WordPress 5.9 “Josephine” Released, Introduces Full Site Editing and New Twenty Twenty-Two Default Theme

After a short delay, WordPress 5.9 “Josephine” has finally arrived with the long-awaited full-site editing features that give users more control over site design and page templates.

This release is named for American-born jazz singer Joséphine Baker, who found success on broadway before moving to Europe and becoming very popular in France. She frequently made her way back the US in the 1950’s to advocate for the Civil Rights Movement, participating in demonstrations and boycotting segregated venues.

For many years, non-technical WordPress users were told to stay away from the Theme Editor menu and were warned that changes made there could make their sites inoperable. A new era in WordPress theme editing has dawned with the debut of the new template editor. It allows users to manipulate templates (home, single post, etc) and template parts (headers, footers, etc) with a visual interface.

Appearance > Editor (beta) > Site

For block themes, the new Site Editor and Styles interface has replaced the Customizer. Styles lets users customize their sites with different colors, typography, and layouts, as well as give blocks a more unifying appearance.

Twenty Twenty-Two: A New Default Theme for Building Beautiful Block-based Websites

Twenty Twenty-Two is bundled in WordPress 5.9 as the first ever block-based default theme. It comes with a collection of pre-designed color palettes and a beautiful array of patterns for all kinds of creative combinations. Twenty Twenty-Two was built to showcase full-site editing features, so the layout of every page can be completely customized, making it a truly multipurpose theme.

A New Navigation Block

WordPress 5.9 introduces block-based site navigation. Users can select from a responsive menu that always displays or one that adapts to the viewport. The menu is saved in the database as a custom post type and can be used across templates and even after switching themes.

Other notable updates in the 5.9 release include the following:

  • Pattern Explorer: browse patterns with a near full-screen view. Add new patterns and edit them to suit your site with just a few clicks.
  • Revamped list view: drag and drop list items, expand and collapse sections, add HTML anchors to blocks
  • Improved block controls: new typography tools, flexible layout controls, and finer control of design details like spacing and borders
  • Updated Gallery Block: give all images the same style or style each one differently, change the layout with drag-and-drop

Developers also have some new tools in 5.9 – a new API for locking blocks, register multiple stylesheets per block, and theme.json support for child themes.

WordPress 5.9 was made possible by the efforts of 624 contributors, who worked on 371 Trac tickets and submitted 1,919 PR’s on GitHub. Translators have made WordPress available in 205 languages, and 71 locales were more than 90 percent translated at the time of the release.

13 responses to “WordPress 5.9 “Josephine” Released, Introduces Full Site Editing and New Twenty Twenty-Two Default Theme”

  1. This is a remarkable achievement for everyone who has contributed to evolving WordPress into a web design system. January 25, 2022 will go down in the history of WordPress and the web as a day to remember!

  2. About Josephine Baker, your forgot her most notorious achievement, as spy for france and allies against germans during WWII. She got national commemoration in france last year for this.
    As this is pretty extraordinary, litterally, it deserves to be mentioned when introducing the character !

  3. Currently there aren’t many themes that uses full site editing but I will try that feature and see how it goes.
    One important thing is the speed improvements that it has. I will see if it makes any difference on my site.

  4. Thank you very much for this fantastic new Release! I’m very excited about the new Full Site Editor which opens a lot of new opportunities for Website Development, I already started a first project using FSE. I also wrote a german FSE Guide (“Your own Website in 90 minutes”) using the RC Versions.

  5. Hello!
    Going to be delving right into what has been a very exciting anticipated release. We actually have been using block editors in the form of Generatepress and Generateblocks for some time now which look amazing and deliver extremely fast websites.
    Truly am excited!

  6. Can we talk about the fact that the twentytwentytwo theme is beautiful, but not usable as a theme as it is now?

    Because it looks different depending on the browser you are using.

    I guess it’s because of these things, which some browsers, especially older ones can’t use:
    .has-x-large-font-size {
    font-size: var(–wp–preset–font-size–x-large) !important;
    }

    This theme looks different on my Computer in chrome, firefox and safari.

    With Safari Version 12 the Header Menu is not usable.

    I know Safari 12 is an older Version, but for a theme that is uploaded to millions of websites as part of 5.9. this is a bad look.

    I hope this get’s fixed with an update. But it’s crazy that no one has recognized that.

  7. I was more than happy to finally see the Twenty Twenty Two theme. I have tried it and found it a bit complicated for me. But I will learn to use it for sure.

  8. I still use the classic editor. After reading this I almost consider using blocks. My heartfelt appreciation for every contributor who makes WordPress better all the time :)

  9. I’ve been waiting for the release of WordPress 5.9 from the WordPress team for a long time. I have already updated my website to the latest version. Started testing on a test site. Until everything suits

  10. Can i sell fse theme on market like themeforest for example or its beta and i can not

    • https://themeforest.net/attributes/gutenberg-optimized/yes not sure how accurate this is, but they have a tag for Guts, maybe they will add a FSE one too. When is Gutenberg planned to be done/ready? I still have no one asking for it, quite the opposite, any site I find it on, I offer folks WPbakery or any of the builders as a phase for them to choose, none really want Gutenberg or get why? Also once they see the columns etc in the paid builders then they choose this. If a client/user wants FSE, this already exists via Divi and a few other themes, so if they want it then there is a ready product I can let them test or show them. But the main issue I have with Guts is ‘when?’ I assume they planned to be done by now as Classic was due to expire or become eol.

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