WordPress 5.9 Field Guide: Full Features and Changes

WordPress 5.9 Field Guide main image

Are you ready for the next big release? WordPress 5.9 is almost here and we’re excited about the changes and new features it’s going to bring. 

As per the schedule, WordPress 5.9 is set to release on 25th January 2022, which is only a few weeks away. So, with the major release on its way, users will be experiencing over 100 bug fixes, 99 enhancements and more in the overall WordPress experience.

The guide, posted by Marcus Kazmierczak, lays down the major changes that will be seen in WordPress 5.9. We strongly suggest users test their plugins, themes, and sites with WordPress 5.9 before the release so that they don’t have to face unanticipated issues later.

WordPress 5.9 exclusively brings advanced design tools to build templates, themes, and new ways to style your sites. The update will bring new changes like Full Site Editing, new default Twenty-Twenty-Two theme, block editor improvements, enhanced Lazy-loading performance, enhanced PHP 8.1, new language switcher on the login screen, and more. With these big changes, it’s thrilling to see where this will lead the WordPress industry.

Let’s now have a quick look at the enhancements we’re going to witness in WordPress 5.9.

Full Site Editing

Full Site Editing allows you to control both the page content and other contents of your site directly from the front-end without any coding. With FSE, WordPress introduces a new way to build themes, create templates, and style your site. You can change your header or footer design whilst working on the page content and that too without leaving the screen.

With the full site editing, WordPress 5.9 will introduce 10 new blocks for FSE, new styles for themes including typography and colors, new block styles, a new way to add navigation menus with Navigation Menu block, and more.

New Default Twenty Twenty-Two theme

A new default theme will ship out in WordPress 5.9 – Twenty Twenty-Two. Like any other default theme released by WordPress, Twenty Twenty-Two is also clean, simple, and visually aesthetic. With a simple and minimal outlook, the theme provides extreme flexibility at its core.

Know more about the new Twenty Twenty-Two theme here.

Block Editor Improvements

Like any other major update, WordPress 5.9 will also include an array of amazing performance enhancements regarding the Gutenberg Editor. The default block editor will include features and performance enhancements from the 12 Gutenberg Plugin Update releases (from 10.8 to 11.9).

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

  • Updated Design tools with global styles
  • Better Element Alignments
  • Enhanced Block Patterns
  • New Nav block
  • Better Social Icons and Buttons
  • Enhanced Headings Control
  • Improved URL previews
  • Language switcher on the login screen

Enhanced Lazy Loading Images

WordPress 5.9 includes improvements to the core’s lazy loading feature. In WordPress 5.9, the lazy-loading implementation for both images and iframes comes with improved performance. Know more about it here. 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.

Miscellaneous Updates

Over 100 bugs, 99 enhancements and 5 feature requests, and 51 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.9. Some additional ones include:

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


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