A Field Guide to WordPress 5.2

A Field Guide to WordPress 5.2

The major release this year, WordPress 5.2 has been scheduled to be released on 7th May 2019. With this release, users will be able to experience over 300 enhancements including new interesting features. The core development team released a field guide to WordPress 5.2 in the official core channel of the team yesterday. The guide, posted by Jeffrey Paul, lays down the major changes that will be seen in the upcoming major release. Jeffrey strongly suggests users test their plugins, themes, and sites with WordPress 5.2 before the release so that they don’t have to face unanticipated issues later.

WordPress 5.2 will include new features to protect sites from the dreaded “White Screen of Death“, a new area for users to view, copy, and share important debug information, site health check, new core blocks, enable/disable blocks within the block inserter, improvements to Accessibility, theming Privacy Policy pages, and more.

Let’s have a quick look at the enhancements we’re going to witness in WordPress 5.2.

Site Health Check and Servehappy

Site Health Check is an ongoing project aimed at improving the stability and performance of WordPress websites. The new release includes a fresh new admin interface with two new pages—Status and Info—under the Tools > Site Health. The Status page allows you to test your site’s health and provide the required fixes. Similarly, the Info page includes more debugging and support information. Know more about it here.

The Servehappy project allows administrators to fix or mitigate fatal errors on their website. It was previously impossible to address without developer interference and modifying the codebase.  This includes five ways that developers can integrate with the new recovery mode features. Know more about this here.

Block Editor Enhancements

WordPress 5.2 includes performance enhancements regarding the Gutenberg editor. It includes a reusable block-editor module to expand the usage of the Block Editor in a context independent from the post editor. A bunch of new blocks including the RSS block, Amazon Kindle Embed block, Cover Focal Point Picker, and more has been added in WordPress 5.2. Also, you can now enable/disable blocks within the block inserter.


On the Accessibility side, you can now find improvements to markup for Admin tabs, to post formats in list tables, to Admin Bar submenu link markup, and to the Archive Widget dropdown all to help assistive technologies.

Privacy Policy and Data Exports

There is an enhanced Privacy Policy component with the addition of four new features to make customizing and designing the Privacy Policy page easier. Tag restrictions for User Data Exports have also been relaxed.

For Developers

For developers, There are even more goodies in 5.2 like

  • the addition of 13 Dashicons and the WOFF 2.0 file format
  • the addition of short circuit filters to WP_Site_Queryand WP_Network_Query
  • the addition of the wp_body_open() function to trigger a wp_body_open action
  • the addition of the category_list_link_attributes filter to Walker_Category
  • the addition of the users_have_additional_content filter
  • the update to @wordpress/scripts package to include webpack and Babel configurations, and more!

Wait! There’s More!

Over 228 bugs, 59 enhancements, 3 feature requests, and 16 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.2. Some additional ones include:

  • Embeds: YouTube embeds lack title attribute (#40245)
  • Export: Issue with WP Export – adding spaces to .xmlfile (#46575)
  • Feeds: Feeds now respect the Last-Modifiedheaders (#4575)
  • General: Add sodium_compat— a libsodium-compatible cryptography API for PHP <7.2 (#45806)
  • I18N: The Personal Data Erasure Fulfillment email is now in the Users Locale (#44721)
  • I18N: The Personal Data Export email is now in the Users Locale (#46056)
  • Networks and Sites: Introduces the ms_user_list_site_classfilter (#41146)
  • Networks and Sites: Introduces the populate_site_metafilter (#46437)
  • Privacy: The ‘Download Personal Data’ admin action no longer triggers completion of the request (#44644)
  • Privacy: Users are now able to make additional requests when identical previous requests are in a complete or archived state (#44707)
  • Privacy: Remove the Privacy Pointer (#45999)
  • Privacy: The Privacy Policy guide help notice is now displayed on both the classic editor and the block editor (#46098)
  • Privacy: Remove the Privacy Bubble (#46819)
  • Themes: Add global action to get_template_part(#41575)

You can read the full field guide to WordPress 5.2 here. Please, test your code. So that any prevailing issues can be fixed beforehand and help you and other millions of WordPress users and sites.

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