WordPress 5.4 – “Adderley” (in honour of Nat Adderley) – will be the first major release of 2020 with a strong focus on refining the block editor.

Improved Performance

The block editor will not only load 14% faster but also will take 51% less time-to-type for a particularly sizable post (~ 36,000 words, ~1,000 blocks).

The New Welcome Guide Modal

If you are new to WordPress, this release introduces you to the block editor with a welcome guide popup. This is just a simple slide-show that will walk through the basic information about blocks with then take you to the Block Library, and will provide a link to a block editor tutorial.

Two New Blocks in 5.4

Social Icons Block: allows you to easily add links to social media profiles inside your WordPress posts and pages. There are three styles to choose from – pills, logos, and default. All the social icons are only available in their native colours.

Buttons Group Block: will replace the old Button block. This new Buttons block allows you to add multiple buttons to your pages and posts side-by-side.

Other Block Improvements:

WordPress 5.4 will come with many improvements to the WordPress block editor as well as individual blocks. The following are some of the enhancements included:

More Colour Options for Blocks

WordPress 5.4 gives you more flexibility in using colour with blocks, mainly for the column, button, cover, and group blocks.

You can now set the colours of text and background for all the blocks inside a group block.
You can choose colours for text and background inside the columns block.
You can now set the colours of text and background for all the blocks inside a group block.

Drag and Drop to Upload Featured Image:

WordPress 5.4 now will allow you to drag and drop an image to set it as a featured image, which you couldn’t do before.

Caption Below Table:

Useful if you need to use tables a lot… you can now add a caption below the table to show additional information, just like with a photo.

Fixed Block Toolbar on Mobile

WordPress 5.4 has finally fixed an annoyance when editing on mobile where when you type something the toolbar moves around blocking the filed you are editing.

There is now a floating toolbar at the top which will appear or disappear depending on the type of block you’re in.

Easily Select Gallery Image Size

You can choose the size for images used in a Gallery block.

Improved Latest Posts Block

You can now display the featured images for each post in the latest posts block.

Easily Select Blocks:

There is a new select tool, which lets you easily select a block that you want to change. This feature will surely prove useful for nested blocks, like groups and columns.

The TikTok Embed Block:

You can embed a TikTok videos from the popular video-sharing social networking service.

Accessibility Improvements:

This version of WordPress will also bring several accessibility improvements to the Block Editor. These are:

  • Easier selection of multiple blocks
  • Tabbing now works with the block’s sidebar.
  • You’ll be able to change the title of an image within the Image block.
  • Now, you can visually switch between Edit and Navigation modes and have an option to enable screen reader announcements.

And the Dashboard:

  • Better focus state management in the Customizer, Menu and Site Health screens fixes several issues in existing keyboard navigation.
  • Better keyboard navigation in the Media modal provides better semantics.
  • More readable Privacy Policy Guide.

Site Health Check Improvements

New to the Dashboard is a Site Health Check widget which gives you a quick overview of your site’s health and about issues that could impact your site’s security or performance. There is also link to direct admins to the Site Health screen where they can see their site stat in detail with suggested fixes.

Your fundamental right: privacy

This version also helps with a variety of privacy issues.

  • Now personal data exports include users session information and users location data from the community events widget. Plus, a table of contents!
  • See progress as you process the export and erasure requests through the privacy tools.
  • Plus, little enhancements throughout give the privacy tools a little cleaner look.

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Written by

Tony Cook



Tony Cook

Tony Cook

Tony is one of the founders, lead designer and head of digital at CuCo. Since graduation with a BA(Hons) in Advertising and Graphic Communications he has over 21 years' hands-on experience in creative design and over 18 years in digital design, Tony is responsible for building great websites for CuCo's clients, but also likes to keep his foot in the print side of the business and help deliver creative ideas for ambitious brands.

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