As you may know, WordPress 5.9 came out with a new full website editing experience, a new theme and more features and changes made to ease your way to success.

What’s new in the WordPress community:

1. WordPress 5.9

2. Smaller WordPress releases and Gutenberg updates

3. Next major release announcement

4. The focus of WordPress for 2022

5. Word Camps are happening in person again

6. A new developer blog is coming.

WordPress 5.9: Bringing a new definition to the full site editing idea

Named after the acclaimed international jazz singer Joséphine Baker, the release of 5.9 brings you the most versatile version of WordPress yet.

Going back, the last major WordPress release was 5.8 in July 2021, even then WordPress was pushing full site editing via the integration of the Gutenberg block editor for building posts and pages. Now with the time between releases, you can imagine that WordPress 5.9 is aiming to push the boundaries and take full site editing even further by introducing a block-based theme editor, adding the possibility to edit page templates and more from inside the WordPress admin area. This update brings forward new blocks for navigation, header, footer and a variety of other templates, there is also a new global style panel that lets you easily customize site-wide styles.

In order to take full advantage of the full site editing, you would need to use a block theme, also the new default theme Twenty Twenty-Two is introduced in this update, being the very first default block theme with more block themes coming to the theme directory

For the developers out there, from 5.9, theme.json supports child themes, basically it means that users can now build a child theme right in the WordPress Admin, without having to write any code. You can read all the details in this dev note. This version of WordPress was brought to you by the hard work of 624 generous volunteer contributors. If you want more details, everything about WordPress 5.9 can be found here.

Following smaller releases and Gutenberg updates

Following the release of 5.9, 5.9.1, 5.9.2 and 5.9.3 were released to fix bugs and add more features.

  • WordPress 5.9.1 was released on February 2nd, 2022 (nice timing if you ask us). This maintenance release features 82 bug fixes in both the Core and the block editor.
  • WordPress 5.9.2 was released on March 11th, 2022. This security and maintenance release features one bug fix in addition to three security fixes.
  • WordPress 5.9.3 was released on April 5th, 2022. This maintenance release features 9 bug fixes in Core and 10 bug fixes in the block editor.

Gutenberg releases

The Core Team launched three new versions of Gutenberg in February and early March. All come with new features, code quality improvements, and bug fixes.

  • Gutenberg 12.7 was launched on March 2nd. This release improves the patterns experience, allowing you to add border styles to column blocks, and includes other new features.
  • Gutenberg 12.6 was launched on February 16th . The release includes a new color panel, updated color controls, a new Post Author Biography block, Read More block, along with many updates.
  • Gutenberg 12.5, released on February 2nd, allows you to switch theme styles variations, enable custom taxonomies filtering, and more.

Next major release: WordPress 6.0

WordPress executive Director Josepha Haden shared a proposal on 2022 major release timing.

5.9 will not be the only major release in 2022, 6.0 and 6.1 are scheduled to be released in May and October respectively. Version 6.0 was proposed to be released on May 24. This next major release will aim to refine and iterate on the customization tools introduced in 5.9.

WordPress 6.0  Beta 1 is now available for download and testing.

The focus of WordPress for 2022

2022 is going to be more of a preamble year for WordPress as the platform gets more and more people to use the new editor and moves forward to its 19th anniversary on May 27.

As Josepha Chomphosy explains, these are the three primary focuses for WordPress:

  • Drive adoption of the new WordPress editor (though education, awareness, and better content for new WordPress users).
  • Support open-source alternatives for all site-building necessities (through supporting Openverse – WordPress’s suite of directories).
  • Open-source stewardship (through maintenance of community programs, leading by example, and other projects).

WordCamps are happening in person again

We are having the pleasure to enjoy the return of in-person events! The WordCamp Europe will be held from June 2nd-6th in Porto, Portugal. This event will be the first in-person WCEU in three years, so expect great things! It takes quite a bit of effort to organize such an event, so WCEU2022 is looking for volunteers, photographers and media partners to help make the event happen, so if you want to join the effort go take a look and see the volunteer plans.

If you can’t make it to WordCamp Europe, maybe you can consider one of the other in-person WordCamps.

New developer blog incoming

The Core Team shared a proposal to start a blog on developer.wordpress.org to share news and updates relevant to developers. Staying on top of the new features coming to the WordPress project is one of the main challenges expressed by developers. There’s already the Make Core blog, but it has an emphasis on meeting notes for the various core teams, rather than highlighting new features. This makes it difficult for developers to find the relevant information among the team-related posts.

Hence, a proposal for the Developer News blog is created. The content of this blog focuses on updates for contributors, developers and those who work with WordPress at agencies or as freelancers. Content creation and the first post are expected to happen in early April 2022.

Stay up to date with all the news with Virtono. And if you want to take your WordPress website to a new level, sign up for a  Virtono Web Hosting Plan to get in-depth WordPress assistance today or if you are an expert and know you ways go for Virtono VPS Services.


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