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As we step into the second quarter of 2024, numerous updates have been launched for WordPress developers and website owners in April. The most significant update is the release of WordPress version 6.5, which we will be discussing in detail. 

Additionally, we’ll also be covering the release of WordPress Playground API, the Studio tool, the latest version of the Create Block Theme plugin, and the latest WordPress developer updates in this blog. Let’s dive in and explore the WordPress updates for April 2024.  

Newly released WordPress 6.5  

On April 2nd, 2024, WordPress 6.5 ‘Regina’ was released after a week’s delay. This brought a plethora of new features to the table, which includes: 

Features of WordPress 6.5

  • A Font Library that lets you manage and add fonts to your site without any extra coding or steps. With the ability to include custom typography collections, site creators and publishers have more options to choose. 
  • The new version also has enhanced background and shadow tools, allowing for more visual interest in layouts. You can now control the size, repeat, and focal point options on your background images. Also, you can add shadow supports to more blocks to add visual depth to your designs. 
  • With the improved link controls, creating and managing links is now more intuitive than ever before. Now, you can easily copy links using a shortcut. The UI has also been streamlined for a better experience. 
  • WordPress 6.5 now also have Data Views. This lets you organize your site’s library of information and data however you like. You can toggle fields, make bulk changes, and see data in a table or grid view for pages, templates, patterns, and template parts. 
  • New version includes improved performance with over 110 performance updates. This has led to faster loading times in the Post Editor and Site Editor, with input processing speeds up to five times faster than the previous release. Translated sites will also see up to a 25% improvement in load time. 
  • With over 65 improvements across the platform, you also get better accessibility. This includes an important fix that unblocks access to the admin submenus for screen reader users and others who navigate by keyboard. 
  • Cover blocks now allow for more control over images. This includes the ability to set aspect ratios and add color overlays that automatically source color from your chosen image. 
  • It also includes smoother drag-and-drop, with helpful visual cues like displaced items in List View. It also offers frictionless drag-and-drop that you can use anywhere in your workspace. 
  • Developers can now use the Interactivity API to build interactive front-end experiences with blocks. The Block Bindings API also lets developers extend the capability to connect blocks to any dynamic content. 
  • Finally, Classic themes also come with an upgraded design experience. It includes support for spacing, border, typography, and color options, even without using theme.json. Plugin dependencies has become easier to manage, with plugin authors being able to supply a comma-separated list of required plugin slugs. 

Introduction to WordPress Playground API 

WordPress Playground, developed by Adam Zieliński, is a serverless version of WordPress that runs inside the browser. You can use this platform for testing, showcasing, and building themes, plugins, blocks, and even entire websites.


This environment requires no setup so you can use it for development, code reviews, design experiments, handovers, onboarding, and education with a single click. Moreover, it can be embedded in any webpage using an <iframe> element, which makes WordPress tutorials more interactive and engaging. 

Playground comes with three interchangeable APIs:

  • Query API allows you to add parameters to the Playground URL without any coding 
  • Blueprint API a low-code JSON-based configuration file that serves as a build script for your WordPress installation, and 
  • JavaScript API is an NPM package to import a Playground client into an app or website. 

What can you build with Playground API? 

If you use WordPress Playground API, you can unlock its full potential and build various things, such as: 

  • Single-click website clones to experiment with design updates and plugins. 
  • Zero-setup website builders. 
  • WordPress programming tutorials in the browser without any local setup. 
  • PHP and WordPress versions switchers. 
  • Single-click development environments for reviewing code, onboarding new developers, or debugging failed tests directly in the CI. 

Studio by Launch  

Studio by is a tool for local WordPress development that doesn’t require additional third-party apps. It offers developers, designers, and site builders a seamless solution for creating and running WordPress sites directly on their local machines. It also allows them to showcase work-in-progress sites to clients, teams, and colleagues. 

Source: WordPress developers

Key features of Studio 

  • Studio helps create demo sites that allow you to showcase your work-in-progress to clients, teams, and colleagues. This allows you to collaborate more effectively and get feedback on your design and development work in real time. 
  • It also offers superfast WordPress installation. This means you can start your project right away without having to wait for long installation times.
  • Studio’s dependency-free building process enables you to develop your WordPress site without any external dependencies or plugins. This ensures that your site remains secure, fast, and streamlined throughout the development process.  
  • Studio’s one-click admin feature makes it easy to manage your WordPress site with minimal effort and time. 
  • With Studio, you can open your WordPress site anywhere and work on it from any device. This is possible due to its cloud-based architecture. It enables you to access your site from anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Finally, Studio is built by the biggest contributor to WordPress core. This ensures that you’re getting a reliable and trustworthy solution for your WordPress development needs.  

Exploring the latest version of the Create Block Theme plugin  

The Create Block Theme plugin was designed to simplify block theme development by adding theme-specific features and workflows to the Site Editor. Its goal is to serve as a modern tool for creating or enhancing block themes without the need for coding. 


A new version of the Create Block theme has been recently launched, bringing in some highly anticipated features that provide more advanced, streamlined, and open workflows: 

  • The Theme.json inspector allows you to view your theme.json file directly while visually building a theme, with the option to switch back and forth as desired. 
  • The Site Editor handles all theme building related tasks (cloning, adding style variations, etc.). This eliminates the need for context switching and creating a more intuitive building experience. 
  • Playground Preview is now available in the Plugin directory, making it as easy as selecting “Live Preview” on the directory listing to get started with this powerful tool. 

April 2024 WordPress developer updates

Since April, there have been significant changes for WordPress developers after the release of WordPress 6.5 ‘Regina’ version. 

Summary of some major WordPress developer updates for April 2024 includes:  

  • In the upcoming WordPress 6.6 release, WordPress will no longer support PHP 7.0 and 7.1, and the new minimum supported PHP version will be 7.2.24. This won’t affect most users. But if you’re still using an old version, upgrade it before the 6.6 release. 2.45% of WordPress users are still on those versions. 
  • Gutenberg 17.9 added an experimental “interactivity” mode that allows you to move blocks across nested columns and rows in a Grid. The introduction of Gutenberg 18.0 made this feature more powerful by adding Column Start and Row Start controls to the inspector for Grid children. And now, you can also group multiple blocks as a Grid like other Group block variations. 
  • In the Site Editor’s Styles panel, both the Colors and Typography panels now show presets that users can choose to make quick global changes. This feature is backed by the existing global style variations system. Any colors, typography settings, and styles defined via JSON files located in your theme’s ‘/styles’ folder will automatically become color or typography presets. 
  • Gutenberg 18.1 allows you to define a top-level background image for the site in theme.json. This opens many opportunities to create new and unique designs. Currently, there is no method of defining a theme source and referencing a relative image path stored in the theme. But you can expect it in a follow-up enhancement. The change comes with a UI control to set a background from the Styles panel in the Site Editor. 
  • You need to load the Post Editor in an iframe to have a consistent WYSIWYG experience between the Editor and frontend views. But the current meta box implementation prevents this from happening. Unifying the Site and Post Editors will solve this issue.
  • The new Playground plugin allows you to run a sandbox of your site in Playground. You can also use it to test and install plugins inside the sandbox. 
  • The latest version of Requests, which is a Core library responsible for handling HTTP requests for communicating with external websites, has undergone several changes and is now available as version 2.0.11. Notably, this version includes updates to support PHP 8.4. Additionally, WordPress 6.6 will incorporate this new version of the library. 
  • WordPress 6.5 comes with updated RichText component. So, the line breaks are always serialized as HTML elements to improve performance. However, this broke third-party plugins that apply syntax highlighting to the Code blocks. Developers added a fix before the release of WordPress 6.5. But any plugins that make direct modifications to the save function of the Code block will require additional adjustments as per the guidance provided in the pull request. 
  • WordPress 6.5 introduced a regression that affected the functionality of lightbox settings in theme.json. This regression made it impossible to enable lightbox while disabling user editing. Fortunately, the developers fixed this issue and shipped the solution with version 6.5.2.

Wrapping it up April 2024 WordPress Updates

April 2024 WordPress updates have brought exciting new features and tools for WordPress developers and website owners. The release of WordPress 6.5 has introduced a Font Library, enhanced background and shadow tools, improved link controls, and many more performance and accessibility improvements. 

Additionally, the WordPress Playground API and Studio tool offer developers new ways to test, showcase, and build WordPress sites. As always, WordPress continues to evolve and improve, making it a powerful and versatile platform for website creation and management.

Bluehost is a top-rated WordPress hosting provider, highly recommended by WordPress itself. We offer a variety of web hosting plans to suit the different needs of our users. When you sign up, we pre-install the latest version of WordPress on your site. Also, we provide regular updates, backups, and maintenance to ensure optimal website performance. 

  • Jyoti Saxena

    Jyoti is a content writer at Bluehost. With 3+ years of experience in the eCommerce industry, she strives to create content that resonates with sellers and resolves their pain points. Being a bookworm, she can be found reading books in her free time.

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