WordPress core upgrade 6.0 has introduced bug fixes, a number of block editor improvements, and new features. You’ll be glad to know that this new release poses no major changes that will slow you down in the post editor you know and love.
The Gutenberg block editor isn’t really the ‘new WordPress block editor’ anymore! If it is still new to you, it might be time to get familiar. The rest of us are loving the ease of use, the speed, accessibility and fewer plugins!
Now let’s get into how to use the new fancy bells and whistles!
In this article, when I refer to the Block Editor, I’m not referring to any third-party plugins or page builders but the built-in WordPress editor that is available to everyone. Also in this version are new blocks and features for the next stage of theming called “Full Site Editing”. This is commonly referred to, as the “site editor”. The most significant changes are in the “Site editor”
Site Editor: developers will use this to create block themes and templates
Post Editor: users will create content with these blocks
You will notice new blocks for an author, query loop block, avatar and more. These are within the “Site Blocks” and we recommend you leave these to theme developers until the user experience is better.
New (& Old) Keyboard Shortcuts we Love
New to both site and post block editors are keyboard shortcuts that WordPress power users will love. Use [Control] key for windows and [Command] key if you’re on a mac. These keyboard shortcuts I use all the time when adding blog posts to my WordPress website.
- Enter = Add a new block
- Ctrl + Shift + d = Duplicate the selected block(s)
- / = Change the block type after adding a new paragraph
- Esc = Clear selection
And new ones that Power WordPress Users might want to play with:
- Ctrl + Shift + , = Show or hide the settings bar
- Alt + Shift + o = Open the block navigation menu
- Alt + Shift + n = Navigate to the next part of the editor
- Alt + Shift + p = Navigate to the previous part of the editor
- Alt + F10 = Navigate to the nearest toolbar
- Ctrl + Shift + Alt + m = Switch between Visual Editor and Code Editor
Now lets cover the block changes in the major version release, WordPress 6.0.
Easy Link Shortcut
By typing double square brackets, WP will start searching for posts with the words you type – in this demo, I typed “Plugins”. Once I select the post I wanted, it auto-inserted the link into the post. Easy peasy!
Select Multiple Blocks at Once
Content creation has gotten easier! It is now more convenient to select multiple blocks with WordPress 6.0. A long time complaint with the block editor has been the extra work that editing each paragraph block creates. Now you can easily select all the blocks you wish to edit at once using your cursor. Drag your cursor across several blocks to select them.
The ability to select multiple content blocks is also in the List View (staggered lines in top left).
This does not fix any issues with reusable blocks. You can however stop users from editing the block by locking the content – that is only available on reusable blocks. Other site editor blocks can be locked – to prevent moving them or prevent removing them entirely.
When you select multiple paragraphs, or groups of blocks, you can make them ‘responsive’. Responsive refers to how they will behave on a smaller screen. This is an advanced css (Cascading Style Sheets) feature. If you’re not familiar with “responsive”, here are the basics:
- if they are horizontally responsive they will float to the left of each other on a phone
- if they are vertically responsive, they will always float below the previous block.
If you are on a desktop, the above two blocks under “Selecting Multiple Blocks”, are using “horizontal” responsiveness. So they are side by side. If you are looking on a smaller device, they will be horizontal as long as possible, then the right hand block will swing below.
WordPress Block Settings Overhaul in WP 6.0
These are the changes that you’ll find in most of the WordPress blocks site-wide.
- apply typography settings to entire group of blocks by ‘grouping’ them first and using the settings menu
- fonts, font size, margins, background colors and borders are available for groups, rows and stacks (the responsive blocks)
- drop caps are now under ‘typography’ which just makes sense
- block styles are previewed live instead of in the block sidebar (making it tidier)
New for the Cover Block & Image Block
When editing the cover block, you may now use the toggle ‘Featured Image’ to display the featured image in this block.
New in the Social Icons Block
Social Icons settings allows the hiding/showing of the icon label.
New in the Columns Block
The columns block added the UI to add padding and margins within the columns or the whole block.
Gallery block settings now offers the UI to control spacing between the images.
Reminder: Block patterns are collections of post blocks that you can insert at once. Page patterns are entire pages including the header and footer. These are used in Full Site Editing (the ones that we are leaving to theme authors for now).
That’s what we have that’s new. As always I recommend you use Kadence to round out your block library. And keep your blocks and plugins up to date!
If you’re starting out, you’ll love our comprehensive 52 point checklist for your website! Read through once, and then work on items one at a time as it comes up!
Single Mom, Lifelong Learner, Jesus Follower, Founder and CEO at WPBarista.