WordPress is back with another major update, and as expected, it has further added to the user-friendliness along with loads of performance improvements. There can not be another exciting way to get a fresh start this new year with the latest release of Misha (WordPress 6.1). This post is a brief teaser of some major improvements that WordPress has made and how they will impact the way you control your business website.
Table of Contents
- It’s Time to Look Ahead
- WordPress 6.1 Accentuations
- Caching Additions to WP_Query
- Lazy Loading
- Block-level Enhancements
- Content-only Block Editing
- Editor Screen Design Improvements
- Polished Template Creating Experience
- Fluid Typography
- Enhanced Spacing Properties
- Brushed Up Compatibility with PHP 8.0 & Above
- Appearance Tools Available for All Themes
- Admin Screen Improvements
- The Twenty Twenty-two Theme
It’s Time to Look Ahead
The recent release of “Misha”, WordPress 6.1 is perfectly blended with all required updates from the Gutenberg plugin. It emphasizes full site editing, customization options, enhancements in content creation, and a renovated site creation experience. A heartfelt thanks to those 800 people from over 60 countries and over 180 companies who contributed to this release to make it a great success.
So, for those interested in making the most out of their websites or upcoming WordPress development projects this new year, WordPress 6.1 comes in much handier to fully control website performance, and that too, with added flexibility and convenience.
WordPress 6.1 Accentuations
From templates & themes to SEO, and from block editing to improved building tools and fluid typography, the recent WordPress release offers a plethora of improvements that help you manage your site better and get enhanced results from it.
Here are some major highlights:
Caching Additions to WP_Query
Normally, when a visitor requests a web page, the browser sends a request to the server for further information. The server retrieves the data from the database and responds to the query. Adding caching to WP_Query allows swift loading of web pages as the data is directly retrieved from the website’s cache instead of fetching from its database. This reduces the burden on database queries and makes your website faster.
Loading attributes can enable the browser-level lazy loading in the images but the recent release of WordPress does this for your site automatically by adding “decoding- async” to image attributes. This helps in loading the relevant content first rather than taking a lot of time to load images and content all at once. This update is useful for image-rich websites that often load slower.
There are various changes made to the blocks in WordPress 6.1 and one of the major changes is regarding the border support for column blocks. You can now style different sides of a border according to your unique requirements to make the content more comprehensive. Additionally, the Quote and List blocks now have inner blocks that facilitate placing different items in a list in their respective blocks. Moreover, users will have more customized options to leave a comment.
Content-only Block Editing
This feature allows you to change the sidebar settings to list the blocks containing content. When you need to edit the content, simply click on the list or canvas, and select the block for which content needs to be changed. Moreover, click on the “Modify’ button on the toolbar to change the layout and this will turn off the content-only block editing mode. The sidebar will appear as usual and once you are done with the changes, just click “Done” and re-enable the new feature back.
Editor Screen Design Improvements
The update had a major emphasis on the site editor features too. It has been made more user-friendly to allow website owners to make changes as and when required without any fuss. The “Preview” button is renamed as “View” now along with a new View Site option opening in a new tab. The information panel has also been enhanced with two new options added under the preferences panel. The Show Button Text Labels option now displays text on buttons rather than on icons and the Always Open List View option allows you to display list view while editing posts.
Polished Template Creating Experience
You often need to modify templates for a refined visual appeal of your site hence, you can now create a new template that will fetch content from the nearest template. This eliminates the need to start from scratch, and you can directly add the required template part, saving more time and effort.
WordPress 6.1 comes with added support for fluid typography through CSS functions. Typography is the ability of text to adapt to the viewport’s maximum and minimum width. It’s different from how media queries allow themes to resize their texts according to the viewport sizes but has no role in different values. For instance, the Twenty Twenty-Two theme has in-built support for fluid typography. In WordPress 6.1, themes can automatically generate fluid font sizes where the value of every font size is automatically calculated.
Enhanced Spacing Properties
Regarding the spacing aspect, you had to set custom spacing values in the editor and can’t specify fixed values for padding, margin, and the gap in the themes. The previous WordPress versions didn’t allow transferring spacing settings from one theme to another while copying or pasting the content on other websites. But you can now use fluid spacing support with this latest release.
Brushed Up Compatibility with PHP 8.0 & Above
The community of WordPress developers has significantly contributed to code modernization in WordPress 6.1, making it perfectly compatible with PHP 8.0 and above versions (8.1 and 8.2). So, if you are running a PHP website, you will not see any deprecation notices on your site with this latest release. However, the complete compatibility is still in progress, but you will hardly see any broken link issues.
Appearance Tools Available for All Themes
Prior to WordPress 6.1, you can only use appearance tools for block themes but now you can add support to these tools for any theme. You will find this on the dashboard sidebar at the left of your screen with a section named “Personalize’. You will find all customization settings under two options there; Themes and Menus. So, now you can play with your themes the way you want and give your site the desired makeover anytime, anywhere.
Admin Screen Improvements
You will notice various improvements across all screens in WP Admin. The range of color contrast in the plugin screen during recovery mode has been broadened. Moreover, when you switch from a text input to any text field in your media library, you can view the content of that particular field while editing.
The Twenty Twenty-two Theme
You also get a brand-new theme with WordPress 6.1 that gathers all site editing features in one place. So, now you can easily test templates and their various parts, including style variations, typography, spacing, and many others, to make swift modifications to your website’s look.
Another crucial update with this version is that you can now update the URL header in the themes. Prior to this version, the themes used the default name that was there in the WordPress directory. The feature comes in handy when you have a theme developed in-house with the same name as that in the WordPress directory, you can use it without sharing it with the WordPress community. Besides this, there is a shortcut available to filter block themes whenever you want to add a new theme to your WordPress installation.
WordPress 6.1 has many critical improvements for both users and WordPress developers, with added support and enhancements in code accessibility. The changes are welcomed by global WordPress site users allowing them to modify their site’s content and theme playfully. WordPress has always prioritized user-friendliness and performance, and this latest release is a perfect example of this. So, upgrade your current version and get unlimited benefits with this amazing WordPress release to achieve what seemed to be troublesome till now.