January 25th, 2022
Welcome to Joséphine!
Introducing 5.9, “Joséphine”. Named in honor of acclaimed international jazz singer Joséphine Baker, this latest, most versatile WordPress release is here: download it or update it directly from your dashboard.
As a lifelong civil rights campaigner, Joséphine Baker believed that all people could live in harmony together, just as different instruments in a jazz band blend together to make a whole piece. Turn on a playlist from your favorite music service and enjoy her famous renditions of “You are the greatest love”, “Sans Amour”, and “Love is a Dreamer” as you discover all the features of this brand-new WordPress release.
Full site editing is here.
It puts you in control of your whole site, right in the WordPress Admin.
Say hello to Twenty Twenty-Two.
And say hello to the first default block theme in the history of WordPress. This is more than just a new default theme. It’s a brand-new way to work with WordPress themes.
Block themes put a wide array of visual choices directly in your hands, from color schemes and font combinations to page templates and image filters, all from the Site Editor. So in one place, you can give Twenty Twenty-Two the same look and feel like your organization’s other materials—or take your site’s look in another direction.
You already have the Twenty Twenty-Two theme—it came installed with WordPress 5.9. You will find it with your other installed themes.
Your personal paintbox awaits
Twenty Twenty-Two is not the only theme built for full site editing. More block themes are in the Themes directory, and the number will grow.
When you use any of those new themes, you no longer need the Customizer. Instead, you have all the power of the Styles interface inside the Site Editor. Just as in Twenty Twenty-Two, you build your site’s look and feel there, with the tools you need for the job in a fluid interface that practically comes alive in your hands.
The Navigation block
Blocks come to site navigation, the heart of user experience.
The new Navigation block gives you the power to choose: an always-on responsive menu or one that adapts to your user’s screen size. And your choices are remembered! In 5.9, the block saves menus as custom post types, which get saved to the database.
More improvements and updates
Do you love to blog? New tweaks to the publishing flow help you say more, faster.
Better block controls
WordPress 5.9 features new typography tools, flexible layout controls, and finer control of details like spacing, borders, and more—to help you get not just the look, but the polish that says you care about details.
The power of patterns
The WordPress Pattern Directory is the home of a wide range of block patterns built to save you time and add to your site’s functionality. And you can edit them as you see fit. Need something different in the header or footer for your theme? Swap it out with a new one in a few clicks.
With a nearly full-screen view that draws you in to see fine details, the Pattern Explorer makes it easy to compare patterns and choose the one your users need.
A revamped List View
In 5.9, the List View lets you drag and drop your content exactly where you want it. Managing complex documents is easier, too: simple controls let you expand and collapse sections as you build your site—and add HTML anchors to your blocks to help users get around the page.
A better Gallery block
Treat every image in a Gallery Block the same way you would treat it in the Image Block.
Style every image in your gallery differently, or make them all the same, except for one or two. Or change the layout with drag-and-drop.
WordPress 5.9 for developers
Theme.json for child themes
In 5.9, theme.json supports child themes. That means your users can build a child theme right in the WordPress Admin, without writing a single line of code.
This dev note has all the details. Take a look!
Now you can lock any block (or a few of them) in a pattern, just by adding a lock attribute to its settings in block.json—leaving the rest of the pattern free for users to adapt to their content.
Multiple stylesheets in a block
Now you can register more than one stylesheet per block, which lets a given block load only the styles its markup requests, and not a whole sheet. Read the details in this dev note.
A refactored Gallery Block
The changes to the Gallery Block listed above are the result of near-complete refactor. Have you built a plugin or theme on the Gallery Block functionality? Be sure you read this dev note. It tells you what you need to do for compatibility.
Learn more about the new features in 5.9
Want to dive into 5.9 but don’t know where to start? Check out this free course about Simple Site Design from Learn WordPress. There are a variety of learning materials including short how-to video tutorials and resources on new features in WordPress 5.9, with much more planned.
Check the Field Guide for more!
Check out the latest version of the WordPress Field Guide. It has lots of useful information with links to detailed developer notes to support you building in WordPress for everyone you serve. WordPress 5.9 Field Guide.
The WordPress 5.9 release was led by Matt Mullenweg, and supported by this highly enthusiastic release squad:
- Release Lead: Matt Mullenweg
- Core Tech and Release Coordinator: Tonya Mork
- Triage Leads: Jb Audras and Ahmed Chaion
- Editor Tech: Robert Anderson and George Mamadashvili
- Theme Leads: Kjell Reigstad and Jeff Ong
- Technical Writer: Jonathan Bossenger
- Documentation Leads: Marcus Kazmierczak and Milana Cap
- Marketing & Communications Leads: Mary Baum, Abha Thakor, and Josepha Haden Chomphosy
- Test Leads: Piotrek Boniu and Anne McCarthy
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By release day, 71 locales had translated 90 percent or more of WordPress 5.9 in their language. Community translators are hard at work ensuring more translations are on their way. Thank you to everyone who helps to make WordPress available in 205 languages.
Many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They help to answer questions from people across the world. The success of releases, from the first one in 2003, owes much to the efforts of the support contributors.
If contributing to WordPress appeals to you, it’s easy to learn more and get involved. Discover the different teams that come together to Make WordPress website and find out the latest plans on the core development blog.