The initial beta for the next major release, 5.5, is here. WordPress 5.5 Beta 1 has been released with many new features and enhancements. The major enhancements focuses on a better Gutenberg Editor experience, like Inline Image Editing, Block Patterns, Expanded Design Toolset for themes, and many more.
The software is still in development, so the development team recommends you not run it on a production site and so do we. Simply set up a test site just to play around with the new version.
The major release, WordPress 5.5 is targeted for release on August 11, 2020. It is our responsibility to help the team roll out the major release with minimal (to no) issues. Therefore, let’s start testing!
Check out the big items to test to find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks to make things easier for the developers.
Highlights in WordPress 5.5 Beta 1
Block Editor Enhancements
WordPress 5.5 is going to include features from ten releases of the Gutenberg plugin. Here are a few of the features:
- Inline image editing – Crop, rotate and zoom photos inline right from image blocks.
- Block patterns – Building elaborate pages can be a breeze with new block patterns.
- Device previews – See how your content will look to users on many different screen sizes.
- End block overwhelm. The new block inserter panel displays streamlined categories and collections. As a bonus, it supports patterns and integrates with the new block directory right out of the box.
- Discover, install, and insert third-party blocks from your editor using the new block directory.
- Better, smoother editing experience with drag-and-drop, parent block selection, ability to copy and relocate blocks easily, contextual focus highlights, and more.
- An expanded design toolset for themes.
- Now add backgrounds and gradients to more kinds of blocks, like groups, columns, media & text
- And support for more types of measurements — not just pixels. Choose ems, rems, percentages, vh, vw, and more! Plus, adjust line heights while typing, turning writing and typesetting into the seamless act.
- XML Sitemaps are now included in WordPress and enabled by default.
Theme and Plugins Auto-Updates
With auto-updates, now you can easily control which plugins and themes keep themselves up to date on their own.
WordPress 5.5 will include native support for lazy-loaded images utilizing new browser standards.
- List tables now come with extensive, alternate view modes.
- Convert Link-list widgets to HTML5 navigation blocks.
- Copying links in media screens and modal dialogs can now be done with a simple click of a button.
- Disabled buttons now actually look disabled.
- Move Meta boxes with the keyboard.
- A custom logo on the front page no longer links to the front page.
- Assistive devices can now see status messages in the Image Editor.
- The shake animation indicating a login failure now respects the user’s choices in the prefers-reduced-motion media query.
- Redundant Error: removed prefixes from error notices.
WordPress 5.5 addresses more than 350 tickets. It includes numerous small bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.
As mentioned above, WordPress 5.5 Release is up for August 11 and the development team can surely use all the help. If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.