WordPress 5.5 was released earlier today, and it is the second major release of 2020.
This new release is packed with a lot of improvements, many of them are focused around the WordPress block editor. It also includes some long-awaited features that are making their debut with this release.
In this article, we’ll share what’s new in WordPress 5.5, and which features you should try after updating your websites.
Features and screenshots of WordPress 5.5
WordPress 5.5 is a major release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you’ll have to manually initiate the update.
Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update.
Improved Block Editor in WordPress 5.5
The block editor is where you spend most of your time creating content for your WordPress blog. It has been regularly maintained and each WordPress release brings improvements to the block editor.
WordPress 5.5 brings some significant changes to help you use block editor more efficiently.
Integrated Block Directory
WordPress 5.5 now comes with an integrated block directory. This means that if you want to add a block that is not available on your site, then you’ll automatically see suggestions from the block directory.
Block directory in WordPress 5.5
Block directory is essentially a collection of WordPress plugins that allow you to add different types of blocks to your site. This does not include block library plugins that come packed with several useful WordPress blocks that you can use right away by installing a single plugin.
UI Changes in The Block Editor
Perhaps the most noticeable thing in WordPress 5.5 is the visual improvements to the block editor. Borders and highlighting are improved to make block editor more accessible.
Improved block editor UI
The ‘Add new block’ button (+) is now more noticeable and looks more like a button with a black background.
Edit Images Inside Block Editor
WordPress 5.5 allows users to edit images inside the block editor. You can adjust image height, width, aspect ratio, crop, and rotate without leaving the post editor.
Inline image editing in WordPress 5.5
Of course, you can still perform basic image editing in the media library as well. However, inline image editing will now help new users easily discover these built-in editing options.
Introducing Block Patterns
The block editor already had reusable blocks and groups which allowed users to save most commonly used blocks and reuse them.
WordPress 5.5 adds a new feature called block patterns. These are commonly used blocks with pre-configured settings that you can instantly add.
Block patterns in WordPress 5.5
This allows you to quickly create page layouts while maintaining consistency in style across your website. There are a few of them already available in 5.5. More will arrive as WordPress themes and plugins register their own block patterns.
Improved Block Navigation and Movement
One common issue that many beginners struggled with is block navigation. Particularly if you are using nested blocks like columns or groups, then it became a little difficult to select the parent block or move a child element inside it.
WordPress 5.5 now comes with much better block navigation making it easier to select parent block or a nested element inside it. You can also move blocks by grabbing the handle and drag and drop them.
Auto Update Your WordPress Theme and Plugins
WordPress 5.5 takes a big leap towards security by introducing automatic updates for WordPress plugins and themes.
You can now simply go to the Plugins page and enable auto-updates for any WordPress plugin that you have installed on your site.
Auto update WordPress theme
You can also do the same for WordPress themes. Simply go to the Appearance » Themes page and click on a theme to select it. In the theme overview popup, you’ll find the option to enable automatic updates for that theme.
This functionality was already available in WordPress but you either had to change WordPress configuration or use a third-party plugin to manage automatic updates. WordPress 5.5 has now made it incredibly easy to ensure that your websites are always running on the latest code.
Update Plugins by Uploading a New Version
Normally, you would update WordPress plugins with automatic updates or by clicking on the update notification. However, sometimes you may have to update a plugin manually.
In that case, your only option was to use an FTP client to upload the new version. WordPress 5.5 has fixed this problem and now you can simply go to the Plugins » Add New page and upload the new version like you would upload any new plugin zip file.
WordPress will automatically detect that you already have this plugin installed and the new file contains a different version. It will then allow you to ‘Replace current with uploaded’ version.
You can do the same thing for themes as well. Simply go to the Appearance » Themes page and then click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.
After that click on the Upload Theme button to upload your theme zip file. WordPress will automatically detect the existing theme and will give you the option to ‘Replace current with uploaded’ version.
Lazy Loading for Images
WordPress 5.5 now lazy loads images on your website. This means that it will only load the images that are visible to the user on screen and delay loading other images.
WordPress now make it a default feature for all sites by adding the ‘loading’ attribute to img tag. This attribute is supported by all modern web browsers (except Safari).
This improves your website speed and performance significantly. This is also good for WordPress hosting companies, ISPs, and the overall interwebs.
WordPress powers more than 35% of all websites on the internet this major improvement in speed will save a lot of bandwidth, server resources, and electricity.
The Default XML Sitemaps in WordPress
WordPress 5.5 will now automatically publish XML sitemaps for your website. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of your website content in XML format. This helps search engines like Google to easily discover and index your content.
Sitemaps are a crucial part of WordPress SEO and this feature would help many beginners who are not following SEO best practices.
However, the default WordPress XML Sitemaps are quite limited in features and functionality. This is why both top WordPress SEO plugins, All in One SEO and Yoast SEO will continue providing their own XML sitemaps.
If you are already using an SEO plugin or Sitemaps plugin, then you don’t need to do anything. These plugins will automatically disable the default WordPress XML sitemaps.
Under The Hood Changes in WordPress 5.5
WordPress themes using the get_custom_logo() or the_custom_logo() will not add a link to the homepage when the homepage is displayed.
Theme developers can now pass arguments among template files.
Developers in London can now define default terms for custom taxonomies.
WordPress 5.5 includes updated external libraries like phpMailer, SimplePie, Twemoji, and more.
Developers can control the auto-update options by disabling, enabling, or selectively blocking them for specific plugins or themes.
Dashicons will be updated and include 65 new icons.
WordPress 5.5 will come with the ability to scan for PHP compatibility issues more effectively.
If you want to make the most of the new features, you should consider hiring a professional website development agency in London that can create the best WordPress website for you.
Tags: Custom Website Development, Updates, web development services provider, Wordpress
Getting a new website requires you to make several crucial decisions before the development process can be started. To begin, you need to choose between custom website development and readymade templates. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of both these options. A web development services provider will tell you the distinct advantages of a custom website over a rigid template.
Here are some benefits offered by affordable custom web development services in London:
Flexibility and Creativity: A website can be used as an online platform for a business or by one person to showcase their creativity. Depending on the need and use of the website, its requirements and demands will differ. A website template is rigid and will not allow you to showcase your creativity or your products and services in an attractive manner. With custom website development, you can get the website designed as per your vision and reach out to your target audience. A custom web development services providing company will also help you make any changes as you change your branding or strategy, without any hassle.
Presentation and User Interface: The aesthetics of a website play a huge role in generating traffic and boosting sales. A custom website design will allow you to offer a high-quality presentation and a great user experience to your visitors. A sound user experience will ensure effective communication and result in greater engagement. A custom website designed and developed by an affordable website development services provider in London will be more user-friendly and help in satisfying user expectations.
Custom and Easy Functionality of Website: Functionality refers to how users interact with your website. A readymade template can offer a decent level of functionality. However, this will not be customised as per your exact needs. On the other hand, a completely customised website will allow users to perform tasks specific to your website and generate unique results.
SEO Friendly: SEO can often be the reason for unnecessary stress, confusion and worry. Several SEO templates are designed to simply look great and are not favourable for SEO. Professional web development services will help you create a website that not only looks good but also ranks well in search engines. The website will be designed to contain relevant metadata and keywords to allow recognition of your website as useful, informative and genuine by search engines. However, if you use a premade template, you will have to employ the services of an SEO specialist to improve search engine rankings. This can be prevented by hiring a shuttle right in the beginning.
To conclude, it can be said that a custom web development services provider in London will be able to target exactly your target audience and their needs. Custom websites help in sharing business information with complete flexibility, enhancing user experience and engagement.
Tags: Custom Website Development, web development services provider
The number of e-commerce stores is increasing steadily. As more and more people are deciding to launch their online stores, most of them are faced with a tough choice – Shopify or WooCommerce? When availing e-commerce web development services, many found themselves troubled by common queries about the better platform, the fees, dropshipping and much more.
To answer simply, the choice of platform depends entirely on your needs and use case. However, to help you make a decision here is a detailed comparison between the two portals.
Shopify vs. WooCommerce – What Makes them Different?
The key difference between Shopify and WordPress (WooCommerce) lies in the accessibility of the two. Shopify is a virtual service or tool where you can simply sign up and create an account. Once done, you will need to complete your store setup and have your business running. On the other hand, WordPress is software that you will need to install yourself. Following this, you will be required to contact a web development services provider to purchase a domain and arrange for the hosting of your website. Next, you will be required to add the WooCommerce plugin to access all features of an e-commerce portal.
An Introduction to Shopify:
Put simply, Shopify is a complete e-commerce tool or solution that allows you to build an e-commerce store from top to bottom. The paid tool allows you to sell anything you wish – digital and physical products and services and supports drop shipping too. Shopify also allows you to integrate your physical store with the online one. Offering over 100 designs (both paid and free), Shopify allows you to give your desired look to the store.
An Introduction to WordPress (WooCommerce):
WordPress allows you to develop a complete website for various purposes. For e-commerce, the WordPress software offers a host of customisation options with some amazing features for content management. You can choose from thousands of designs or themes, including both paid and free ones. With the use of plugins, the possibilities of extensions are endless. Even though WordPress does not offer any direct support like Shopify, the community is pretty helpful.
When to Opt for Shopify?
Shopify serves as an e-commerce solution customised for all businesses and needs. The biggest advantage of using Shopify is that it lets you set up quickly and start serving your customers almost instantly. The platform also helps in setting up things like inventory, shipping settings, taxes and so on; facilitating even the boring aspects of the e-commerce business.
Ultimately, you should opt for Shopify in the following cases:
- If you do not have a website but wish to launch an e-commerce store quickly.
- If you wish to integrate your online and offline stores.
- If you wish to have an e-commerce portal with round the clock customer support.
If your needs fall in line with any of these, you should opt for a Shopify store. Whether you are offering a single product or multiple ones; Shopify is suitable for anything ranging from digital downloads to physical products and drop shipping.
When to Opt for WooCommerce?
WordPress is regarded as a near-perfect website platform that can handle any kinds of website. Even though it is primarily a blogging platform that doesn’t provide e-commerce features, the WooCommerce plugin enables e-commerce actions. Apart from the main WooCommerce plugin, one will have to use some other plugins as well to manage social media, SEO and others.
As such, it can be said that the WooCommerce portal is a suitable choice for a dedicated and savvy user. It provides users with all e-commerce features like online payments, product catalogs, coupons and much more. Most importantly, the plugin is completely free. Therefore, if you wish to convert your existing WordPress site into an e-commerce store; you will not have to spend anything!
Ultimately, one should opt for WooCommerce in the following cases:
- If you are already familiar with WordPress and can use the platform easily.
- If you have an existing WordPress site and you do not want to invest anything extra for an e-commerce portal.
- When you wish to have complete control of your e-commerce store including every aspect of it.
If your requirements from the e-commerce portal are similar to the use cases listed above, you should opt for a WordPress store.
Shopify or WordPress – The Final Verdict
All web development services providers believe that the motive behind your choice should be to save both money and time. If you want a solution that doesn’t require a lot of management on your end and offers easy scalability, you should launch your store with Shopify. Alternatively, if you want to start with a lower cost on your existing website having full control over your e-commerce store; then WooCommerce will be the right platform for you.
Tags: ecommerce web development services, web development services
The virtual world has become faster, user-friendly and more agile over time. Today, one can add various functionalities to a website to build an aesthetically pleasing, secure and accessible site. Since the website represents your business online, it is necessary to ensure that all your existing and potential customers can access it easily. You can make your website accessible by hiring affordable website design services. A UK web designing company can help you design an attractive and accessible website.
Here are four ways in which an accessible website can benefit your business:
- Reaching out to a greater audience
People with disabilities constitute a significant part of the population. If your website is not accessible, you are missing out on a large number of potential customers with disabilities. Accessible web design will ensure that everyone can access your website, increasing the overall traffic and driving more sales. Adding even small accessibility features can help you accommodate customers with disabilities and boost your sales.
- Staying within legal requirements
Your organisation or business may be legally required to ensure website accessibility. Since people do not generally think about it, you may not be aware of such requirements. If you do not ensure web accessibility, it could potentially attract a lawsuit for discrimination against people with disabilities. A UK web designing company can help you understand the guidelines for making your website more accessible, to prevent potential lawsuits.
- Building a positive brand image
Apart from increasing the reach of your website, an accessible website will also help in creating a positive image for your brand. An accessible website shows how much you value your customers, including the ones with disabilities. Today, most customers will walk away from a business if it lacks purpose. Making your website accessible also demonstrates a strong sense of social responsibility, attracting target customers.
- Improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Like people with sight disabilities, search engines too cannot view the content of the images on your website. They rely on text to rank your website on the results pages. When you add accessibility features to your website (even small things like alt text for images), your website will become more accessible to both – your target audience and the search engines. As such, improving your website accessibility will also improve your SEO.
Affordable website design services can help you make your website accessible to enjoy the benefits listed above and much more.
Tags: affordable website design services, website design services
Your website is the backbone of your online presence. An up-to-date and efficient website will serve as a primary source for leads and generate revenue. Potential consumers visit the website to review your services and decide whether they want to work with you or not. If your website is outdated, they are most likely to leave unsatisfied. Getting your website redesigned from a website design and development company can help you control your bounce rates and generate conversions. Here are some reasons why you should consider a website redesign:
- Battling a High Bounce Rate
If a majority of your website visitors are leaving the website within seconds, it is an indicator of a poor website. Users tend to exit a website quickly if the navigation is poor, the layout is unresponsive or the content is not relevant. A website designing company can help you point out the issues and improve them.
Web design trends evolve at a great pace. What used to be cool a couple of years ago might be dull and strange now. Since the website is the face of your brand, it must be enticing. Modern website design and development consist of video backgrounds, natural shapes, micro-interactions and much more to create memorable websites.
- Creating a Fresh Brand Image
Rebranding your business in any way requires you to redesign the website according to your new brand image. The website should be a reflection of your corporate culture and unique service.
A website should always offer a smooth and seamless user experience. Website designing companies pay careful attention to UX designing during website planning and prototyping. If you find the user experience is lacking and requires consideration, you should consider getting your website redesigned.
- Incorporating Mobile Experience
Today, people are likely to exit from a website if it does not support mobile operations. Such websites also tend to appear towards the end of search result pages. Website redesigning to make it responsive and facilitate mobile experience has become essential today.
- Complex and Slow Operation
If the website is complex consisting of a dozen pages, people are likely to neglect your website. The website should be simple and focused to attract attention to the important pages, facilitating quick operation.
These are some major reasons why one should consider redesigning their website. Apart from this, website design and development also facilitates SEO, aiding lead generation and conversion.
Tags: website design and development, website designing company
- You can create a webpage at any time of the day. However, things tend to get difficult when you need to draw the attention of visitors and clients. The only way to overcome this trouble is by designing a unique landing page. Landing pages are the entryways to a website. It is where you encourage a user to act. You try to make them visit your webpage or encourage them to purchase a product or a service. It is the ‘CTA’ page for your site. Landing pages can introduce new users to your official website and make them visit again. The specialists of a Web design and development company uk explain five crucial factors. If you keep them in mind, then your audience will appreciate the landing page.
Before anything else, you need to think about the goals for your landing page. You have to ascertain your objective and the results borne by the landing page. If there is more than one goal, then you should prioritize them accordingly. All your objectives and messages should be crystal clear to everyone who visits your page. Therefore, you have to make sure that you determine the goals before you start designing the landing page.
One crucial factor that you can easily overlook constitutes searcher relevance. The overall experience and the content on the landing page should appeal to the searcher. The aficionados of the Web design and development company india says that it is a great place to utilize SEO. After all, it is the right place for daily Google users. In this respect, you should try to follow relevant trends and popular searches.
CTA is the abbreviated term for Call-To-Action, and it requires your users and viewers to finish an action. A good landing page must have a call-to-action button. You can make a client enter a webpage or do something more significant. However, it can be problematic to figure out the CTA. Once you determine it, you have to choose an attention-grabbing button that directs a user towards the landing page. The CTA should be straightforward so that individuals understand what they should do next.
The designs and colours:
The visual aspects of a landing page are as important as everything else. In multiple instances, ‘less’ is generally much better than ‘more.’ Your company probably has a colour scheme, logo, and the like. You must make them perceptible on the landing page. As a result, consumers can recognize the brand in an instant. It is wise to stick to two or three colours max. If you use too many shades, then the outcome may be a horrendous one.
Keep it clear:
Clarity can be the toughest problem for online marketers to handle with the landing page. The line of difference between providing adequate information and overloading with unnecessary details is exceptionally thin. It doesn’t matter whether your landing page appears somewhat bare with lots of blank spaces. You need to make sure that the primary message is visible to the audience. If you do so, then everything should be perfect.
If you want your landing page to be one of the best, then you should follow the information given above. Of course, there are many other tricks to do the same, but these are the vital ones. Astute Myndz, a Web design and development company requests you to never underestimate the importance of a landing page. You must contact them if you are having trouble with creating a ‘winner’ landing page.
Tags: Web design and development company, Web design and development company uk
In today’s world, website is considered as one of the most important tools of a business. It represents your brand online and makes your business stand out in the crowd. To add a different touch to your website in this New Year, make the most of animation. Besides making your website more attractive, animation also makes it web app friendly. But, before using animation for your website, you must know about the technologies used by developers to animate web elements. Hiring a recognized custom web development company in UK can help you to get an animated website according to your preferences.
Here are some of the most popular technologies that developers use to build animated websites:
#Canvas animations: Canvas animations let you animate a good deal of visual objects. You can create high-quality and complex animations on a visual space offered by a canvas. Canvas animations are mainly about playing with pixels and are an ideal way of making advanced animations. You can actually create complicated things without compromising the performance of your website. Thus, canvas animations are any day suitable for complex design and interplay.
#SVG animations: SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a vector graphics format that can be applied on the website. As the vectors have no pixel constraints, SVG animations appear to be very pointed. They keep on looking similar and never lose their quality like raster images when you resize them. You can animate the SVG elements easily with CSS. SVG is available with its own syntax for animation, known as SMIL, which is more effective than CSS. By using CSS, you cannot animate certain SVG properties like a path shape.
#WebGL: WebGL(Web Graphics Library) is used most of the times for creating complex effects and 3D. You can also implement Web GL to make animations for virtual reality (VR). It lets you to produce graphics at 60 frames in a second. Use canvas for WebGL animations, but it can be quite difficult. Web GL are applied by many website developers these days to build innovative and catchy visual effects.
So what are you waiting for? Revamp your website in an exquisite way by utilising the above-mentioned technologies for animation. A preeminent custom web development company in UK can implement the forefront technologies perfectly to animate your website. A beautifully animated website can work as a wonder to leave a good impression on a maximum number of target customers. In this New Year, go for an animated website and enjoy stupendous growth in your business.
With every passing day, the number of Smartphone users is growing at a rapid pace across the world. We all have become habituated to using mobile apps due to which business owners are investing huge amounts to develop them and stay ahead of their competitors. It is expected that 2019 is going to bring a brilliant future for mobile app development. Do you want to do mobile app development in the best possible way to take you business a notch higher in the next year?
Here are the reigning mobile app development trends worth considering for 2019:
1.Machine learning and artificial intelligence: Machine learning and artificial intelligence have grown to be extremely popular in the mobile app development world. Artificial intelligence has made its presence felt in the form of chat-bots. Siri is one of the main evidences of why artificial intelligence and machine learning are still a significant part of mobile apps and cannot be set apart yet. The growing demand for machine learning and artificial learning in chat-bots and virtual assistants forms are something to watch out for in 2019.
2.Accelerated Mobile Pages via AMP and EMM: In 2016, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) listings were included into Google search. After that mobile app developers have never delivered below at par performances. They started using the app framework with the simplified version of HTML to offer better user experience and customer retention. One of the biggest achievements of the development is Facebook Instant Articles. Such metrics and monitoring help in removing the obstacles and improve the entire performance of an app.
3.Chat-bots: Chat-bots have acquired prominence in the digital marketing world. They are already acting and will act as virtual assistants within mobile applications. The app developers are grateful to the commendable advancement in artificial intelligence as it has become easy for them to include chat-bots in apps without complex coding. As per the reports, approximately 50% of purchasers favor self-service CRM. Effective implementation of chat-bots is an innovative way to enhance that type of customer relationship management.
4.IOT and Wearable Devices: Mobile app developers will always be developing apps for wearable devices, mainly smart watches. Presently, the fitness industry and horology are investing on smart watches. Popular brands like Uber and Zomato have opted for wearable app development and experienced growth in business. In the upcoming year, movement trackers, fitness bands, watches and other wearable devices are likely to be in the foreground.
5.Augmented reality and virtual reality: Mobile app developers are hoping for a long time stay of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in market. It is predicted by experts that they gain massive revenues by the year 2020. The app developers are expected to build thrilling mobile app user experiences with adaptable hardware emerging in the market in the next year.
6.Cloud integration: The mobile app development world is embracing the facilities offered by cloud computing and integration. Some of the main benefits of building mobile apps across the cloud are capacity loading, better user retention, increased storage, streamlining operations and decreased costs in hosting. In future, developers are likely to make the most of cloud integration to develop mobile apps excellently.
7.Payment gateways and mobile wallets: In today’s world, customers always expect for hassle-free payment methods while using any app. Due to the growing advancement of mobile apps, there has been a symbolic change in the ways customers like to shop. The shopping mechanism has gradually modified from cash payments to debit, credit, digital currencies and mobile wallets. Shopping enthusiasts adore mobile commerce to buy the products of their choices. Businesses must focus on offering an excellent app experience to users by working on mobile wallets and integrating payment gateways. People can really hope for fully secured payment gateways in the coming year.
8.Mobile App Security: It is expected that mobile app developers will focus more on cyber security and link it directly to users’ data privacy and protection laws. Thus, users will be able to access the apps in a secured way in 2019.
9.Instant Apps: Instant apps came into scene in the year 2016. They are native mobile applications which are smaller in size as compared to general apps. As the instant apps are not required to be downloaded, they are highly user-friendly and convenient. One can use the apps right away without downloading. Due to the increasing demand of users for better experience and decreasing download durations, instant apps are ought to be one of the most prominent things in 2019. They will also reduce the waiting time needed time for installation.
10.On-demand apps: On-demand apps are expected to rule in the mobile app development sphere in 2019. An increasing number of industries are investing on such models to make the most of predictive analytics, mCommerce benefits, business bots and UI/UX improvements. Apps with booking features are likely to be better in functioning in the upcoming year.
11.Predictive analytics: Mobile apps will no longer be considered as only utilities in 2019. They are going to be an essential part of a workflow. Facebook, Google and Apple have already implemented AI for using predictive analytics. It boosted the customer journey throughout the UI/UX of the apps. In 2019, one can hope for seeing a lot of advancement in the mobile app development world.
12.Beacons Technology: Over the recent years, beacons technology has garnered quite acceptance among the mobile app developers. It is predicted by experts that the technology will retain its popularity in upcoming year. Mobile payments beacons, beacon-activated airports and automated personal beacons are likely to gain prominence in future. The developers are expected to build more accessible apps based on beacons technology, create virtual guides and make sharing of personalized information easy.
If you are planning to build exceptional mobile apps, keep the above-mentioned trends in mind. Put into consideration your business type and your target customers prior to choosing the app development styles. You can also consider hiring a leading mobile app development company in London to get performance-driven apps for flourishing your business.
Tags: branding, jobs, web development