WordPress 6.0 was released earlier this week, and it is the second major release of 2022.
Several notable updates, which you can read more about in the following sections, include:
- Faster website performance
- Page creation patterns
- Block locking
- Global style variations
- Ability to select text across multiple blocks
Some of the changes, like faster website performance, will be felt immediately. Others, like the brand new page creation patterns, are features for theme developers to roll out.
The official WordPress announcement explains:
“The latest version of the software takes full site editing one step further and looks to consolidate the ‘no code’ experience for site-building, expanding upon the existing customization tools, bringing new blocks, and focusing on the writing and design workflows. An example of this is the new style switcher for block themes, one of the most anticipated features for the flexibility and creative opportunities it introduces without having to switch themes. ‘With thoughtful updates to the writing experience, building better block functionality, and adding a new intuitive style switcher, I’m really proud of the work that’s been done in this release to make a great site editing experience,’ says WordPress’ Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.”
WordPress 6.0 Is An Incremental Update
WordPress 6.0 is the culmination of the work of over 500 people in at least 58 countries, encompassing close to 1,000 improvements.
Ordinarily, when a product undergoes a version change, like a new Android phone model, end-users expect to see dramatic changes. That’s not really the case with WordPress version changes.
While this is a “dot 0” release, version 6.0 is best understood as part of a series of incremental improvements meant to preserve backward compatibility while also introducing improvements.
WordPress 6.0 is a version number change but it’s not on the scale of a revamp. The publishing experience between versions 5.9 and 6 is improved.
According to the official WordPress announcement, there is no need to be wary of updating, encouraging all site owners to update now in order to enjoy the many benefits of this release.
“Site owners and administrators should upgrade to take full advantage of the many stability, performance, and usability enhancements today. WordPress content creators will enjoy a suite of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences.”
New Features That End Users Will Love
Page Creation Patterns
One of the most important changes is the Page Creation Patterns feature.
Ordinarily, when creating a web page a publisher might start with a blank layout. Page creation patterns is a way to select from multiple layouts as a starting point.
The WordPress core itself won’t ship with the layouts, this is something that theme developers need to build into their themes.
Block Locking is a feature that prevents an end-user from accidentally deleting or moving an important block. The new feature is available through a block settings drop-down menu.
Andrew Wilder of the WordPress support company, NerdPress offered his opinion that while 6.0 ships with “tons” of improvements that end users will like, he believes that the page creation patterns feature is one that they will most appreciate.
“For many of our clients, the Page Creation Patterns will be really helpful, especially once plugins are available to pre-built patterns that are specific to their content. That could be a huge time-saver! I’m also glad to see the new Block Locking feature – right now it doesn’t let you lock changes to the block content, but it can stop you from accidentally moving or deleting a block.”
Easily Switch Theme Styles
WordPress 6.0 comes with an easy way to switch your entire theme style with a single click.
Click on the Style button at the top right corner and then switch to the Browse Styles tab to see available styles for your theme.
Theme styles is a WordPress theme feature and its availability depends on your WordPress theme.
Edit More Theme Templates with WordPress 6.0
WordPress 6.0 brings the ability to edit even more templates inside the theme editor.
The new archive templates that you can edit include:
- Other custom taxonomies
Export Your Block Theme with All The Changes
WordPress 6.0 now allows you to save and export all the changes you made to your block theme.
WordPress will prepare a theme zip file that includes all the changes you made using the full site editor. You can then download and install that theme on any other WordPress website.
Multi-Select: Select Text Across Multiple Blocks
In the new blocked-based WordPress editors, creating a web page layout is done using what’s called blocks, building blocks, so to speak.
Blocks are like containers where content can be inserted. Content can be images, text, whatever.
An example of an incremental but exciting change in WordPress 6.0 is the ability to select text across multiple content blocks.
This allows a user to select the content within multiple blocks without selecting multiple blocks themselves. This gives publishers the ability to write and control content in an expected manner, contributing to a more intuitive writing experience.
Another exciting new feature is called Global Style Variations.
Style variations allows theme authors to provide their customers a way to easily change the look and feel of their website without having to edit CSS or HTML, dramatically speeding up the process of getting a website up and running.
This is a feature that is implemented on the WordPress theme developer side which improves the WordPress publishing experience for end users.
Copy Image URL from Media Library List View
If you view your media library in the list view, then you can now see a ‘Copy URL to clipboard’ link below each image and media file.
Noteworthy Changes For Developers
- Style variations, including different fonts powered by a private theme.json handler.
- Improved block theme creation and tooling from within the site editor itself.
- Easier ability to incorporate patterns (creating a new page, in the inserter itself, etc):
- Registration of blocks from within themes.
- Updates to the @wordpress/create-block templating system.
WordPress Full Site Editor Beta Label
Something that may be useful to consider about WordPress 6.0 is that the Full Site Editor (FSE) is still labeled as Beta.
WordPress 6.0 improves the editing experience for the end users by making the process of writing easier as well as making it easier to dream up unique website layouts without having to deal with code. But FSE is still considered as a Beta product.
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