WordPress 6.1 packed with new features & performance improvements

WordPress 6.1

WordPress 6.1 is scheduled to be released on November 1, 2022 , and will be the third major release of the year, following WordPress 6.0 Arthur , released on May 24, and WordPress 5.9 Josephine , released on January 25.

As always, new versions of WordPress bring with them new features, improvements, and bug fixes from the latest versions of the core Gutenberg plugin . And WordPress 6.1 will not be an exception, as 11 versions of the Gutenberg plugin will be merged into the core, from 13.1 to 14.1.

WordPress 6 Features

Let’s take a closer look at these features.

1. Global Style Variations

A long-awaited feature of WordPress 6, Global Style Variations allows users and theme authors to create bundled block themes with unlimited style variations.

WordPress users can choose different templates and change the look of their site with a single click. It reduces dependency on page builders by offering them the ability to create ready-made WordPress child themes loaded with predefined styles.

To create a style variation, you need to add a theme.json file to the styles folder at the root of your theme.

Themes that support this feature will display a “  Browse Styles  ” option. This is where users will be able to see the available styles

2. New blocks WordPress 6

WordPress 6 will introduce several new core blocks and block-related features, such as

  • “More Info” Block . Allows you to customize the font, color, borders, and corners of the “Read More” block.
  • Biography of the author of the article and Avatar blocks. In WordPress 6, the author block is divided into two parts: the article author bio, which details the author’s history, and the avatar block, which displays the author’s avatar.
  • Feedback query loop . The comment query loop block allows you to display article comments. As with the query loop block, you can add or remove blocks and customize their appearance.
  • Closing locks . Prevents certain blocks from being moved or deleted. Note that the lock feature does not apply to nested blocks. You must also lock nested blocks to keep them in place.

3. Improvement of existing islands

In addition to the new blocks, WordPress is also working on improving the existing blocks. These additions will improve the user experience:

  • Improved navigation block . The navigation block that was included in WordPress 5.9 offered multiple customization options. In version 6, the WordPress developers introduce a rich preview in the navigation link block, so that when the link button is clicked, you see a preview of the source image.
  • Selection of text in different blocks . Before WordPress 6, you could only select the text of a specific block. Version 6 allows you to select multiple paragraphs and header blocks, making it easier to edit and copy and paste.
  • Enlargement of featured images . Featured images will no longer be limited to the featured images block; they can now be incorporated into media, text or cover blocks, enhancing the design and aesthetics of your articles.
  • Additions to the query loop block . You can now perform the following operations in the query loop block:
  1. Add dimensions to featured images
  2. Show custom taxonomies in filter panel
  3. Multi-author support for filtering

These features will make it easier to organize your query loop block.

4. Pattern Maker in WordPress 6

WordPress has come a long way since the introduction of templates in version 5.5.

As of WordPress 5.9, users could choose from the templates offered in the template directory, but these were limited to those shared by official contributors.

In version 6, WordPress allows anyone in the WordPress community to create and submit patterns to the Pattern Directory using the Pattern Builder.

In addition to the pattern builder, new patterns related to WordPress 6 include improvements to block patterns.

Also, note the quick block insert, which shows you the pattern options instead of the block options when you click the plus (+) icon in the content area of ​​the WordPress site editor.

5. Visual theme builder and additional template types

Another highly anticipated feature of WordPress 6 is the large-scale theme exporter.

This feature allows you to download your theme with your mods and customizations, which you can then upload to another website.

In addition to the exporter, WordPress 6 also introduces new template types, such as Author, Category, Date, Tag, and Taxonomy.

6. Web Fonts API

WordPress 6 also introduces the new Webfonts API, which allows users and theme developers to upload web font options for WordPress websites. This feature is supported by the global styles interface.

You can register web fonts using your theme.json file, which is standard since WordPress 5.8.

WordPress 6: what to expect

WordPress 6 will be an exciting release and will forever change the way we use WordPress. The new version of WordPress will be the last of the second phase of Gutenberg. 

WordPress 6.1 Beta 3 is now available for download and testing.

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it is recommended that you test Beta 3 on a test server and site. 

You can test WordPress 6.1 Beta 3 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the Beta 3 version (zip).

Option 3: Use the following WP-CLI command:

wp core update --version=6.1-beta3

The current target for the final release is November 1, 2022, which is about four weeks away. 

Additional information on the 6.1 release cycle is available.

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