With every new release, WordPress adds new features and bug fixes to enhance its performance and functionality. Last March 29, 2023, WordPress 6.2 (a.k.a. Dolphy) was released and comes with several exciting updates.
We’ve taken our time to explore “Dolphy’s” new features and here are the ones we’re loving from this latest release!
Site Editor Interface Enhancements
Personally when I would go through the site editor, it was a bit confusing going through the different parts of it, such as the Templates menu, and the Template Parts menu. If you wanted to design a specific Template or Template Part, the Site Editor would load a new page and you’d have to navigate back to the site editor. There was a lot of going back and forth to edit multiple templates.
Now, navigating through the Site Editor has become really smooth. Editing your templates is now one cohesive experience, because you could access your templates from the Navigation sidebar. For example, if I was editing my website header, and I wanted to go back and edit the footer, I could just open the Template Parts Menu from the Navigation sidebar and it’ll be opened in the workspace with just a few clicks!
It makes for a very efficient workflow when you’re designing the overall look of your page. This new Site Editor interface is actually very impactful, especially for beginners in WordPress. Thanks to its more intuitive interface, there would be less digging around the Site Editor just to find what you’re looking for!
WordPress 6.2 introduces a new component in the Site Editor called the Style Book which gives users a preview of the styles of all the blocks in a tab-style content space—much like the usual style guide in web design!
The core Styles menu was a great addition back in WordPress 5.9, however, it was difficult to see how block default customizations affect your site design. Through the Style Book, you are able to see how any customizations to block defaults play out from a bigger picture and see how it compares to other block designs.
Selecting a block actually allows you to style it on the spot, without having to open it in the block or site editor. Creating a more uniform and cohesive look to your website design has been made easier because users now have one space where they could assign default styles for blocks and seeing how it goes with the overall design.
We’re really loving this feature because not only does it display core WordPress blocks, but it also includes third-party block libraries, such as Stackable. For now though, you can’t really style third-party blocks inside the Style Book, but hopefully this will change in the future.
Copy & Paste Styles
Another addition to the WordPress features is the ability to copy and paste styles. No, this will not copy a block, but the styles of a block. Imagine you’re designing a button on your page, and you wanted to replicate that design. You won’t have redesign a whole other block to match with the design you like. All you have to do is to just “copy” the style, and paste it to another. Just like this example below:
You will find the Copy & Paste Styles feature in the Options menu from the block toolbar. Note that this doesn’t always work with third-party blocks.
Stackable has always had a Copy Paste Styles feature but it’s much smarter and more advanced. You can basically copy/paste styles of entire sections of blocks including nested ones. When you copy styles from one column and paste it to another (with a whole set of different blocks), the styles will be pasted in a way that you would expect.
Copying and pasting styles is such a game changer because it saves so much time! While it’s still a new feature and the core copy and paste feature has more to improve, it’s great that there’s that option now for Block Editor users.
Stock media in inserter
Another introduction in WordPress 6.2 is the integration of OpenVerse stock media in the inserter. OpenVerse aims to give everyone open access to an extensive library of videos, images, and even audio. With this integration, you can access over 600 million royalty-free media directly from the block and site editor!
This feature is a great addition to WordPress especially for content creators (like me!) so you could easily add media to your content without scouring the web for open-source media.
You will find the Openverse library when you click the Inserter. In the Media tab, there is the Openverse button. This will open up another modal where you can view different images that you can add to your content. You can also use the search bar at the top to enter some keywords to look for the exact image you are looking for!
Just select the media that you want to add, and it will automatically be uploaded to your WordPress Media Library. It will include the attribution, and sometimes even captions, which you can turn on or off.
Distraction Free Mode
Another win for content creators is the new Distraction Free Mode. This is the perfect solution for WordPress users that just want to edit the text content in the block editor. This provides a clean view of the editor without all the other controls that could distract writers, and completely eliminating the possibility of accidentally altering the design of a website.
As an example, if you’re trying to edit the text in an About page and you want the design to remain the same, you could do so by using the Distraction Free mode. You will find the Distraction Free mode in the Options menu in the top toolbar, below the VIEW category.
It’s so distraction free, that honestly, I was a bit confused how to go get out of it. But don’t worry, I’ve figured this out so you won’t have to 😂 just move your cursor to the top of the content space and the top toolbar will appear. Click the Options menu again and uncheck the Distraction Free mode and it’ll go back to the default mode.
WordPress 6.2 Dolphy is a significant update that brings in a lot of new developments. The site editor enhancements, all-new style book, copy & paste styles, Openverse integration, and Distraction Free mode make WordPress 6.2 a compelling update for web designers and developers.
If you haven’t updated your WordPress website to version 6.2 yet, we recommend that you do so to make the most out of these new features. As always, don’t forget to back up your website before updating to ensure that you don’t lose any data or functionality.
Once you’ve tried and tested this latest release from WordPress, let us know which features you’re loving in the comments below!