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[News] WordPress 5.8 launches with a pattern library

On Tuesday, WordPress released version 5.8. With this release, named ‘Tatum’ for pianist Art Tatum, come several exciting new enhancements.

When Gutenberg first launched in 2018, WordPress introduced the new block editor. Instead of working just with text and images, you can now design sites using pre-made blocks that can style quotes or image layouts — or pretty much anything you can imagine. 

Since the block editor appeared, each new WordPress release has added additional functionality to the blocks, and WordPress 5.8 is no different. As explained in the version 5.8 release notes, you can now use the block editor to manage widgets and add blocks to widget areas. There is a new Query Loop Blog that allows you to display posts based on a wide range of criteria, and you can design these customized pages with a variety of new patterns. And you will be able to use the block editor to edit the templates that display your content — and modify your page design on the fly. With this new release, you can even colorize images and cover blocks with duotone filters.

But that’s not all! 

With the release of WordPress 5.8 comes a brand new feature for WordPress website design: the new Pattern Directory. Here you will be able to search over 70 different design elements that can be added to a compatible theme. 

As Justin Tadlock notes on WP Tavern, the Pattern Directory is in early stages, and designs may not appeal to everyone — yet. But just like the Plugin Directory and Theme Directory, both of which have grown significantly over the years, there is a great deal of potential in this new addition to WordPress.org. 

And finally, with WordPress 5.8 we get the first taste of full site editing. With the Gutenberg plugin and a compatible theme, you will be able to fully utilize the new pattern library to design an amazing new site. 

We are very excited about the enhancements in WordPress 5.8 and look forward to how the pattern library and new block options will further improve, and simplify, WordPress design. 

Of course, if you decide to play with the new enhancements in WordPress 5.8, we strongly recommend you first back up your website. Even better, consider testing things out on a testing environment. 

In other news

  • Japan breaks Internet speed record. Researchers have employed new technology to reach new Internet transfer speeds of 319 Terabits per second. The experiment took place in a lab using new fiber optic technology and lasers. As Vice’s Motherboard publication notes, such speeds would allow you to download a videogame instantly. While this technology is still under development, it bodes well for future infrastructure, and, fingers crossed, it will eventually make it to a town near you.
  • Right-to-repair movement gets a shot in the arm. The US Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to put more effort into enforcing the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and other laws that allow consumers and third-party repair shops to fix products. According to a new policy document, the FTC will seek evidence of antitrust behaviors and other unfair practices. As the FTC noted, “providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs, and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.”
  • Another acquisition for Automattic. WP Tavern reports that the company that runs WordPress.com has purchased Pocket Casts, a popular podcast app previously acquired by NPR and other public media organizations. Back in June, we reported on Automattic acquiring the journaling app Day One, and it is unclear if this app will be incorporated into WordPress or what the future may be. WP Tavern notes that, unlike that acquisition, Automattic has made no public comment on what their plans are for the app, including whether or not they intend to keep it as it is. 
  • Robot collision causes fire at UK grocery warehouse. The company Ocado had to evacuate a southeast London warehouse after two of its 3,000 robots ran into each other. As Engadget describes, these “washing machines on wheels” race to fulfill orders, moving within five millimeters of each other on a grid. As robots are being used in many different aspects of our lives, such accidents will likely become more common in the future.

    Despite the risks, grocery-shopping robots are fascinating to watch in action. Check out this video of the robots at work in “the hive,” a nickname for the Ocado warehouse.  

Tip of the week

While we at Namecheap can’t help you boost your Internet speeds, we can improve the speed of your website.

Try EasyWP for a speedy managed WordPress website, and pair that with Namecheap’s Supersonic Content Delivery Network (CDN) to rev things up even further. Learn how to connect EasyWP to our CDN using our handy guide.

With Namecheap, your website will be the fastest in town. 

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Jackie Dana avatar

Jackie Dana

Jackie has been writing since childhood. As the Namecheap blog’s content manager and regular contributor, she loves bringing helpful information about technology and business to our customers. In her free time, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of black tea, writing novels, and wrangling a gang of four-legged miscreants. More articles written by Jackie.

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