Gutenberg development continues ploughing ahead with new blocks and steady improvements to performance and accessibility. Version 5.1 was released this week with new Search, Calendar, and Tag Cloud blocks. All widgets have now been ported over to blocks, a major Phase 2 milestone. The next phase of that project will explore how the widgets screen will change in response to core widgets becoming blocks.

Version 5.1 also brings more polishes to existing blocks, introducing micro-animations for a smoother experience when hovering over menus or accessing the sidebar in the editor.

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This release includes dozens of small stylistic improvements to blocks for a more consistent display, improvements to CSS specificity of styles, more options for the Quote block styling, improvements to using the editor on mobile devices, and lots of bug fixes. Documentation is also progressing with a new tutorial for working with editor notices, expanded JavaScript build tools documentation, and enhanced block edit/save documentation and code examples.

Gutenberg phase 2 technical lead Riad Benguella also included a table of benchmarks, showing the editor’s performance improvements since it was first released in WordPress 5.0. Each release of the plugin since then has significantly cut the loading time, and this is a noteworthy improvement to continue tracking.

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These benchmarks compare performance for a post with approximately 36,000 words and 1,000 blocks. This isn’t an average post but large amounts of content help to reveal performance issues.

Gutenberg 5.1 had 51 contributors. For more details, check out the full list of enhancements and fixes in the release post.