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Configuring Theme Design with theme.json

Posted July 29, 2021 by Jeff Ong. Filed under Themes.

Starting in WordPress 5.8, a new tool — “theme.json” — is available to use in your theme. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time, or maybe you’re testing and developing themes with it already. Either way, I’m glad you’re here because it’s an exciting time for WordPress themes.

This post provides a quick introduction to this new framework, and describes what’s possible by sharing a few practical tips and examples.

What’s theme.json?

Technically, theme.json is just a file that lives at the top-level of a theme’s directory. 

Conceptually, it’s a major shift in how themes can be developed. Theme authors now have a centralized mechanism to tailor the WordPress experience for site authors and visitors. Theme.json provides theme authors fine-grained control over global styles, block styles, and the block editor settings.

By providing these settings and controls in a single file, theme.json provides a powerful framework that brings together many aspects of theme design and development. And as the block editor matures and adds more features, theme.json will shine as the backbone for themes and the editor to work together 💪. 

Why Use it?

It’s the future! But if you’re like me, you might need something more tangible to be convinced. Here are a few reasons why you might use theme.json today:

  • Control editor settings like color, typography, spacing, and layout, and consolidate where these settings are managed.
  • Guarantee that styles apply correctly to blocks and elements across your site.
  • Reduce the amount of boilerplate CSS a theme used to provide. Theme.json won’t replace your stylesheet completely — there will be instances where CSS is needed to give your theme that extra flare (transitions, animations, etc.). But it can greatly reduce the base CSS needed from the theme.

How do I use it?

The rest of this post demonstrates a few theme.json configurations you can try out. The examples use the tt1-blocks theme.jsonthe block-based version of this year’s default theme

If you’re starting with an existing theme, you might try copying a theme.json from the WordPress/theme-experiments repository (for example, the fse-tutorial theme by @poena) and adding it to the root of your theme’s directory.

Change the typography settings of your site globally

"settings": {
	"typography": {
		"fontSize": "30px",
		...

Making the change above in theme.json would result in the following updates to your theme’s body typography styles (before and after):

Changing the base color settings of your site globally

"styles": {
	"color": {
		"background": "#ffc0cb",
		"text": "#6A1515"
	},
	...
}

Changing spacing / padding settings on specific blocks

"styles": {
	"blocks": {
		"core/code": {
			"spacing": {
				"padding": {
					"top": "3em",
					"bottom": "3em",
					"left": "3em",
					"right": "3em"
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

Set a custom color palette in the editor for specific blocks like a button

"settings": {
    "blocks": {
		"core/button": {
			"color": {
				"palette": [ 
					{
						"name": "Maroon",
						"color": "#6A1515",
						"slug": "maroon"
					},
					{
						"name": "Strawberry Ice Cream",
						"color": "#FFC0CB",
						"slug": "strawberry-ice-cream"
					}
				]
			}
		}
	}
}

Enable and disable typography controls

In the following example, the ability to supply a custom font size and line height for all heading blocks is disabled:

	"settings": {
		"blocks": {
			"core/heading": {
				"typography": {
					"customFontSize": false,
					"customLineHeight": false
				}
			}
		}
	}

What’s Next?

I hope this gives you a sense of what’s possible and where themes are going. The above examples just scratch the surface of what kinds of theme design configurations are possible, and I’m very excited to see what theme authors create.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the developer note on theme.json, and here’s the documentation for theme.json in the handbook.


Thanks to @kjellr, @chanthaboune, @priethor, @annezazu for helping with and peer-reviewing this post.

WordPress 5.8 Tatum

Posted July 20, 2021 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Releases.

Introducing 5.8 “Tatum”, our latest and greatest release now available for download or update in your dashboard. Named in honor of Art Tatum, the legendary Jazz pianist. His formidable technique and willingness to push boundaries inspired musicians and changed what people thought could be done. 

So fire up your music service of choice and enjoy Tatum’s famous recordings of ‘Tea for Two’, ‘Tiger Rag’, ‘Begin the Beguine’, and ‘Night and Day’ as you read about what the latest WordPress version brings to you.


Three Essential Powerhouses

Manage Widgets with Blocks

After months of hard work, the power of blocks has come to both the Block Widgets Editor and the Customizer. Now you can add blocks both in widget areas across your site and with live preview through the Customizer. This opens up new possibilities to create content: from no-code mini layouts to the vast library of core and third-party blocks. For our developers, you can find more details in the Widgets dev note.

Display Posts with New Blocks and Patterns

The Query Loop Block makes it possible to display posts based on specified parameters; like a PHP loop without the code. Easily display posts from a specific category, to do things like create a portfolio or a page full of your favorite recipes. Think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block! Plus, pattern suggestions make it easier than ever to create a list of posts with the design you want.

Edit the Templates Around Posts

You can use the familiar block editor to edit templates that hold your content—simply activate a block theme or a theme that has opted in for this feature. Switch from editing your posts to editing your pages and back again, all while using a familiar block editor. There are more than 20 new blocks available within compatible themes. Read more about this feature and how to experiment with it in the release notes.

Three Workflow Helpers

Overview of the Page Structure

Sometimes you need a simple landing page, but sometimes you need something a little more robust. As blocks increase, patterns emerge, and content creation gets easier, new solutions are needed to make complex content easy to navigate. List View is the best way to jump between layers of content and nested blocks. Since the List View gives you an overview of all the blocks in your content, you can now navigate quickly to the precise block you need. Ready to focus completely on your content? Toggle it on or off to suit your workflow.

Suggested Patterns for Blocks

Starting in this release the Pattern Transformations tool will suggest block patterns based on the block you are using. Right now, you can give it a try in the Query Block and Social Icon Block. As more patterns are added, you will be able to get inspiration for how to style your site without ever leaving the editor!

Style and Colorize Images

Colorize your image and cover blocks with duotone filters! Duotone can add a pop of color to your designs and style your images (or videos in the cover block) to integrate well with your themes. You can think of the duotone effect as a black and white filter, but instead of the shadows being black and the highlights being white, you pick your own colors for the shadows and highlights. There’s more to learn about how it works in the documentation.

For Developers to Explore

Theme.json

Introducing the Global Styles and Global Settings APIs: control the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks using a theme.json file in the active theme. This configuration file enables or disables features and sets default styles for both a website and blocks. If you build themes, you can experiment with this early iteration of a useful new feature. For more about what is currently available and how it works, check out this dev note.

Dropping support for IE11

Support for Internet Explorer 11 has been dropped as of this release. This means you may have issues managing your site that will not be fixed in the future. If you are currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a more modern browser.

Adding support for WebP

WebP is a modern image format that provides improved lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP images are around 30% smaller on average than their JPEG or PNG equivalents, resulting in sites that are faster and use less bandwidth.

Adding Additional Block Supports

Expanding on previously implemented block supports in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, WordPress 5.8 introduces several new block support flags and new options to customize your registered blocks. More information is available in the block supports dev note.

Check the Field Guide for more!

Check out the latest version of the WordPress Field Guide. It highlights developer notes for each change you may want to be aware of: WordPress 5.8 Field Guide.


The Squad

The WordPress 5.8 release was led by Matt Mullenweg, and supported by this highly enthusiastic release squad:

This release is the reflection of the hard work of 530 generous volunteer contributors. Collaboration occurred on over 320 tickets on Trac and over 1,500 pull requests on GitHub.

5ubliminal, 99w, 9primus, Aaron Jorbin, aaronrobertshaw, abderrahman, Abha Thakor, Abhijit Rakas, achbed, Adam Silverstein, Adam Zielinski, Addie, aduth, Ahmed Chaion, Ahmed Saeed, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, Alan Jacob Mathew, Albert Juhé Lluveras, Alejandro Perez, Alex Concha, Alex Kirk, Alex Lende, alexstine, allilevine, Amanda Riu, amarinediary, Amogh Harish, Andrea Fercia, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Serong, Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko, André Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Peatling, Andy Skelton, Ankit Gade, annalamprou, Anne McCarthy, anotherdave, anotia, Anthony Burchell, Anton Lukin, Anton Vanyukov, Antonis Lilis, apedog, apokalyptik, arena, Argyris Margaritis, Ari Stathopoulos, ariskataoka, arkrs, Armand, ArnaudBan, Arthur Chu, Arun a11n, Aspexi, atjn, Aurooba Ahmed, Austin Matzko, Ayesh Karunaratne, Barry, bartkalisz, Beatriz Fialho, Bego Mario Garde, Benachi, Benoit Chantre, Bernhard Reiter, Bernhard Reiter, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, Blobfolio, bmcculley, Bob Linthorst, bobbingwide, Bogdan Preda, bonger, Boone Gorges, Brad Touesnard, Brandon Kraft, Brecht, Brent Swisher, Brett Shumaker, Bruno Ribaric, Burhan Nasir, Cameron Jones, Cameron Voell, Carike, Carl Alexander, carlomanf, carlosgprim, Carolina Nymark, Casey Milne, Cenay Nailor, Ceyhun Ozugur, Chandra M, Chetan Prajapati, Chintan hingrajiya, Chip Snyder, Chloé Bringmann, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, chriscct7, Christopher Churchill, Chuck Reynolds, Clayton Collie, Code Amp, CodePoet, Colin Stewart, Collins Agbonghama, Copons, Corey McKrill, Cory Hughart, Courtney Engle Robertson, crazycoders, critterverse, czapla, Dávid Szabó, Daisy Olsen, damonganto, Dan Farrow, Dani Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, danieldudzic, Daniele Scasciafratte, Danny, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Artiss, David Baumwald, David Biňovec, David Calhoun, David Herrera, David Kryzaniak, David Smith, dekervit, devfle, devrekli, dhruvkb, Diane Co, dingdang, Dion Hulse, djbu, Dominik Schilling, donmhico, Donna Peplinskie, Doug Wollison, dpik, dragongate, Dreb Bits, Drew Jaynes, eatsleepcode, Ebonie Butler, Edi Amin, Eileen Violini, Ella van Durpe, Emil E, Emilio Martinez, Emmanuel Hesry, empatogen, Enej Bajgorić, Enrique Sánchez, epiqueras, Erik, etoledom, Fabian Kägy, Fabian Pimminger, Fabian Todt, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, felixbaumgaertner, Femy Praseeth, fijisunshine, Florian Brinkmann, Florian TIAR, Francesca Marano, Frank Bueltge, frosso1 (a11n), fullofcaffeine, gab81, Gal Baras, Ganga Kafle, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, GeekPress, Gennady Kovshenin, Geoffrey, George Hotelling, George Mamadashvili, George Stephanis, geriux, glendaviesnz, Grant M. Kinney, Greg Ziółkowski, gRegor Morrill, Héctor Prieto, Hannah Malcolm, happiryu, Hareesh, Haz, hedgefield, Helen Hou-Sandí, Herm Martini, Herre Groen, herrvigg, htmgarcia, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, icopydoc, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isabel Brison, Ivaylo Draganov, Ivete Tecedor, J.D. Grimes, Jack Lenox, Jake Spurlock, James Bonham, James Koster, James Nylen, James Richards, James Rosado, jamil95, janak Kaneriya, janw.oostendorp, Jason Johnston, Javier Arce, Jayman Pandya, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Ong, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey Pearce, Jenny Dupuy, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Herve, Jeremy Yip, jeremy80, JeroenReumkens, jeryj, jillebehm, Jip Moors, Joe Bailey-Roberts, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, Johan Jonk Stenström, Johannes Kinast, John Blackbourn, John Godley, John James Jacoby, John Sundberg, Jon Brown, Jon Surrell, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Josee Wouters, Josepha Haden, JoshuaDoshua, Joy, jsnajdr, Juan Aldasoro, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, Justin Ahinon, k3nsai, kaavyaiyer, Kai Hao, Kalpesh Akabari, Kapil Paul, Karolina Vyskocilova, Kelly Choyce-Dwan, Kelly Hoffman, Kerry Liu, Kishan Jasani, Kite, KittMedia, Kjell Reigstad, klevyke, Knut Sparhell, Koen Van den Wijngaert, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kyle Nel, lakrisgubben, Lara Schenck, Larissa Murillo, Laxman Prajapati, LewisCowles, lifeforceinst, linux4me2, Lovro Hrust, Luis Sacristán, Luiz Araújo, Luke Carbis, m0ze, Maedah Batool, Maggie Cabrera, Maja Benke, Marco Ciampini, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marin Atanasov, Marius L. J., Mark Jaquith, Mark Parnell, Marko Heijnen, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, Mary Job, marylauc, Mathieu Viet, Matias Ventura, Matt Chowning, Matt Mullenweg, Maxime Pertici, mblach, Meet Makadia, Meher Bala, Mel Choyce-Dwan, meloniq, mensmaximus, Michael Babker, Michael Beckwith, Miguel Fonseca, Mikael Korpela, Mike Hansen, Mike Jolley, Mike Martel, Mike Schroder, Mikhail Kobzarev, Milan Dinić, Milana Cap, mkdgs, mmuyskens, mmxxi, Mohamed El Amine DADDOU, Mohammed Faragallah, Monika Rao, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, mrjoeldean, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, Mustafa Uysal, mweichert, Nadir Seghir, Nalini Thakor, Naoki Ohashi, Naoko Takano, Nazrul Islam Nayan, nderambure, net, nicegamer7, Nicholas Garofalo, Nick Halsey, Nik Tsekouras, ninanmnm, Noah Allen, nvartolomei, oguzkocer, olafklejnstrupjensen, Olga Bulat, Olga Gleckler, Otshelnik-Fm, oxyrealm, Ozh, Paal Joachim Romdahl, palmiak, Panagiotis Angelidis, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Knecht, Pat, patricklindsay, Paul Biron, Paul Bunkham, Paul Schreiber, Paul Stonier, Paul Von Schrottky, Paulo Pinto, Pavel I, Paweł, Peter Wilson, Petter Walbø Johnsgård, phena109, Philip Jackson, Pierre SYLVESTRE, Pinar, Piotrek Boniu, Pippin Williamson, Pirate Dunbar, Pramod Jodhani, Presskopp, presstoke, pwallner, pyronaur, Q, Rachel Baker, rafhun, Rajesh Radadiya, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramon Ahnert, ramonopoly, Ravi Vaghela, ravipatel, Refael Iliaguyev, Rene Hermenau, retrofox, reynhartono, Riad Benguella, Rian Rietveld, Rima Prajapati, Rinat, Rnaby, robdxw, Robert Anderson, Robert Chapin, Roger Theriault, rogerlos, roo2, Roy, Russell Aaron, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Sérgio Gomes, Sören Wrede, Saša, Sabrina Zeidan, Sahil Mepani, Samir Shah, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sandip Mondal, Sanne van der Meulen, sarahricker, sarayourfriend, SASAPIYO, satrancali, savicmarko1985, Scott Lesovic, Scott Reilly, scottconnerly, scruffian, Sean Fisher, Sean Hayes, sebbb, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, SergioEstevao, shaunandrews, Shital Marakana, silb3r, Siobhan, SirStuey, snapfractalpop, spikeuk1, spytzo, stacimc, Stanislav Khromov, Stefan Hüsges, stefanjoebstl, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Dufresne, Steve Grunwell, Steve Henty, Steven Word, Subrata Sarkar, Sumaiya Siddika, Suman, Sumit Singh, Sumit Singh, Sunny, sushmak, Sybre Waaijer, Synchro, szaqal21, tamlyn, Tammie Lister, Tellyworth, Terri Ann, Tetsuaki Hamano, them.es, Thomas Kräftner, Thomas Patrick Levy, Thomas Vitale, tigertech, Timothy Jacobs, TimoTijhof, Tkama, tmatsuur, tmdk, Tobias Zimpel, TobiasBg, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Tom J Nowell, Toni Viemerö, Tonya Mork, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Toru Miki, Travis Northcutt, trejder, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Utsav tilava, Vicente Canales, Vipul Chandel, Vlad T, wangql, WebDragon, Wendy Chen, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Xavi Ivars, Xristopher Anderton, Y_Kolev, Yan Sern, Yui, Yuliyan Slavchev, Yvette Sonneveld, Zack Krida, Zebulan Stanphill, zkancs, and 孙锡源.

In addition to these contributors, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time, or they’ve been around since the first release all the way back in 2003. These releases are as successful as they are because of their efforts!

Finally, thanks to all the community translators who help make WordPress available in over 200 languages for every release. 80 languages have translated 80% or more WordPress 5.8 and our community translators are hard at work ensuring more languages are on their way. If contributing to WordPress appeals to you, it’s easy to learn more. Check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.

Episode 13: Cherishing WordPress Diversity

Posted July 19, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Podcast.

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the fabric of the WordPress project and how we can move from a place of welcoming it to cherishing it.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler

Logo: Beatriz Fialho

Production: Chloé Bringmann

Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

References

Diverse Speaker Training Workshop

A WordPress Dinner Party

The Burden of Proof

Leadership At Any Level

Building a Culture of Safety

Leadership Basics: Ethics in Communication

WordPress 5.6

Bonus resource: How to Be a WordPress Ally

Transcript

Read on for more »

WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate 3

Posted July 14, 2021 by Jeffrey Paul. Filed under Development, Releases.

The third release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available!

WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, and we need your help to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.8 release candidate 3 in any of these three ways:

  • Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and then Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Directly download the release candidate version (zip)
  • Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-RC3

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta/RC releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.8 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.8. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can work to solve them in time for the final release.

For a more detailed breakdown of the changes included in WordPress 5.8, check out the WordPress 5.8 beta 1 post. The WordPress 5.8 Field Guide, which is particularly useful for developers, has all the info and further links to help you get comfortable with the major changes.

How to Help

Can you speak and write in a language other than English?  Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you have found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @cbringmann, @chanthaboune, and @marybaum for peer-reviewing!


Code is poetry
Jazz is improvisation
Both are forms of art

WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate 2

Posted July 7, 2021 by Jeffrey Paul. Filed under Development, Releases.

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available! 🎉

WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, and we need your help to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.8 release candidate 2 in any of these three ways:

  • Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and then Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Directly download the release candidate version (zip)
  • Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-RC2

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta/RC releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.8 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.8. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so they can get ready for the final release.

For a more detailed breakdown of the changes included in WordPress 5.8, check out the WordPress 5.8 beta 1 post. The WordPress 5.8 Field Guide, which is particularly useful for developers, has all the info and further links to help you get comfortable with the major changes.

How to Help

Can you speak and write in a language other than English?  Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you have found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @lukecarbis for the haiku, @webcommsat and @marybaum for peer reviewing!


Five-eight in two weeks
So test your plugins and themes
Update your readme

Episode 12: WordPress – In Person!

Posted July 5, 2021 by Chloe Bringmann. Filed under Podcast.

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy talks about WordPress – In Person! The WordPress events that provide the dark matter of connection that helps sustain the open source project.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler

Logo: Beatriz Fialho

Production: Chloé Bringmann

Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

References

The tragedy of the commons

WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate announcement

Transcript

Read on for more »

The Month in WordPress: June 2021

Posted July 2, 2021 by Hari Shanker R. Filed under Month in WordPress.

Once you step into contribution time, your main concern is the users of WordPress, or new contributors, or the health of the WordPress ecosystem as a whole or the WordPress project. So you get all this subject matter expertise from competitive forces, collaborating in a very “us versus the problem” way. And when you do that, you’re always going to find a great solution.

In the “WordCamp Europe 2021 in Review” episode of the WP Briefing podcast, Josepha Haden talks about the importance of collaboration, which is vital in building WordPress. This edition of The Month in WordPress covers exciting updates that exemplify this philosophy. 


Updates on WordPress 5.8

Get excited, folks! The beta versions and the first release candidate of WordPress 5.8 are out. Beta 1 came out on June 9, followed by Beta 2 on June 15, Beta 3 on June 23, and Beta 4 on June 25. The first release candidate of WordPress 5.8 was published on June 30. You can test the beta versions and the release candidates by downloading them from WordPress.org or by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. WordPress 5.8 will be out by July 20, 2021, and is also ready to be translated.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? Check out the Core Contributor Handbook. Don’t forget to join the WordPress #core channel in the Make WordPress Slack and follow the Core Team blog. The Core Team hosts weekly chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM UTC. Help us promote WordPress 5.8 by organizing meetups about the release, producing social media marketing materials for 5.8, or testing the release.

Gutenberg versions 10.8 and 10.9 are out

We said hello to Gutenberg version 10.8 and version 10.9 this month. Version 10.8 adds rich URL previews, enhancements to the list view, and an updated block manager. Version 10.9 offers several performance enhancements, along with more block design tools and template editor enhancements.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

WordCamp Europe 2021 concludes

One of the biggest and most exciting WordPress events, WordCamp Europe 2021, was held from June 7-9, 2021. A team of 40 members organized the event, which had 3200+ registrations, 42 speakers, and 43 sponsors. What a success! You will find more details in the event recap. One highlight was a Gutenberg demo hosted by Matías Ventura and Matt Mullenweg. You can watch the event recording on the WordCamp Europe YouTube channel, and videos are now available on WordPress.tv as well. The team has announced WordCamp Europe 2022, which is being planned as an in-person event in Porto, Portugal. Want to be a part of the 2022 WCEU organizing team? Their call for organizers is now open. Apply now!

Full Site Editing updates

Don’t miss the latest Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach program testing call: “Thrive with theme.json”, which is aimed at a developer-centric audience. The deadline is July 14. Also don’t miss a hallway hangout on testing theme.json on July 7 at 5 PM UTC. The team has published a recap of the Published Portfolios testing call, which shares some interesting results. 

BuddyPress 8.0 is out!

The first major BuddyPress release of 2021, version 8.0 “Alfano,” came out on June 6. The short-cycle release offers features such as the ability to recruit new members, an improved registration experience, and profile field types. Download it from the WordPress.org plugin directory or check it out from its Subversion repository.


Further reading

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate

Posted June 30, 2021 by Jeffrey Paul. Filed under Development, Releases.

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available! 🎉

Please join us in celebrating this very important milestone in the community’s progress towards the final release of WordPress 5.8!

“Release Candidate” means the new version is ready for release, but with thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how the millions of people use WordPress, it is possible something was missed. WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, but your help is needed to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.8 release candidate in three ways:

  • Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and then Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Directly download the release candidate version (zip)
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-RC1

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

What is in WordPress 5.8?

The second release of 2021 continues to progress on the block editor towards the promised future of full site editing with these updates:

  • Manage Widgets with Blocks
  • Display Posts with New Blocks and Patterns
  • Edit Post Templates
  • Overview of the Page Structure
  • Suggested Patterns for Blocks
  • Style and Colorize Images
  • theme.json
  • Dropping support for IE11
  • Adding support for WebP
  • Adding Additional Block Supports
  • Version 10.7 of the Gutenberg plugin

WordPress 5.8 also has lots of refinements to enhance the developer experience. To learn more, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.8 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.8. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so those can be figured out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.8 Field Guide, due to be published very shortly, will give you a deeper dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English?  Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!  This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.8 release schedule.

If you think you have found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @audrasjb, @cbringmann, @webcommsat, and @pbiron for copy suggestions and final review.


We are almost there,
WordPress 5.8 comes next month.
We need your help: test!

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Posted June 25, 2021 by Jeffrey Paul. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 in three ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream).
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-beta4

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s less than four weeks away, so we need your help to make sure the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 254 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 91 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. ✨

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Props to @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!


Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WordPress 5.8 Beta 3

Posted June 23, 2021 by Josepha. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 in three ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream).
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-beta3

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s just four weeks away, so we need your help to make the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 2, 38 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of some of the included changes:

  • Block Editor: Move caching to endpoint for unique responses. (#53435)
  • Bundled Themes: Improve display of blocks in widget areas. (#53422)
  • Coding Standards: Bring some consistency to HTML formatting in wp-admin/comment.php. (#52627)
  • Editor: Include Cover block in the list of block types registered using metadata files. (#53440)
  • Editor: Include Cover block in the list of block types registered using metadata files. (#53440)
  • Media: Add new functions to return the previous/next attachment links. (#45708)
  • Media: Improve upload page media item layout on smaller screens. (#51754)
  • Media: Update total attachment count when media added or removed. (#53171)
  • REST API: Decode single and double quote entities in widget names and descriptions. (#53407)
  • Twenty Nineteen: Update margins on full- and wide-aligned blocks in the editor. (#53428)
  • Widgets: Add editor styles to the widgets block editor. (#53344)

How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 254 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 91 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. ✨

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Props to @jeffpaul @desrosj @hellofromtonya @pbiron for reviews and final edits!


Esperanza first.
Want to know the next jazzer?
Then please test beta.

Older Posts »

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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