WordPress jazzes up its CMS again

Jul 22, 2021 | Social Media Marketing SMM News

WordPress released the new 5.8 version of its CMS, affectionately naming it “Tatum” after a favorite jazz pianist, Art Tatum. Previous updates have been named for Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.

The biggest design breakthrough available on this version is probably “block Widgets,” the capability to insert widgets into your content like any other element in WordPress’s block-based scheme. Accessed within blocks, there is now a Block Widgets Editor to manage widgets, as well as a Customizer. The CMS is getting more open to collaboration and improvisation, important elements in both jazz and digital content alike. Note that if Widgets are your thing, but you don’t want them getting blocky, you can opt out of the block-based editor.

Additional editing features. With the new Query Loop Block, content makers can display posts from a specific category, in the way that they have been able to use Latest Post blocks in previous versions. 


Version 5.8 also makes it possible to edit templates by activating a block theme. There are currently more than 20 new blocks available within these compatible themes.

Improved workflow. In order to have easy command of complex page and content layouts, the List View now provides an overview of all blocks, and allows users to jump between layers of content and nested blocks.

Debuting in this new version is the Pattern Transformation tool. When you’re working with a block, the new tool will suggest a pattern of other blocks that align with a certain style to give layout more direction. Users can also add color to image and cover blocks, as well as videos within a cover block, with a new duotone filter. It’s similar to a black and white duotone effect, but colorized.

APIs. Control the editor settings and customizable tools and style blocks with Global Styles and Global Settings APIs. There’s a theme.json file in the active theme, and this allows developers to enable or disable features for both the website and blocks. Here’s the developers note on that.

Read next: Looking to leave WordPress behind? You’re not alone

Why we care. This WordPress update attempts to balance complexity of design with better navigation and customization, thanks to the List View function, and the configuration file for developers.

Even so, with WordPress dominating the CMS space with 65% market share, some businesses are going back to the drawing board and searching out new headless and hybrid CMSs. So much of a brand’s identity and customer engagement centers around their digital presence across channels, as well as content creation, that it seems worth the time for marketers to take a hard look at if their specific content needs are being served with their current vendor. This, in part, explains why WordPress is getting more open in this version by collaborating with developers.

Download our first MarTech Intelligence Report on Headless and Hybrid CMSs here.

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