WordPress 5.4 Beta 1: A Look at the Features & Updates – WPblog


WordPress has released a glimpse of version 5.4 which is mainly focused on block editor features and enhancements. This is the first WordPress 5.4 Beta version and has been released for you to test features and report possible bugs before the upcoming official release.

There are two ways for you to test the beta version: download the zip file from WordPress official page, or use the beta testing plugin.

It’s highly recommended, though, that you give WordPress 5.4 beta 1 a spin on a testing site, and not your live site to avoid any inconvenience.

What’s New in WordPress 5.4?

While version 5.4 will bring many new fixes and enhancements, I’d like to highlight the most important ones like new block editor feature enhancements and improvements and developer-focused changes.

Block Editor Improvements

The developers from around the world are contributing continuously to improve and make Gutenberg, the block editor, better and a full-site editor for WordPress users.

From Gutenberg 6.6 to 7.5, all 10 previous Gutenberg plugin releases will be merged in this core update. For the first time, you will see a welcome guide model that contains four different slides with a short description.

There are two new blocks (social link and button), for adding social media icons to any page and button linking to other pages. Now you have more color options for buttons, background, and column blocks, etc. You can now easily set image sizes in the gallery block, drag and drop a featured image, and change the title attribute for the image block.

This means numerous new exciting features are waiting for core editor users, and it’s also a good opportunity for classical editor users to test these features.

The block editor team has improved site performance and achieved a 14% loading time reduction compared to WordPress 5.3. There’s a new widget on the dashboard for site health checks that notify the users about the issues that could affect the site’s performance or security.

For Developers

There is a list of developer-focused changes in version 5.4 that will help developers use WordPress in a better way.

Calendar Widget

To improve accessibility and design, WordPress 5.4 moves the navigation links outside of the <table> element and the previous and next month links have been moved to <nav> element.

Function apply_shortcode()

To distinguish the function difference between action and filter, a new apply_shortcode() is introduced as an alias for do_shortcode().

Other changes

Support has been added for Tiktok and in WordPress 5.4 you can easily embed Tiktok videos.

You can check their official release page where you will find the full documentation of enhancements, bug fixes, and more information.

Keep reading the article at WPblog. The article was originally written by Farhan Ayub on 2020-02-17 07:19:49.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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WordPress 5.4 Beta Is Out – Take a First Look At Features & Updates

WordPress 5.4 Beta Is Out - Take a First Look At Features & Updates

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WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 is released and I am excited to test the Beta but I won’t be doing this alone. You will accompany me throughout the process.

But before we get into the details, let’s skim through the updates WordPress 5.4 beta real quick.

  1. A lot of updates for the Block Editor: Block editor received a lot of attention in 5.4 Beta. There are tons of improvements in user experience, performance, and block management.
  2. Improvements in the Site Health Check feature: A new widget in the dashboard now notifies the site administrators about the health of the WordPress sites.
  3. Accessibility improvements: Accessibility options also got enhanced in this release with improvements to keyboard navigation.
  4. Developer focused updates: WordPress .4 Beta is developer-friendly, thanks to updates such as better semantics, favicon handling, and a new Calendar widget.

Let’s start the process by downloading WordPress 5.4 via the Beta Tester plugin.

Since there is always a chance that the beta version could break my production site, I decided to clone it at a staging site (The Cloudways Platform greatly simplifies the process of setting up staging sites) to test the update without breaking anything.

So if you are on Cloudways, I highly recommend you set up a staging site. If you are not, contact your hosting provider to set up one.

On the staging website, I would download the Beta Tester plugin.


Once the plugin has been installed and activated, choose the ‘Bleeding edge nightlies’ option to install the WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 version.

Bleeding edge nightlies

As soon as the Beta version is installed, a welcome screen pops up with details of the improvements to the Block Editor.

WordPress 5.4

Right after updating to 5.4 Beta, I see the new Site Health Check widget on the dashboard.


It rates my website health Good and asks me to check four items on the Site Health Status screen. I think this is a really nice touch because right there on the dashboard, the widget offers a quick check on the site health and offers a direct link to the Site Health screen.

Block Editor Updates

In WordPress 5.4 Beta 1, the core team merged ten previous releases of the Gutenberg plugin. As a result, the Block Editor is now a dependable environment that simplifies and speeds up the drafting process. I think it is about time that the community should make Gutenberg the primary editor for their websites.

If you need encouragement, consider this:

The Block Editor team claims 14% faster loading and 51% reduction in time-to-type for a post (~ 36,000 words, ~1,000 blocks)

A new modal offers information about the editor and how it makes life easier for content producers by introducing new blocks.

Block Editor

Additional tools are now available in the Latest Posts Block. Now you can define the desired width, height, and alignment for the images.


On mobile devices, the toolbar stays at the top for easy navigation.

easy navigation

If you use the Table Block, you can now add the caption to display additional information about the data.

table block

Other updates include:

  • Two new blocks for social links and buttons with more color options.
  • More color options for Buttons, Cover, Group, and Column Blocks.
  • Image (re)sizing enhancements in the Gallery Block.
  • New API to help developers interact with the editor better.
  • Use multiple colors in a single text in any RichText block.

The core WordPress team has significantly improved the performance of the Gutenberg editor, with special attention to the user experience and fixing the shortcomings of the previous versions.

Site Health Check Feature Improvements

I covered the Site Health Check feature in my WordPress 5.2 Jaco release blog post. Since then, I have been personally using it and found it to be a very useful feature.

In WordPress 5.4 Beta 1, the core team took the feature a step ahead by embedding the tool in the Dashboard. You can now have a quick site health check without clicking the feature itself and waiting for the screen to get populated.

Accessibility Improvements

Accessibility has always been a serious topic and I noticed a couple of conversations in the community on the subject. Well, the good news is that the 5.4 Beta 1 comes with various accessibility improvements.

Accessibility improvements include:

  • Keyboard navigation issue fixes.
  • Better keyboard navigation in the Media modal.
  • Easier to read Privacy Policy.

Additional accessibility improvements in the Block Editor include easier tabbing, image’s title attribute within the Image Block, and visual switch for switching edit and navigation modes.

Developer Focused Updates

WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 also brought goodies for developers.

  • WordPress 5.4 moved the navigation to the nav element to accommodate HTML 5 specifications.
  • As a best practice and for better semantics, function do_shortcode() is replaced by apply_shortcode().
  • In WordPress 5.4, users are able to add ico files directly from the customizer.
  • Site ID is now added to the newblog_notify_siteadmin filter for WordPress Multisite networks.

If you are interested in learning more about the changes and updates, refer to the developer notes.

Here’s the official announcement on WordPress.org.

Final Thoughts

So far WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 release seems focused towards the Block Editor, and with good reasons – the Editor faced a lot of criticism initially, but with time and a lot of improvement by the core team, it is now a far better product in WordPress 5.4 Beta 1.

Do test the new release and comment below if you come across any difficulties or share your experience.

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WordPress 5.4 Beta Is Out - Take a First Look At Features & Updates 1

Ibad Ur Rehman

Ibad Ur Rehman is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He likes to explore the latest open-source technologies and to interact with different communities. In his free time, he likes to read, watch a series or fly his favorite Cessna 172SP in X Plane 11 flight simulator.

Keep reading the article at The Official Cloudways Blog. The article was originally written by Ibad Ur Rehman on 2020-02-17 08:56:57.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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