On Dec. 1, 2020 wordpress.org released the WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate 2.
While waiting for WordPres 5.6 you can use the RC for final testing before WordPress 5.6 is released.
What is in WordPress 5.6?
WordPress users will notice a lot of improvements in both the Block editor and elsewhere.
More versions of the Gutenberg plugin have been merged into the WordPress core.
There are enhanced block patterns, character/word counts in the info panel, improved keyboard navigation, improved drag & drop UI and more.
Overlapping images block
More block patterns, (blocks consisting of pre-designed layouts), have been added including a pattern for overlapping images.
Another interesting new feature is the possibilty to convert blocks into columns blocks.
And a character count display is offered to WordPress users – it’s been on our wishlist for a looong time.
New default theme: Twenty Twenty-One
According to Default Theme Design Lead Mel Choyce-Dwan the new defafult theme Twenty Twenty-One “is designed to be a blank canvas for the block editor“.
By default, the theme uses a native system font stack.
Mel Choyce-Dwan argues that this will ensure:
- No extra load time. Let’s keep this theme simple and fast.
- This particular stack is pretty typographically “neutral” — none of the fonts are super opinionated, so the theme can be used broadly across different types of sites.
- Using just the one font stack, without loading additional font files, also makes it easier for folks to customize or create a child theme for Twenty Twenty-One.
The theme also uses a limited color palette: a pastel green background color, and two shades of dark grey for text.
The theme will be bundled with some additional color palettes, including both a white and a black color scheme.
PHP 8 support
PHP 8 was released in november 2020 – well ahead of the upcoming WordPress release.
WordPress 5.6 has been developed to support PHP8.
Before upgrading your server to run WordPress on PHP 8 make sure that your entire installation, (including themes and plugins) is compatible with PHP 8.