We’ve written before how much we love WordPress when it comes to custom website design for our clients. Well, guess what, WordPress web design is getting EVEN better!
WordPress just rolled out major release 6.0. They’re calling it “Arturo,”, inspired by Grammy-winning latin jazz musician, Arturo O’Farrill. In this post, we’re summarizing the key features of this latest release and how it makes WordPress a more robust and easy to use platform. And we don’t mean just for developers like us. WordPress will be a breeze for our clients to use as well. Come explore with us below as we dish on just a few of the latest and greatest WordPress developments.
WordPress Updates Included in 6.0
- Greater stability (not that it wasn’t already stable, but there’s always room for improvement)
- Usability (this is huge for those of you non-techies wanting to make edits to your own website)
- New features that improve writing and designing functions.
When WordPress first introduced Gutenberg (aka WordPress block editor) in it’s ambitious 5.0 release back in 2018, it was the first big step towards introducing a full site editing experience in WordPress. For many of our small business clients it meant that instead of code to accomplish design and content tasks, they could change and fine tune content themselves using customizable drag-n-drop blocks, directly from their website dashboard. Now more recently, the latest 6.0 release has further enhanced the writing experience, improved block functionality, and added a new intuitive style switcher. If you still don’t know what we’re talking about, we’re going to break it down further.
You’ll Love the Enhanced Writing Experience
As we mentioned, the updates don’t just benefit developers, they benefit our clients who take an active role in managing or updating their own sites. Clients who blog will enjoy the writing improvements in this release. For clients who manage their own content, adding and/or removing elements from their existing website page, the experience is now more streamlined. You can:
- Easily copy and paste, selecting text across multiple blocks at once.
- Access a list of recent posts and pages by typing two open brackets `[[.`
- If you transform a block from one type to another, you can keep existing styles, which saves you time. For example, if you change from a Paragraph block to a Code block.
- Create new buttons and automatically retain the styling from adjacent buttons.
- Make social icons even more appealing with updated settings and controls.
- Modify all of your paragraph and heading blocks in bulk with one click.
- Stack your content vertically to create responsive groups, rows and stacks. Stack blocks include additional settings for justification, orientation, text and background colours, typography, padding, block spacing and borders.
Style Switching is a Breeze
We love that block themes now have the ability to contain multiple style variations. An expansion of the new style system, it enables shortcuts to switch the appearance and feel of your site all within a single theme. For instance, with just a few clicks you can quickly and easily change your colour palette, font, and font weights to adjust the look and feel of your entire website.
Greater Flexibility with More Template Choices
WordPress web design is great for customization, and now you can take advantage of even greater flexibility with five new template options for block themes. Tailor these additional templates using the familiar tools, or with the following new options in this release. For example:
- Featured images can now be used in the cover block.
- There are sizing controls for featured images to make it easier to get the look you want.
- When editing a template, at the root, or between blocks, the quick inserter now shows you patterns and template parts to help you work faster and find new layout options to try.
Additional Design Tools and Improvements
The new and improved WordPress web design tools feel more intuitive and add to the ease of customization. Highlights for WordPress 6.0 include:
- A new colour panel shows a quick view of your options, while saving space.
- Simplified border controls that allow you to set your border exactly as needed.
- Further colour customization with transparency levels.
- A group block feature that allows you to control gaps, margins, typography, and more, on a grouping of blocks.
- Increased layout flexibility to switch between stack, row, and group variations when positioning groups of blocks that will auto adjust according to the viewing device, such as mobile phones or tablets.
- Gap support functionality in the Gallery block to create different looks. This includes adding spacing between all images, or even removing spacing altogether.
- Page creation patterns to inspire users and save time, with multiple patterns to choose from changing or building web pages. It beats starting from scratch with a blank layout. NOTE: WordPress doesn’t automatically come with the page creation patterns; this is something that we as developers would build into your custom web design for you to use.
Improved List View
New keyboard shortcuts enable you to select multiple blocks from the list view. With the blocks selected you can then modify them in bulk, and drag-and-drop them within the list. List View can now be opened and closed easily. Collapsed by default, it will automatically expand to the current selection whenever you select a block. Since block based content relies on nested blocks, this change to the initial list view experience is a lot less overwhelming when there are a lot of blocks.
A New Colour Panel and Upgraded Colour Picker
WordPress 6.0 features a new dropdown-based colour picker. A cleaner look for the design tools sidebar and an improved editing experience, the new colour picker makes it easier to pick more than one colour back-to-back, showing all of your options at a glance.
New Block Styles Previews
Block styles are now previewed differently in the sidebar. The style’s name now appears above the preview, reducing the sidebar’s height and moving attention to the name of each block style. Check out the example below of this feature:
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Blocks can now be locked so you no longer have to worry about a WordPress user accidentally deleting, moving or changing a block feature they shouldn’t. You can set blocks to be editable and freeze others.
This simplifies our project handover, allowing our clients to unleash their creativity without worrying about accidentally breaking the site in the process. Although we still suggest having your web master make more complex changes, this does allow for some peace of mind if you have an internal staff member making quick minor edits that are outside of your regular content management schedule.
Improved Performance in WordPress 6.0
On top of the design updates, this latest release includes updates that will improve the performance of WordPress. This includes improving the page and post-load speed, reducing the execution time of various query types, caching, navigation menus, and more.
We have always found WordPress to be reliable, and these performance updates make it even better. It’s no wonder that it’s our platform of choice, and as of May 2022, WordPress powers more than 42% of websites worldwide.1 That’s a pretty great endorsement.
Enhancing WordPress 6.0 Accessibility
With a commitment to developing an inclusive community, WordPress 6.0 includes more than 50 updates that will enhance the accessibility of the platform for users of all types. Stay tuned for further updates, as their accessibility initiatives are ongoing.
Our Take as WordPress Web Design Experts
Ready to experience these updates? You’ll be able to check out all of the new features and enhancements released with WordPress 6.0 if your website is utilizing a block-based theme.
For our clients here at Original Ginger, we’re experienced at converting older sites to a block-based structure. Of course, all NEW custom websites built by Original Ginger are block-based. We want our clients to be able to take advantage of all the fabulous features recently released, as well as those that are yet to come.
Don’t worry if you’re not a WordPress power user, or you don’t understand these new features and enhancements. If you work with us, we’ve got you covered. You can either hire us to take care of your content management for you, or you can access our membership area where we share video tutorials on “how to’s” related to your custom website.
We want you to love your website, so we consider a balance of design, function, client usability, and customer experience as a major factor during any custom WordPress web design project. Fortunately, with the new WordPress 6.0 release, the client usability part just got a whole lot easier!
WordPress released a video recently to give us all a snapshot of what’s in store with 6.0.
At the end of the day, we recommend WordPress as one of the best platforms to build a professional website. That’s why we are a WordPress shop. WordPress is open source, fully customizable, portable to the hosting provider of your choice, and there are thousands of developers adding feature function capabilities every day.
We believe in giving our clients a website that represents them and can grow with their business. Since WordPress is powered by an entire community of people, the capability of any WordPress site we build can evolve as their business requirements change. This might include the addition of membership capabilities, an e-commerce storefront, reservation features, appointment tracking integration, and a lot more, without limiting you to only a handful of solutions like many DIY platforms do.
Ready to get started? If you’d like to speak with one of our WordPress web design experts, call us at 1.855.298.8650 or complete our online form for more info!