WordPress 5.8 “Tatum”: A New Era of Site Building

WordPress 5.8, named "Tatum" in honor of legendary jazz pianist Art Tatum, was released on July 20, 2021. This major update brought a host of innovative features and improvements that significantly advanced the capabilities of WordPress as a website-building platform. From introducing the template editor to enhancing the block editor, WordPress 5.8 empowered users with greater control and flexibility over their website design and functionality.

Key Features and Enhancements

Template Editor

One of the most groundbreaking features in WordPress 5.8 was the introduction of the template editor. This tool allowed users to create and edit templates directly within the block editor, offering a seamless experience for designing custom layouts for pages and posts. Users could now build unique templates using blocks, without needing to touch code, making it easier for non-developers to create visually appealing and functional website designs.

Block Widgets

WordPress 5.8 replaced the traditional widget system with a new block-based widget editor. This update brought the power and flexibility of the block editor to widgets, allowing users to add and customize widgets using blocks. The new system supported all available blocks, enabling the creation of rich, dynamic content in widget areas such as sidebars and footers. This change provided a more unified and consistent editing experience across the entire site.

Duotone Filters

The introduction of duotone filters in WordPress 5.8 added a creative flair to image customization. Users could apply duotone effects to images and cover blocks, choosing from predefined presets or creating custom color combinations. This feature allowed for artistic control over images, helping to enhance the visual appeal of website content without needing external editing tools.

Enhanced Block Editor

The block editor received several updates in WordPress 5.8, further improving its usability and functionality. Notable enhancements included:

  • List View: A new panel that provided an overview of all blocks in a post or page, making it easier to navigate and manage complex layouts.
  • Block Patterns: An expanded collection of block patterns that simplified the creation of intricate designs by providing pre-arranged blocks.
  • Improved Select Tool: Enhancements to the select tool allowed for easier block manipulation, improving the overall editing experience.

WebP Support

WordPress 5.8 introduced native support for WebP images, a modern image format that provides superior compression and quality compared to traditional formats like JPEG and PNG. This update enabled users to upload and use WebP images directly in their media library, resulting in faster-loading websites with reduced bandwidth usage.

Query Loop Block

The new Query Loop block offered advanced content display capabilities, allowing users to create custom lists of posts based on specified criteria. This block provided a flexible way to showcase dynamic content such as blog posts, portfolios, or product listings. Users could customize the layout and appearance of the query loop using blocks, enabling the creation of highly tailored content displays.

Improved Media Handling

WordPress 5.8 brought several improvements to media handling, making it easier to manage and display media content. Enhancements included better handling of media in the block editor, improved media library performance, and refined controls for image cropping and alignment. These updates ensured a smoother and more efficient media management experience.

Widget Block Editor

The widget block editor enabled users to manage widgets using blocks within the customizer and the widgets screen. This unified approach provided a more intuitive way to design and customize widget areas, aligning them with the broader block-based editing experience introduced in earlier WordPress versions.

Accessibility Improvements

Accessibility remained a priority in WordPress 5.8, with several updates aimed at making the platform more inclusive. Improvements included better keyboard navigation, enhanced screen reader support, and more accessible admin interface elements. These changes ensured that WordPress continued to be usable by individuals with disabilities, reinforcing the platform's commitment to accessibility.


WordPress 5.8 "Tatum" marked a significant leap forward in the evolution of the platform, introducing features that enhanced flexibility, creativity, and efficiency in website building. From the innovative template editor and block widgets to duotone filters and WebP support, this release provided tools that empowered users to create more dynamic and visually stunning websites. As WordPress continues to evolve, version 5.8 stands as a milestone in its journey towards a more powerful, user-friendly, and accessible web development platform. Whether you're a seasoned developer or a beginner, WordPress 5.8 offered a range of features designed to help you build better websites with ease and creativity.