WordPress 5.1 “Betty” is Here! Have you updated yet?

WordPress 5.1 “Betty” is finally here and has brought some major improvements along with it. After the release of WordPress 5.0 “Bebo” last year in December, this is the first major release of the year 2019. As per the schedule, WordPress “Betty” was released yesterday on 21st February 2019. WordPress 5.1 is named after Betty Carter, a jazz vocalist.

WordPress 5.1 “Betty” is now available for download on your WordPress dashboard. There is an abundance of major improvements made for users to work with WordPress in an easier way. The new WordPress 5.1 release comes with the features that we already discussed in the Betas and Release Candidates.

The previous major update, v.5.0 brought a new default block editor and following that, the new WordPress update, v.5.1 is focusing towards polishing and improving the overall performance of the editor. Also, this update has included some essential administration and developer tools to make WordPress easier.

Let’s have a detailed look at the enhancements.

Improved Editor Performance

After the release of 5.0, there was a lot of buzzes (both positive and negative) about the new default editor. There definitely were a lot of unsorted issues and bugs. Focusing on that, the new version, WordPress 5.1 has included solid performance improvements within the editor. Improvements included in the editor helps you get started quickly and a smooth typing experience.

WordPress 5.1 includes the performance improvements from Gutenberg 4.8 – faster page initialization time, improved typing performance, and optimization of various background processes.

According to the developers, users can expect more performance improvements regarding the editor in the near future.

Site Health

The developers have been focusing on the Site Health feature for quite some time now. And finally, this release has introduced WordPress’ first Site Health features. As already discussed in the Betas and Release Candidate, WordPress will start showing notices to administrators of sites that run a long-outdated version of PHP—the programming language that powers WordPress.

Also, the Site Health feature will check whether a plugin requires a version of PHP incompatible with your site when you install a new plugin. If it finds any, WordPress will prevent you from installing that plugin.

For Developers

The 5.1 version has introduced several under-the-hood improvements for developers. Some of which are:

  • A new database table to store metadata associated with sites and allows for the storage of arbitrary site data relevant in a multisite/network context.
  • Updated Cron API with new functions to assist with returning data and new filters to modify cron storage
  • A new JavaScript build option following the large reorganization of code that started in the 5.0 release
  • New test config file constant in the test suite, new plugin action hooks
  • A new “doing it wrong” notice when registering REST API endpoints

The WordPress 5.1 Release was led by Matt Mullenweg, along with Gary Pendergast as Senior Code Reshuffler and Poet. They have been completely immersed in the development and have done a commendable job leading the team. There are 561 contributors with props in this release with 231 of them contributing for the first time.

With so many new and improved things this time, WordPress 5.1 release comes with WordPress fully translated into 34 languages with more on the way.

Have you updated to WordPress 5.1 yet? Did this newest version of WordPress fulfill all your expectations? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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