A Field Guide to WordPress 5.8

WordPress 5.8 Field Guide Featured Image

The next major release, WordPress 5.8 is nearing and we all are waiting for the changes it’s going to bring. With this big release on the way, users will be experiencing over 96 enhancements and more than 170 bug fixes. The core development team released a field guide to WordPress 5.8 in the official core channel of the team on July 3.

The guide, posted by Milana Cap, lays down the major changes that will be seen in WordPress 5.8. Milana strongly suggests users test their plugins, themes, and sites with WordPress 5.8 before the release so that they don’t have to face unanticipated issues later.

WordPress 5.8 will include handpicked Patterns, Powerful Blocks, New Template Editor with new custom templates, New Design Tools for existing blocks, and more. Also, the update includes several tiny improvements as well.

Block Editor Enhancements

Like any other major update, WordPress 5.8 will also include an array of amazing performance enhancements regarding the Gutenberg Editor. The default block editor will include features from the last 8 Gutenberg Plugin Update releases (from 10.0 to 10.7). Moreover, performance improvements from versions 10.8 and 10.9 will also be included in WordPress 5.8.

Here are some of the highlights included to further enhance the Block Editor:

  • 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

WebP Image Format Support

Including the WebP image Format Support, there are many other media changes in WordPress 5.8. Setting foundation for a real performance boost, there’s a new image_editor_output_format filter. Moreover, other media changes include infinite scroll replaced with AJAX response and copy-link button on the media upload screen.

Plugins Enhancements

WordPress 5.8 will include enhancements to make plugin developers’ lives easier. For instance, better docs search, and standardizing hooks terminology to mark plugins as unmanaged and avoid overwriting plugin files caused by update conflicts.

REST API Changes

With the enhancements on widgets and sidebar, there is also a new operator for taxonomy queries within post collections, support for the eagerly awaited AND comparison, which allows posts meeting all passed criteria to be matched.

Site Health

There are Site Health Updates in WordPress 5.8 which includes new actions for extending the navigation in the Site Health screen and new info provided by Site Health via a list of the supported file types for the active image editor.

Themes Updates in 5.8

Two new action hooks have been included in WordPress 5.8: delete_theme and deleted_theme. Also, other updates like a few UI improvements such as clearly showing if a theme is a child theme, update the counter in admin menu item, and removal of the “Featured” tab in Add Themes screen are available. Moreover, the older bundled themes are refreshed with some nice block patterns for your pleasure and inspiration.

Miscellaneous Updates

Over 170 bugs, 96 enhancements and feature requests, and 24 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.8. Some additional ones include:

  • Support for Internet Explorer 11
  • Bootstrap/Load Changes in 5.8
  • Build/Test Tools: Remove @babel/polyfill in favor of core-js/stable, requires explicit addition of regenerator-runtime as script dependency if IE11 support is still required (#52941).
  • Bundled Theme: Add Block Patterns to Twenty Ten to Twenty Fifteen default themes (#51107#51106#51105#51104#51103#51102).
  • Comments: comments_pagination_base missing in get_comment_reply_link() function (#51189).
  • Comments: Comments list’s link should point to an actual article (#52353).
  • Embeds: Process embeds for block widgets (#51566).
  • Emoji: Bump Twemoji from 13.0.1 to 13.1.0 (#52852).
  • External Libraries: Bump jQuery from 3.5.1 to 3.6.0 (#52707).
  • External Libraries: Bump Moment.js from 2.27.0 to 2.29.1 (#52853).
  • Bump Requests from 1.7.0 to 1.8.1 (#53101 and #53334) -External Libraries
  • External Libraries: Bump Underscore from 1.8.3 to 1.13.1 (#45785).
  • Media: Remove infinite scrolling behavior from the Media grid (#50105).
  • Media: Add a copy-link button on the media upload page (#51754).
  • Menus: Add the ability to delete multiple menu items (#21603).
  • Revisions: a new dynamic filter to specify post type for number of revisions to save, wp_{$post->post_type}_revisions_to_keep (#51550).
  • Role/Capability: user_can() changed for exist capability for anonymous users (#52076).
  • Upgrade/Install: Remove parsing of readme.txt files from validate_plugin_requirements() (#48520).
  • Upgrade/Install: Fatal error during update to 5.8 of a site with an active Gutenberg plugin (version less than 10.7) (#53432).
  • Widgets: Make sure WP_Widget constructor creates a correct classname value for a namespaced widget class (#44098).
  • And much, much more!


The major release is nearing and we, as a responsible part of this wonderful community, should help our developers deliver the new version as smooth as possible. Therefore, we request you to please test your code. So that any prevailing issues can be fixed beforehand and help you and other millions of WordPress users and sites.

We’re eagerly waiting for the WordPress 5.8 update to land and we’re sure you are too. Stay updated with us for more WordPress-related articles. Happy WordPressing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *