WordPress has been updated to version 5.9 on January 25th. In WordPress 5.9, new official theme "Twenty Twenty-Two" has been added and lazy loading performance has been improved. Also, compatibility with PHP 8.1 is enhance.
PHP 8.1 is the latest PHP version available. You can expect 5-8% performance improvement in version 8.1 over version 8.0. PHP version 8.1 is available in most web-hostings including Bluehost and GreenGeeks.
New default theme "Twenty Twenty-Two" - the first block theme
Built on a solidly designed foundation, the "Twenty Twenty-Two" theme embraces the idea that everyone deserves a truly unique website. It's the first block theme which supports Full Site Editing (FSE) feature using the block editor.
If you activate Twenty Twenty-Two, the legacy Customize, Widgets and Menus items under the Appearance menu disappear. Instead, a new menu "Editor (Beta)" appears under Appearance.
When I activate the Twenty Twenty-Two theme as soon as it's released and clicked on "Editor", a white page appeared in most WordPress sites. But, now it works as expected in most WP sites. I think it's related to web-hosting companies. In Bluehost's Shared Hosting plan, it works now. But in Bluehost's VPS plan, the Editor will work when you install the Imagick extension in WHM.
The trend of modern WordPress themes and page builders is to expand their features to enable Full Site Editing. For example, in the best-selling WordPress theme "Avada", it's possible to customize every section of the site using Layouts. Elementor Pro provides users with Theme Builder which enable to customize every part of the site from header to footer. The popular WordPress theme "Divi" also includes Theme Builder to customize every section of the site.
Enhanced lazy load performance
Lazy-loading images was initially introduced in WordPress version 5.5 and later expanded also to cover iFrames in WordPress 5.7. In WordPress 5.9, the implementation for both has received some fine tuning to significantly improve performance (by up to 30%.)
New Gutenberg blocks
WordPress 5.9 brings new blocks to the Gutenberg editor and enhancements to existing blocks. The Navigation block, which can now be developed very flexibly, should have an unique mention. It is more likely to be made use of in the context of the brand-new block motifs.
The expansion of the Gallery block is intriguing for all customers. Right here, individual pictures within the gallery are now dealt with just as with individually put photos. This implies that customers can create galleries very independently and that the images within a gallery can additionally "act" differently. Previously it was just feasible to supply info that then put on all images.
WordPress 5.9 also brings brand-new hooks, features and a language selection dropdown menu at the login screen.