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Since its 5.6 “Simone” release at the beginning of December 2020, WordPress has been hard at work at getting out a new round of updates. And this month, the WordPress team’s delivered a maintenance upgrade and the first beta version of 5.7. 

WordPress 5.6.1 builds on the 5.6 upgrades and fixes multiple bugs and issues with the block editor. 

With the beta version, WordPress users can test the new features, such as lazy-load iframes and cleanup of the jQuery ahead of the official 5.7 release. 

Read on to learn more about the updates from 5.6.1 and beta 5.7. 

The Latest WordPress Version: 5.6.1 

The last major WordPress release came with auto-updates, the addition of Application Passwords, and more accessibility features. The latest upgrade, WordPress 5.6.1, fixes 20 bugs and seven problems with the block editor. 

The fixes include

  • An issue with WooCommerce, which was prompting a message that changes have not been saved, even if no changes had been made
  • Application Password button misplaced on mobile 
  • Fields missing in “Insert from URL”
  • Word count only updating when saved instead of real-time in Firefox
  • False results on the auto health updates 
  • Amendments to the PHP update alerts 
  • A complication with application passwords not allowing the creation of new passwords for authentication tokens for REST API users 
  • Admin cookies not sent by Site Health Loopback Test

There were also some improvements to the block editor, such as: 

  • Fixing the block editor crashing when registered without categories 
  • Issues with large font sizes
  • Better prevention for overflow causing white space on sites

The Next Major Release: WordPress 5.7

The next core WordPress update will be 5.7, which has a projected release date of March 9, 2021. To meet the deadline that’s just a few weeks away, Beta 1 is now available for testing. 

As with any beta version, it’s a good practice to set up a test website and not use a version of WordPress that’s still under development on your main website. Download the beta plugin or the zip file to get started. 

With every new update, WordPress and the block editor become more accessible, better to control, and easier to use. WordPress 5.7 will facilitate many improvements.

Changes in Core 

  • Simplifying the color palette in the WP Admin CSS and streamlining your color options to one shade of black, white, yellow, grey, red, green, and blue. This will help create more straightforward and readable designs that adhere to the accessibility guidelines. 
  • Continuation of the cleanup to make jQuery easier for users to work with. 
  • The addition of lazy-load iframes. Lazy loading has been an available option for loading images since WordPress 5.4. If you wanted to have the same option for iframes, you had to download a plugin, but it will now be supported in 5.7
  • The introduction of Robots API, which will let users manage the robots meta tag. It also allows users to decide if search engines can show large media previews from their website.
  • One-click ability to migrate a website from HTTP to HTTPS. Instead of navigating the process of moving your website to HTTPS, this upgrade will let you do so with one click. This will also come with an HTTPS status check-in Site Health.  

Changes to the Editor

  • Allowing blocks to be dragged and dropped from the inserter directly to the post canvas. 
  • Reusable blocks will be more usable, stable, and will be saved along with the post. 
  • Control of fonts in more places and the ability to change the size of your buttons in the Social Icons block. 
  • Seamless switching between block variations. 
  • Cover blocks will be able to expand to fill the full viewport. 
  • Several other upgrades and bug fixes.

WordPress Updates February 2021

If you’ve been experiencing any difficulties with the WordPress 5.6 release, update your website to 5.6.1 to resolve bugs such as issues with the WooCommerce editor or word count incongruity in different browsers. 

With the beta version of 5.7 to get a peek into the next major update, you can start getting excited for new features that include easily migrating to HTTPS and enhancements to the block editor.

If you want to upgrade your web host to serve your WordPress website better, check out a Bluehost hosting package today.

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