20. WordPress 6.5 beta


The next version of WordPress begins its rollout with the preparation of many features that will surprise in the near future.

Remember that you can listen to this program from Pocket Casts, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts or subscribe to the feed directly.

Program transcript

Hello, I’m Javier Casares, and you’re listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.

You’ll find updates from February 12th to 18th, 2024.

And the day has arrived. WordPress 6.5 emerges with its first beta version, which means that in the coming weeks we’ll see new versions until the final version is available for download and installation.

This version includes many of the experiments and tests that have been included from Gutenberg 16.8 to 17.7, with 681 improvements and 488 fixes to the editor, and 221 changes in the core.

What will you find in this new version? Mainly, many improvements in how sites are created, with a lot of focus on the developers themselves. Better management of fonts and styles, improvements in synchronized patterns, and a host of performance improvements are the focus of this version.

The first major novelty is the Font Library, which had been pending release for some versions and allows the management of fonts in a simple and safe way, as well as legal, since the fonts will be served locally without sending private information of your users to third parties.

Synchronized patterns, previously known as reusable blocks, have improved and will now easily allow modifying the structure of content without affecting the content itself.

Another major novelty that will improve the scalability of content publishing is the Blocks Bindings API, which will allow connecting block attributes to custom fields. This is a first step towards what we will see in the future, but it already allows for initial steps in creating dynamic content natively.

Speaking of dynamic content, another element arriving in the core is the Interactivity API, which will allow for the creation of fully dynamic sites on the frontend with experiences and interactions directly in the blocks. For example, displaying a new comment, search results, or interacting with elements without needing to reload the page, and without making incorrect use of the AJAX system.

The history of revisions, which we had already begun to see in previous versions, reaches many more components, and also the support of appearance tools to classic themes, for a better relationship with the editor and blocks, such as spacing and typography.

The way to view the editor and its use also improves with the possibility of renaming blocks, duplicating patterns, using the right-click button in the List View, and, in short, consolidating the experience of the Content Editor and the Site Editor, where we can also now see the new listings in list or grid form and their bulk management.

And, the recently announced Plugin Dependencies which indicates the dependencies between plugins so that plugins cannot be activated or deactivated breaking others, joins the already included Performant Translations, which will increase the loading speed of those sites not in American English.

Testing WordPress is also an important way to collaborate. Now that we have the beta version, it can be installed, tested, especially the new components, and used in different browsers, languages, or screen sizes. And if you find any details that don’t fit, you can go to the forums or open a ticket.

And, as in every beta and candidate phase of WordPress, remember that security issues can be reported and you can opt for rewards that, in this phase, are double the normal.

And as it was also announced, right at the preparation of WordPress 6.5 also comes the second edition of the Mentorship Program, starting on Monday, February 19. Finally, 50 students have been chosen from among 76, and about twenty mentors with a lot of focus on the core of WordPress, translations, and some projects such as the reactivation of events in India.

On the Developer Blog, a post has been presented that explains in detail the operation of the login and registration system.

Authentication filters and cookies are the two main elements to keep in mind, and user validation, in addition to some important details to consider, such as passwords cannot have spaces at the beginning or end, or that all email addresses are converted to lowercase.

The Design of the navigation menus of the WordPress.org sites is once again a focus of attention, as with the launch of WordPress 6.5 it can be polished off.

This also joins improving everything related to the font screens that are introduced in the version.

And, as a special detail, Openverse will have its dark mode, to which the color palette is being adjusted, and it will work with an LCH palette, a system supported in all browsers for a year now and that allows for a much more gradual palette.

The Accessibility team is already working on WordPress 6.5 making improvements in a dozen tasks. Most have to do with a lack of labeling or navigation or related to new features such as Plugin Dependencies.

The Meta team will iterate once more the final user documentation, known as HelpHub, with the goal of applying the improvements that have been introduced in the advanced documentation, that is, the DevHub.

After applying the first design and the switch to blocks of all the functionality, some improvements were applied to the advanced documentation part that makes its navigation and use better, and all those small changes will also be applied to the rest of the sections that will mainly affect the main page, improve the child theme, and standardize the typography and feedback management.

The Community team has resumed the Latin America Community Reactivation Project. The objectives are clear: increase participation, create continuous monthly events, and, as much as possible, have groups help each other.

Translating material into Spanish, a course on how to become an organizer, and offering mentorships are some of the work plans.

BuddyPress 14.0 could include a Slack-style conversation system, where groups would be used as channels, although it faces a major blockage due to lack of backward compatibility.

Another of the works being prepared, now that the whole system mainly works with blocks, is the creation of templates and patterns for faster and simpler integration.

And in the annual 2023 survey conducted within the community, we see some interesting details and trends.

For example, the use of Gutenberg as the main editor continues to grow to 40% of users, 20% continue to use the classic editor, 20% use both interchangeably, and 12% use a different editor, although slightly less than half say that the new editor has the tools they need.

For users, the decision to use WordPress is centered on 3 elements: security, performance, and stability, with the utmost focus on being open source and the availability of an infinite number of plugins and a lot of customization.

Regarding the Community, half of the users do not know how to contribute, are aware of WordPress events, or can differentiate between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In addition, the experience of contributors has worsened both in reception to the Community and in their recognition.

And finally, this podcast is distributed under a Creative Commons license as a derivative version of the WordPress Podcast in Spanish; you can find all the links for more information at WordPress Podcast .org or follow the content in Catalan, Spanish, and French. Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *