WordPress 5.6

WordPress 5.6 is the third and last major update of 2020. Among its most important improvements we have:

  • Inclusion of the 'navigation menu' block in Gutenberg.
  • Automatic updates for all major versions.
  • editing support widgets for Gutenberg.
  • Gutenberg update following the path of transforming the entire
    WordPress editing into something that Gutenberg can customize.
  • ¡PHP 8 support!
  • New theme! twenty twenty-one is the new default Theme.

The new version was released codenamed 'Simone', in honor of both the Jazz artist and All the women in the world. Nina Simone is known for the songs “feeling good”, “Young, Gifted and Black", Y "Four Women”.

If music and/or jazz is your thing, or if you are just curious, here you have a Nina Simone playlist that will allow you to embody this tribute.

Gutenberg, the native WP block editor

The most interesting thing is that in WordPress 5.6 various versions of the Gutenberg 'plugin' have been merged into the very core of WordPress. For all practical purposes, it means that publishers will notice various performance and usability improvements.

Improved blocks, word count in the information panel, improved keyboard shortcuts, optimized interface when it comes to drag and drop, and much more are the result of the latest efforts by the Gutenberg developers. In summary, accessibility has been greatly improved, and a good example is the drop-down menu for Patterns.

As of WordPress version 5.6, Guternberg also support subtitles for embedded videos (sub files must be in .vtt format).

After uploading to the media library and then including the .vtt file in the dropdown menu (as shown in the screenshot above), your viewers will be able to enable subtitles in their preferred language.

Another very practical improvement is to be able to transform several vertical blocks into a horizontal block of columns.

Simply select the blocks to be matched into columns, then click the icon pointed to in the middle screenshot, and you'll get the final screenshot on the right as a result.

Another interesting improvement is the new possibility of create patterns (repetitions) with the 'Background' block.

Finally, we will mention the new possibility of giving sizes different from the 'Image' block, So:

The New Default Theme

The new Twenty Twenty-One theme is characterized by being minimalist: a single column and a footer sidebar, all with a soft color palette, like watercolor. A stock of system fonts is also used without providing new fonts.

Managed automatic updates

WordPress auto-updates could already be set for minor changes (i.e. they could be turned on for WP4.1 to WP4.2 type changes). The novelty now is that also it is possible to activate updates for generation jumps (eg: WP5.2 to WP6.0).

site health

The 'site health' tool is a powerful security measure and control that allows administrators to monitor the health status of a WordPress site. If you didn't know her, you can find her at Tools → Site Health.

This tool implements a series of operations in order to validate the security of our site and provide appropriate advice and recommendations. Here's an example:

WordPress 5.6 takes this tool even more seriously, bringing us a much-improved version from its heart: for starters, 'site health' has taken on a smart behavior from background monitoring. In addition, a validator checks the answers provided by the tests, discarding invalid resolutions and thus preventing unrecoverable errors (type 400/500, and PHP errors).

Indeed, until the previous version, the tests of the health tool were executed through a call to the file admin-ajax.php. In WordPress 5.6, a new REST API endpoint is used instead (asynchronous health tests can be found at /wp-json/wp-site-health/v1). This both speeds up and outsources monitoring and solution tailoring.

Welcome PHP 8

PHP is the programming language that WordPress is written on.. And, like any language, it is a changing language, which always improves by becoming more agile but, mainly, safe.

PHP 8.0 it's a truly refreshed language: its arrival brings with it a host of new features and powerful optimizations. Experts tell us that it is a true new standard in programming language career.

In fact, PHP 8 takes the bull by the horns cutting backwards compatibility by the roots and with many deprecated features. For clarification, WordPress support to take advantage of and work well on PHP8 is a crucial necessity.

It was a big job for the WordPress developer team, as the factory themes and plugins had to be reprogrammed to ensure compatibility. Otherwise, This same effort must be made by Theme and Plugin developers all over the world if they want their products to remain current, secure and problem-free..

 The race to embrace PHP 8 has begun.

Conclusions

WordPress 5.6 is a new version that brings a substantial number of features and improvements that span both user experience and developer editing. Each new version of WordPress is a step in the direction of evolving the security, performance, usability, and accessibility that WordPress provides. And each new version is a success, an achievement that is shaping the reality of the Internet, at least for a third of the world's websites.

If you liked this article, we recommend you to evaluate our plans of Managed WordPress. We strive every day to provide optimized WordPress hosting with state-of-the-art hardware and professional support. Our clients they speak for us.

If you have questions regarding the new WordPress, how to update your version or if your Theme and Plugins are compatible with the improvements, do not hesitate to write us at Contact.

Good luck, and thanks for reading.

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