WordPress 5.9

WordPress 5.9 Features

WordPress 5.9

WordPress 5.9 released on January 25, 2022.

WordPress 5.9 New Features
This blog contains the most important new features and other changes anticipated for WordPress 5.9.

A Look At WordPress 5.9
Core released this video to show a sneak preview of the new tools in WordPress 5.9.

Full Site Editing Improvements

The main goal for WordPress in 2021 is to get full site editing to all WordPress users. FSE (full site editing) allows you to control both the page content and global pieces of your website at the same time. This means you can change your header or footer design while working on page content without leaving the screen, using the same design tools.
There will also be several updates to the Gutenberg editor:

How to align elements
Query Block improvements
Improvements to List View
Updated design tools with global styles
Lighter navigation block experience

The proposed Nav Editor will not be ready for the WordPress 5.9 release as there is not enough time for the necessary testing. Focus has shifted to getting the Nav Block ready. WordPress Core recorded a recent meeting with more information.

Global Styles Interface
New tools are coming that allow you to change design elements like typography, spacing, and colors across your entire site at once. More information and additional previews of the new interfaces are in the github ticket.

Lazy Loading Images In WordPress 5.9
There will be improvements to Core’s lazy-loading images feature. Here is the goal WordPress has set for itself:

The first “x” content image(s) should not be lazy-loaded by default, with “x” being as high as possible so that there is little to no LCP (Largest Contextual Paint) regression and as low as possible so that there is little to no regression in the total bytes loaded.

In their testing, WordPress found not lazy-loading the first content image on a page resulted in a median LCP improvement of 7%. The current proposal for WordPress 5.9 is to not lazy-load the very first content image or content iframe. Excluding featured images are also under discussion.

WordPress 5.9 Changes
Here are some other anticipated new features:
Improved PHP8 support
An update to jQuery 3
Active embeds for Pinterest
Ability to show login screen in different languages
Gallery Block Refactor
Working towards responsive Blocks with more fluid typography tools
WordPress 5.9 Bug Fixes
WordPress 5.9 will also include a number of bug fixes.
If your reusable blocks have disappeared, you can read the comments on this ticket for a possible solution.
You may have noticed when on the Themes page and hovering over a thumbnail, the browser window briefly shakes. There is already a pull request on git with a fix, so it should be included.
If you use Dark Mode, the Widget screen in WordPress 5.8 also shows in Dark Mode. A bug makes the widgets text gray on a white background making them very difficult to work with, like shown below on the left. Testing is complete on the trac ticket and as you can see from the image on the right, it looks great!