WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” is the newest release from WordPress – named after American jazz singer, Billy Eckstine. It comes with some exciting new features which will greatly improve content creation. Let’s explore what’s new in WordPress 5.5 and how you can prepare your website/blog for it.
Block Patterns are the new addition WordPress 5.5 brings to the block editor. Block patterns will allow users to create, insert and edit predefined block layouts easily.
Creators and designers can also use this feature to build web pages faster by allowing them to place well designed blocks on the go.
Add your own plugins to the Block Directory
The Block Directory is a subset of plugins in the plugin directory that can be installed from the Gutenberg editor with a single click. These new “block plugins” will allow users to add their own block plugins as well as those from other authors.
Here’s a tutorial to help you create your own block plugins
Auto-updates for themes and plugins
86% of sites are hacked as a result of outdated themes and plugins. WordPress 5.5 introduces a new UI option for auto-updates of themes and plugins. With this option enabled, users can be protected from theme and plugin vunerabilities without having to manually update them.
‘Core’ XML Sitemaps
With core sitemaps included in WordPress 5.5, users will no longer require a plugin for this functionality. This addition was created in a way that will not affect performance or conflictwith other plugins that add sitemaps.
Lazy Loading for Images
Image loading will be delayed and will only be displayed when they are visible to the user. This is just perfect for sites that have a lot of photos to boost site speed and performance.
Update themes by via ZIP files
Users can now update plugins and themes manually by uploading a ZIP file.
Prepare your site
Before you update your website or blog to the latest version, make sure you backup up your WordPress files.