WordPress 5.8, also known as “Tatum” after a legendary jazz pianist, was made publicly available on the 20th of July this year and came with almost 300 new features and improvements.
A further announcement came from WordPress on the 9th of August, including examples of some ‘cool things’ Devs and SEO’s can do with the widgets from a test site created by the post author:
Overlapping Layouts And Duotone Images
The first example of features from the new WordPress version surrounded aesthetics.
The Tatum version boasts more control for users than ever before.
In a supporting video, you see the user creating visual content to link to a downloadable guide within the widget before inserting it into the post.
Another example came with changing the block behind the main image to a complementing picture. You can use the scroll to select exactly which part of the image you want to sit behind the main picture.
You can also manipulate the colors within the core image to help it stand out even more should you wish.
Finally, instead of having the title header awkwardly above the image block, you can now simply drag and drop it into the image and it will sit nicely.
Compared to the original version, the new look is much more eye-catching and appealing to site visitors; no doubt in hopes of increasing CTR and download rate.
Interspersing Widgets And Custom Code
The second feature in WordPress’ announcement was how you can now use block versions of widgets to wrap and layer within a container block to create a more integrated layout.
The example given included adding custom HTML blocks within a column to showcase differing messages at certain times of the day.
This would be useful for businesses with brick and mortar stores to easily inform site visitors when the shop is open or closed.
Another example included integrating a search bar within a block so that it sits within an image rather than above it.
Flexibility Over Title Structure
The penultimate feature showcased was the additional control a Dev or SEO has over how titles appear on a page.
Each widget can have its own title, there could be one title for a widget area or you opt to exclude titles altogether.
Access To The WordPress Pattern Directory
Design is made even easier with the option to copy and paste page layout templates from the WordPress Pattern Directory.
Once you’ve pasted your chosen pattern, you can make color and copy adjustments to keep your page on-brand.
While this feature isn’t incorporated directly into the widget areas, it was hinted at in the release that this is a feature that may be rolled out later down the line.
However, in the meantime, users may experience some ‘unexpected behaviour’ from this particular feature.
Getting Users Closer To A ‘What You See Is What You Get’ Experience
These changes, according to WordPress, bring users closer to a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editing experience.
It does seem that this new version makes it easier to get the look you want without having to focus so heavily on custom coding.