The major release is finally here with the name WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”. The update focuses on providing better speed, search, and security for all users. WordPress 5.5 comes with new blocks, enhanced block editor with improved UI, automatic themes and plugin update, improved accessibility, default lazy loading images, XML sitemaps, and more.
As per the schedule. WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” was released yesterday on 11th August 2020. This major update was named after Billy Eckstine, an American jazz and pop singer. WordPress 5.5 is the second major release this year.
If you’ve been updated with the latest buzzes on WordPress, you might know about the major changes in WordPress 5.5. The new WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” comes with features and updates that we already discussed in the Betas and Release Candidates. This time around, WordPress has definitely brought some major improvements.
Now, let’s have a closer look at the added features in WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”.
Default Lazy Loading Images
Lazy loading images are one of the best ways to boost your site performance and WordPress 5.5 is has finally brought it to us. The new update will make lazy loading images a default option for all sites by adding the “loading” attribute to img tag. The feature works perfectly for mobile devices as well.
Themes and Plugins Auto Updates
With the new WordPress update, users can now be able to enable automatic updates for plugins and themes directly from the admin dashboard.
For plugins, you just need to visit the Plugins page and click on the ‘Enable auto-updates’ option next to the plugin you wish to enable automatic updates for. Similarly, for themes, you need to visit the Appearance > Themes page and click on the “Enable auto-updates” option. So, leave your updating task to WordPress with v5.5.
You can also update your plugins and themes by uploading ZIP files – simple and quick.
Gutenberg Block Editor Improvements
The default block editor in WordPress 5.5 includes features you saw in Gutenberg plugin updates from v7.6 to v5.5. This means lesser bugs and more influential block editor.
Here are some of the exciting improvements in the block editor this time:
- New block patterns to create beautiful layouts using text and media.
- A new block directory to install new block types without leaving the editor.
- Inline Image editing to edit images inline (scale, crop, rotate, and resize) without leaving the editor.
WordPress 5.5 comes with 34 Accessibility enhancements including the opt-in navigation-widgets feature. It improves the semantics and accessibility of widgets with lists of links in themes.
WordPress 5.5, by default, now comes with an in-built sitemaps functionality. It creates a new sitemap index file called wp-sitemap.xml which will contain links to all other sitemap files it will generate. The new XML sitemap functionality helps search engines discover your important pages easily.
Developer Goodies in WordPress 5.5 update
- Server-side registered blocks in the REST API
- Support for default terms in custom taxonomies
- Enforcing a default comment_type value
- Updates to the PHPMailer, SimplePie, Twemoji, Masonry, imagesLoaded, getID3, Moment.js, and clipboard.js external libraries
- Template loading functions now allow additional arguments to be passed through to the matched template file using a new $args parameter
- WordPress now attempts to invalidate PHP files when Core, Plugins, or Themes are updated via wp_opcache_invalidate()
- How theme authors can filter archive page headings
- The new createInterpolateElement and wp_get_environment_type() functions
- Better control of the redirect_guess_404_permalink() function
- New CSS styles for buttons with disabled state
- The final update to the Dashicons icon font as focus now shifts to the new Icon component
- Various PHP-related improvements and changes
Other squad members:
- Editor Tech: Ella Van Durpe (@ellatrix)
- Editor Design: Michael Arestad (@michael-arestad)
- Core Tech: Sergey Biryukov (@sergeybiryukov)
- Media Tech: Andrew Ozz (@azaozz)
- Accessibility Tech: JB Audras (@audrasjb)
- Docs Coordinator: Justin Ahinon (@justinahinon)
- Marketing/Comms Coordinator: Mary Baum (@marybaum)
There were 805 contributors with props in this release. With so many new and improved things this time, WordPress 5.5 release comes with WordPress fully translated into 46 languages with more on the way.
Have you updated to WP 5.5 yet? Did this newest version of WordPress fulfill all your expectations? Let us know in the comments section below.