WordPress 5.9 Josephine Update

Jan 28, 2022 | Blog, Web Design Blog

WordPress 5.9 Josephine Update

Starting off the new Year WordPress have released a long-awaited update providing full site editing features giving users more control over their site design and page templates.

This new update aims to bridge the gap between non-technical users and designing a WordPress website. In the past users with less knowledge and experience were warned about editing themes as the changes made could in fact make the site unusable.

This new update brings in improvement to the already present Gutenberg editor allowing users to manipulate templates and page designs with the addition of new blocks to the editor and a new visual interface.

Site-wide Editing

With this new update WordPress are looking to build upon the features that were introduced in WordPress 5.8, by adding a lot more features to the site editing allowing users to edit a theme without any code.

New Blocks for the Editor

The new update will introduce 10 new blocks to the editor allowing for more customisation to your websites theme. Listed below are the new theme blocks that have been introduced in the new update:

  • Navigation
  • Template Part
  • Header
  • Footer
  • Post Author

Site-Wide Styles

Another important feature introduced in this update id the ability to create styles for your themes which will be global and applied across your site. These global styles can be saved and assigned to page or post templates allowing for greater customisation allowing you to edit and change the typography and colours on your website.

Change Block Styles

Along with the introduction of the of the site-wide styles you can make changed to individual blocks that are used on your site. By using this you can have a set style for a button colour to ensure that they are matching your sites colours.

Twenty Twenty-Two Theme

With the increased usability for the block editor in this update, the Twenty Twenty-Two theme has been designed to be bundled with the new update as the first ever block editor default theme. The theme has been designed to show off all the site editing features with every page layout being editable allowing for a perfect all-round theme.

This new theme provides users with immense control allowing them to alter every aspect of design for a website or webpage. The theme also provides you with numerous patterns that can be used when designing a webpage, these are ready-made and can be used in the site editor or the block editor when writing content for a page.

Block Editor Improvements

With this new update WordPress aims to improve block controls as one of the many improvements to the block editor. With flexible layout controls and finer controls of design details like spacing and borders aim to give users more control whilst making it simpler for users with less technical knowledge.

Move Sections Easier

From the list view on the toolbar, you can move sections around with a greater smoothness, by simply clicking on a section and dragging it to you desired position. This allows you to easily jump between different parts of a webpages content and move them around allowing you to quickly readjust your layout.

Improved Heading Controls

The heading block will now allow you to change the heading level from a vertical dropdown menu making it simpler to set your H3’s. Along with this you are able to have more options for both typography, design, margin and spacing designs.


This update release is named after Joséphine Baker, who was an American-born jazz singer who found success on Broadway before travelling to Europe and becoming popular in France. During World War 2 she was recruited by the French military intelligence agency to socialise with Germans at ministries, embassies, night clubs, charming them to gather information. Throughout the war she gathered information continuing to help the French resistance.

Final Thoughts

It’s fair to say that this new WordPress update is a remarkable achievement as it is changing WordPress into a web design system. Allowing users to edit a theme and website without needing to purchase a page builder or understand website code is one of the key parts of this update and so far, has been done correctly by keeping in mind the users that aren’t as technical as a fully fledged Web Developer.

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