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WordPress 5.5 is coming on 11 August, Highlights & Awesome New Features

by John Bhatt
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WordPress, every bloggers default go-to choose for CMS is getting major update on 11th August. WordPress 5.5 is coming with lots of new features and fixes of some of annoying problems in WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress 5.5 is upcoming version of WordPress CMS releasing on 11st August 2020. WordPress has market share of nearly 37.6% of all websites. Which means more than one third of websites across globe are using WordPress.

WordPress & Other CMS Market Share

What is Release Date of WordPress 5.5?

As you know about WordPress, WordPress 5.5 is upcoming major release of WordPress. WordPress 5.5 contains many new features and have lots of improvements as compared to previous version 5.4.

Release date of WordPress 5.5 is 11th August 2020.

What are New Features in WordPress 5.5?

Plugins & Theme updates from Zip files

Earlier, if you have already installed a plugin, you get error message like below image. This was the most annoying feature for most of the Paid plugins which have their free version available on WordPress repository and paid version available on other marketplaces.

Destination Folder Already Exists - Error message when uploading Plugin
Destination Folder Already Exists – Error message when uploading Plugin

WordPress 5.5 will now compare the version of uploaded package and installed version and ask for update or cancel.

Gutenberg Updates

Now it has Gutenberg version 8.5 bundled with 5.5; that’s ten releases all bundled into this release (versions 7.6, to 8.5). Also Bug fixes and performance improvements from Gutenberg versions 8.6 and 8.7 will also be part of 5.5.

Automatic Theme & Plugin update

If you are agency or managing multiple installation of WordPress, plugin and theme update is one of the most important and time-consuming part. You must keep all Plugins and Themes update to keep your website secure but logging in each time and installing update is very repeating job also. To overcome this situation, WordPress 5.5 presents feature to Automatic Update for Themes & Plugins. Your plugin directory will look like below.

Automatic Theme & Plugin update in WordPress 5.5
Automatic Theme & Plugin update

XML Sitemaps in WordPress core

In the part, we have relied on Plugins for sitemaps. Sitemaps are basic and important part for Search Engines rankings and are required by most of the SEO Tools.

XML Sitemaps will be enabled by default making the following object types indexable:

  • Homepage
  • Posts page
  • Core post types (i.e. pages and posts)
  • Custom post types
  • Core taxonomies (i.e. tags and categories)
  • Custom taxonomies
  • Author archives

The default address for WordPress XML file will be /wp-sitemap.xml and contain different type of sitemaps in combined sitemap file for search engines.

Lazy Loading Images

Another important part of SEO is time taken for website to load fully. Lazy Loading is term used to load Images as and only required. In general, any of page or post you open is parsed as static HTML. In HTML all resources are loaded at once which makes webpage slower.

With the help of Lazy Loading, user only sees the images of visible area and when he starts scrolling, images are downloaded as required. Starting WordPress 5.5, Lazy Loading will be integrated in WordPress core.

There are many more new features in WordPress 5.5 coming and here is the combined list of all features and changes.

Complete list of new features and changes in WordPress 5.5

  • Accessibility improvements to widgets outputting lists of links in 5.5
  • Controlling Plugin and Theme auto-updates UI in WordPress 5.5
  • Controlling Plugin and Theme auto-update email notifications and Site Health infos in WP 5.5
  • Recommended usage of the Updates API to support the auto-updates UI for Plugins and Themes in WP 5.5
  • Themes: changes related to get_custom_logo() in WP 5.5
  • WP 5.5 Core Editor Accessibility Improvements
  • New editor preview options
  • Block API Updates in 5.5
  • Block Patterns in WP 5.5
  • Editing Images in the Block Editor
  • New Block Tools on WP 5.5
  • Various changes to WordPress React Components in WP 5.5
  • Proposed Block Directory guidelines
  • You can now add your own plugins to the Block Directory
  • Lazy-loading images in WP 5.5
  • REST API changes in WP 5.5
  • Register theme feature API
  • Registering default values for meta data
  • New XML Sitemaps Functionality in WP 5.5
  • New esc_xml() function in WP 5.5
  • Themes field guide: WP 5.5
  • Miscellaneous Developer Focused Changes in WP 5.5
  • External Library updates in WP 5.5: call for testing
  • Passing arguments to template files in WP 5.5
  • Opcode Cache Invalidation in WP 5.5
  • Filtering archive page headings in WP 5.5
  • Introducing createInterpolateElement
  • New wp_get_environment_type() function in WP 5.5
  • Better fine grained control of redirect_guess_404_permalink()
  • New CSS styles for buttons with disabled state in WP 5.5
  • Dashicons in WP 5.5 (the final update)
  • PHP related improvements & changes: WP 5.5 edition

We have only highlighted major features for normal users. WordPress 5.5 brings lots of changes for developers’ perspective also. If you are interested in reading all features and new things coming in WordPress 5.5, follow above link to official blog post from WordPress team.

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