WordPress 5.5 Beta 1 is now available for testing!
This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.
You can test the WordPress 5.5 beta in two ways:
- Try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies” option)
- Or download the beta here (zip).
The current target for final release is August 11, 2020. This is only five weeks away. Your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.
Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. Here are some of the big changes and features to pay close attention to while testing.
Block editor: features and improvements
WordPress 5.5 will include ten releases of the Gutenberg plugin, bringing with it a long list of exciting new features. Here are just a few:
- A better, smoother editing experience with:
- Refined drag-and-drop
- Block movers that you can see and grab
- Parent block selection
- Contextual focus highlights
- Multi-select formatting lets you change a bunch of blocks at once
- Ability to copy and relocate blocks easily
- And, better performance
- An expanded design toolset for themes.
- 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.
In all, WordPress 5.5 brings more than 1,500 useful improvements to the block editor experience.
Wait! There’s more!
Auto-updates for plugins and themes
With every release, WordPress works hard to improve accessibility. Version 5.5 is no different and packs a parcel of accessibility fixes and enhancements. Take a look:
- List tables now come with extensive, alternate view modes.
- Link-list widgets can now be converted 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.
- Meta boxes can now be moved 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
Error:prefixes have been removed from error notices.
- Plugins and themes can now be updated by uploading a ZIP file.
- More finely grained control of redirect_guess_404_permalink().
- Several packaged external libraries have been updated, including PHPMailer, SimplePie, Twemoji, Masonry, and more!