WordPress 5.8 beta was released along with the date of final release on July 20, 2021.
This is the second major release of the year and comes with many new features and improvements.
Let's see what the upcoming WordPress 5.8 brings
You can try the beta version on your computer using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.
New template editor
WordPress 5.8 will be released with the new template editor. It is a step towards creating a complete website editing tool using block editor, which means it could be improved in future releases.
The template editor allows you to create and save templates for your site that you will later use for any post or page.
The template editor will allow you to add Site Editing blocks. Some basic blocks are available, such as:
Post Featured Image
Login / out
The feature is optional, and both themes developers and users will be able to turn it off easily.
Blocks as widgets in WordPress 5.8
Another big step is the new blocks as a widget.
Users will be able to access the new widgets using the Customizer or from the Widgets page.
The new feature will bring flexibility to the block editor and WordPress sidebar widgets. You will be able to use colors, spaces and other drawing tools without installing additional add-ons.
WebP images come in WordPress
WebP is a new image format to be used on the web. Using WebP format, your images will be 25-34% smaller in file size than PNG and JPEG without loss of quality.
WordPress does not currently support WebP images. With WordPress 5.8, you can upload WebP images to your site without add-ons.
However, one drawback is that the new feature will not automatically replace the image with JPEG or PNG if a user views the site with a browser that does not support WebP images.
Improvements to the WordPress Editor 5.8
Editor is the place where administrators and columnists spend most of their time creating content. Each version of WordPress comes with many improvements, bug fixes and new features to improve the editing experience.
WordPress will end support for Internet Explorer by the end of 2021. 5.8 has merged most of the necessary changes needed for this.