A Tech Enthusiast, Business Development Manager. Loves to Write and Share Insights About Latest Tech Innovations And Evolution.
WordPress has been a hot favourite for many. Be it creating websites, secure web hosting – developers are keen to leverage the salient features of WordPress, its templates, responsive themes, mobile readiness, in-built SEO and much more…
Here comes the latest release of WordPress – WordPress 5.6. The WordPress 5.6 development cycle began in August 2020 and after a lot of beta releases, it released on 8th December 2020. It is being referred to as ‘Simone’.
WordPress – An Overview
It is free content management system that is written in PHP and works in sync with MySQL or MariaDB database. Developed in 2003 by the WordPress Foundation, it operates on Windows, Linux, and Unix-like OS.
WordPress functions for more than 39% of the web. It has the competence to build a variety of simple websites, blogs, complicated portals, applications, and enterprise websites. There are big names that are leveraging the potential of WordPress – Sony Music, MTV News, TechCrunch, BBC America, Facebook, Disney, The New Yorker, Variety, Boingo, Bata – these are just a few of the lot. There are many more!
Here are certain key features of WordPress:
- Quick publishing and simple to use
- Flexible creation of a variety of requirements
- Easy management of content with publishing tools
- Effective user management and administration
- Complying fully to standards set by W3C
- Contains a lot of features and plug-ins
- SEO optimized and great community support
Key Enhancements/Updates in the Latest Release – WordPress 5.6
- ‘Twenty Twenty-One’ – The Latest Default WordPress Theme
There has been a tradition that WordPress follows – naming a theme after the year. Hence, this version brings in ‘Twenty Twenty-One’ as the latest theme. It offers a canvas for the block editor and site editing feature list. It is simple, pleasant and has a fresh look. It utilizes a background colour that is pastel green and two shades of gray for text. The background colour can also be changed from a given palette of options.
- Enhancements in Block Editor
The WordPress block editor is an important area where users need to access most features while designing their layouts. The cover block, that showcased position control only for images, till now, will now facilitate setting up video positioning also.
It is now easy for users to search for their desired patterns through a new category called ‘switcher’ tat helps them find the pattern, they are looking for. It lets developers store the keyword modifications to assist them in finding a block. This will enhance the block search feature.
‘Options’ was the default block editor with a settings panel, through which users could set up the editor as per choice. Now, with this new version, it will be called as ‘Preferences’.
- Increased Number of Block Patterns
There will be predefined block patterns that can help create standardized designs and thereby, save big on time and efforts. The entire functioning can be streamlines and help developers sharing this across with others, as needed. There are a larger number of block patterns available with all default themes and hence complicated layouts can be handled with comfort.
- Better and Flexible Layout
The new version has newer tools that help you perform better editing of layout and thereby get a better effect for your output. There are full width headers, single columned blocks, gradients available in cover block and creation of design with different columns and widths.
- Addition of Subtitles/Captions to Videos
It is now possible to add on different subtitles/captions to videos and then upload it with your page/post. This feature helps those who wish to utilize subtitles and make their videos available.
- Auto Updates Easily Available
Till now, it was only developers who were given the right to update WordPress automatically. Now, it is available to all, you just need to avail it. The process remains the same for all – be it using it for the first time or updating an already existing site.
- Authorizing REST API’s Application Password
There is a new application password feature that is available to REST API authentication. With this, 3rd party applications can easily connect to the site. It facilitates you to observe which applications are getting connected to your site and thereby, have proper control on their activities.
- Support Towards PHP8
This new version showcases fundamental support for PHP8. Developers can now start thinking about the ways in which the family of WordPress outputs can start supporting this release of PHP.
- Upgrading Core jQuery Bundled with WordPress
This newer version of WordPress comes closer to upgrading the core jQuery clubbed with WordPress. Users are undergoing a variety of testing cycles through the Test jQuery Updates plug-in, to test it effectively so that anything wrong maynot affect the solution. In case of any trouble that the users face, they are supposed to install the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plug-in.
- Multiple Gutenberg Updates
Gutenberg is an important WordPress block editor. The Gutenberg team has been active enough to chalk out multiple releases. In this version, there are about 7 of Gutenberg updates with enhanced features. Some of them are enhanced support for video position in cover block, better keyboard navigation, block pattern betterment, performance improvisation and more.
- Removal of Facebook and Instagram Embeds
Since Facebook has recently removed embeds from Facebook and Instagram, the latest release of WordPress has not included them and even the previous release did not have it.
Welcoming 2021 with WordPress 5.6 – The Latest
WordPress has been a user’s favorite since years and the latest release has left no stone unturned in offering a great deal of enhancements and fixes, to elevate the user satisfaction level. Their focus has been more on security and compatibility, with an aim to bringing ideas to life.
WordPress 5.6 can be tried and testing by either choosing the WordPress Beta Tester plug-in or downloading the release candidate from its official site. As users keep using the newest version, so shall the power of WordPress be experienced by all!