, such as block-specific styles, to the layout on your site—all from the same interface without switching themes.

Moreover, 5.9 sees various improvements to theme.json, such as support for child themes, increased duotone support, and new settings and styles, to name a few.

3. Make Your Site Stand Out with a Multitude of Design Tools

With more design-focused tools, WordPress 5.9 provides you with the power to tailor your content precisely the way you want it; Size your featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts. a certain way, evenly space a menu, or modify your paragraph to a different size. Moreover, you can customize these design tools site-wide rather than each block individually with the styles interface.

From layout control, block gap, typography options, border support, and dimension controls to enhanced cropping tools and duotone filters—all these features are here to help you get your site just right.

4. Customize Your Site’s Navigation Using the New Navigation Block

Accessibility is at the center of the new Navigation block, with full keyboard navigation support and a responsive option with the ease of an on/off toggle. 

The Navigation block enables you to control your menu’s design, location, and function from a single interface.

5. Leverage Patterns to Build Your Site Efficiently

Patterns will continue to be a gamechanger in helping you create your site. With patterns, you don’t have to build each site page from scratch—save your basic block groups and personalize the individual blocks to suit your needs!

In WordPress 5.9, you can create simple blocks containing images, lists, and paragraphs, or complex full-page layouts with overlapping content.

Browse from a library of existing reusable patterns or build your own. You can also share your creations by submitting your very own patterns to the pattern directory with open submissions.

The possibilities are limitless. Build a new mailing list call to action (CTA) with a few clicks or change entire site sections without switching themes. These enhancements simplify site creation, editing, and management, saving you plenty of time and effort.

6. Enjoy User Interface and Performance Improvements

Version 5.9 includes important enhancements to the user interface and platform performance.

With new updates such as rich URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org previews, refined settings modal, intuitive icons and animations, and the lazy rendering of search results and patterns, you can enjoy better responsiveness and user experience. 

Try the improved publishing flow, List View (including a drag and drop capability with collapsible sections), and a new language switcher, among other updates. The List View has undergone improvements in performance and accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) as well.

Share Your Feedback about WordPress 5.9

Now that you know about the features in the pipeline, we hope you’re as excited as we are. 

What do you like about this release? What have you planned for sharing WordPress 5.9 with your local meetup group? Are you organizing an outreach meetup, or would you be interested in scheduling a testing sprint? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to @callye, @cbringmann, @chanthaboune, @dansoschin, @harishanker, @priethor, and @rmartinezduque for reviewing and contributing to this post.

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