What's New in WordPress 5.6

What’s New in WordPress 5.6?

WordPress 5.6 named Simon was released a few days back. I updated WordPress 5.6 version on WPBlogX and client websites. It won’t create any breaks on the sites I’m managing.
But before update the new WordPress 5.6 version, please take both database and file backup because sometimes updates will break websites.
In WordPress 5.6, there are a lot of new features, improvements added, and bugs are fixed. In this article, I will explain to you what’s new in this release. I will explain one by one in detail.

1. Automatic Update 

In this new version, WordPress introduced Automatic updates for major core versions. WordPress already has auto-update only for minor core updates in the previous versions, which mainly focuses on security updates.
If you want this new feature to work on your site, you need to enable them. You can enable it here go to WordPress Dashboard > Updates.
wordpress 5.6 enable full auto update
You don’t need to enable this feature if you start your site by using WordPress 5.6.
Full core automatic updates have pros and cons before enabling this feature to take a full backup of your site is recommended.

2. New Default WordPress Theme: Twenty Twenty-One

Each year-end, WordPress releases a new Default theme with a theme name ended with a new year. This year they released Twenty Twenty-One, which represents the year 2021.
Twenty Twenty-One theme is designed specifically for Block editors, and the theme has a Blank canvas. You can use a blank canvas to draw anything you want. In this theme, WordPress introduced many predefined block patterns; you can use these patterns to build pages/posts within seconds. You can also access these block patterns on other default WordPress themes. This theme has a Dark mode feature; you can enable them at theme customizer.
Here is the list of Twenty Twenty-One design and development Crews.
Default Theme Design Lead: Mel Choyce-Dwan ( @melchoyce ). Default Theme Development Lead: Carolina Nymark ( @poena )
Default Theme Wrangler: Jessica Lyschik ( @luminuu )

3. Now WordPress Core supports PHP 8

On November 28, 2020, PHP 8 released its final version. After a few days, the WordPress 5.6 version was released, and they said that it is compatible with PHP 8. In the meantime, WordPress core contributors work hard to get the support for PHP 8.
WordPress ecosystem combines WordPress core, Plugins, and themes. Currently, WordPress contributors only make core compatible with PHP 8. It takes a lot of time to make a full WordPress ecosystem that supports PHP 8. This is the reason WordPress 5.6 is called beta compatible.

Block Editor Improvements

Block editor is an important place for designers and writers. You can build pages and posts easily by using predefined blocks. In this new WordPress 5.6 update, they improved and enhanced a lot of things. Here we will see one by one.

Background and Text Color for Listicles

Now list type blocks support background and text color. You can refer to the screenshot below.
background color for list block

Information Panel

By using the information panel, you can find page details like character, Word, Head, paragraph, and block counts. You can click the I icon to see the details.
information panel in wordpress editor

Video Position Control for Cover Block

WordPress 5.6 new update core team introduced Video caption and subtitles. If you are creating a lot of video content, then this new feature is handy. You visitors can able to WordPress hosted videos with subtitles.

Video Captions and Subtitles

WordPress 5.6 new update core team introduced Video caption and subtitles. If you are creating a lot of video content, then this new feature is handy. You visitors can able to WordPress hosted videos with subtitles.

4. Application Password for REST API

REST API authentication for Application password helps external apps connect to your website safely and securely without giving a user password.
Before this update, you can use this feature by installing the Application Password plugin, and now this feature is added to the WordPress core.
You can create application-specific passwords on your WordPress Dashboard > Users > Edit specific user. At the bottom of that user profile, you can create a name for a specific application. And this will generate passwords for each application and external software using these credentials to access some parts of your website.
Rest api wordpress

5. Core jQuery Update

In three stages, the jQuery core update is planned and executed successfully in 5.5 and 5.6 WordPress core versions, and the last update will happen in the 5.7 version.
Sometimes these new jQuery updates will cause problems on your site. You can solve these issues temporarily by using Enable jQuery Migrate Helper

6. oEmbed Change

Facebook and Instagram oEmbed feature are deprecated on October 24th, 2020. By using the oEmbed feature, WordPress pulls content from Facebook and Instagram posts. The WordPress 5.5 already removed oEmbed endpoints in WP Core, and this new WordPress 5.6 update oEmbed feature is not included.

Editorial Staff

Prabhu Ganesan has provided his Web development and SEO services independently. He is Co-founder of Webicle Media and WPBlogX. He is very much involved in WordPress as it becomes a second nature for him. Find him on twitter @gprabhucbe

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