Every release of WordPress adds some great new features, and WordPress 5.9 is no different. Whether you're a blogger who enjoys making your website look fresh or an agency that is always on the lookout for great ways of managing client sites, WordPress 5.9 has something for everyone.

Released on January 25th, WordPress 5.9 is the first major WordPress release of 2022, bringing loads of new features and improvements. Take a look at our quick guide to some of the exciting improvements included in the update.

Full-site editing

WordPress 5.9 continues to build upon the site editing features first introduced last year – the new release adds a load more features that improve the site editing experience. These make it easier to edit your WordPress theme without any code and create a website with a unique custom design to match your brand and message – great for those with minimal dev skills.

These improvements include:

  • New site-wide blocks – new blocks made specifically for full site editing
  • Add site-wide styles – the ability to create new styles for your theme that will be applied across your site
  • Edit block styles – allowing you to set styles for individual blocks across your website
  • Better navigation – they’ve introduced  a new way to add navigation menus
  • New default theme – Twenty Twenty-Two

Improved block editor

We get it, you spend most of your time writing amazing content for your site. And with the updates that WordPress 5.9 brings, you can say more even faster. But what exactly does it offer you?

The WordPress block editor (also known as ‘Project Gutenberg’) continues to improve, adding new features to the ‘blocks’ you use. This means you can insert, rearrange, and style multimedia content with very little technical knowledge. So, instead of getting caught up in custom code, you can add a block and get straight to focusing on your content. You can do things like...

Effortlessly move sections – you can move sections more easily. Simply click on an item and move it up and down (that really is all there is to it!).

Navigation block – the navigation block in the site editor can also be used inside your WordPress posts and pages as well. This allows you to manually create navigation menus in your articles or landing pages.

Better social icons and buttons – it used to be a bit difficult to access controls of the parent and child blocks when working with social icons and buttons. WordPress 5.9 makes it easier by allowing child blocks to use the parent block’s toolbar.

Better headings controls – the headings block now allows you to select a heading level from a vertical dropdown menu. You also have more typography, design, margin, and spacing options for your headings.

Rich URL previews in block editor – previously, when you hovered your mouse over a link in the post editor, you only saw the URL. WordPress 5.9 will now fetch and display rich URL previews for links inside the post editor.

Beneath the surface

For theme and plugin developers, WordPress 5.9 also brings bring many changes to explore and use in their own projects:

  • WordPress core PHP Test Suite will now support PHPUnit 8.x
  • Better access to get a URL for a post revision
  • A new template tag was introduced

We hope this article gave you a glimpse into what’s in WordPress 5.9. If you want even more details of what there is to know about the new update, check out the WordPress 5.9 release article from WordPress themselves.

At Fasthosts we optimise our WordPress platform for speed and security, so whether your new year’s resolution is to start a new blog, or you’re a seasoned WordPress user, we’ve got a package for you. And, with the Fasthosts WordPress Assistant you’ll be up and running in minutes, with a curated set of themes and plugins installed for you.

Want to get the most out of your WordPress site? Keep an eye on our blog where we cover not only the latest updates, but things like the best plugins to use and ideal WordPress themes to get you started.