As our title says, WordPress 5.6 Simone rolled out last week introducing some minor changes and bug fixes. The WP 5.6 release is named after the famous singer and human rights activist, Nina Simone and it’s been released by the all-woman release squad.
The latest release was made from contributions of 605 volunteers who were involved with almost 350 Trac tickets and over 1k pull requests on GitHub.
What’s new in WordPress 5.6?
We might better start with what was expected but once again delayed for some of the upcoming updates, like block-based navigation menus and widgets. The reason for the decision is that those features are still not fully production-ready.
However, there are certain improvements inside the block editor.
These small but vital changes are making the Gutenberg editor more powerful after each update. If you are already using Gutenberg editor and its block-based elements, you might consider checking our article on the best free Gutenberg block template packs.
Features from Gutenberg plugin versions from 8.6 up to 9.2 are included in the update, along with bug fixes and performance improvements from versions 9.3 and 9.4.
The development team was focused on the upcoming site editor. There was some initial hope that a beta version of it would land in the 5.6 release. However, the feature is still months away from being production-grade and ready. It seems that this decision is a wise one as we all want to get some mature and full proof solution for the site editor. Patience is the key.
New Twenty Twenty-One theme
The WordPress 5.6 version includes the all-new and fresh Twenty Twenty One theme. The all-new default theme introduces all the latest and most powerful features of the block editor and Gutenberg.
The theme might not be something a lot of customers would choose, but it’s here to represent the possibilities that the new block-based design is about to bring in the upcoming years.
The theme offers a lot of options to customize the layout, colors, and design in general. On the other hand, this theme demonstrates the ability to use patterns in the block-based editor and it will showcase a glance of the upcoming site editor feature.
We can definitely expect more themes based on the same concept but hopefully with a more slick and commercial design.
Application passwords for REST API introduced
As you might not know, the WordPress REST API has lacked support for application passwords from the start, back in 2015. Having password for 3rd party application access is a must in order to securely communicate with WordPress. So, the application passwords are introduced in the 5.6 release and they will substitute the known workaround for this problem.
The REST API promised a future for all types of applications built upon and around WordPress. However, how things will change with the REST API and their promises will be left to see.
jQuery legacy code and jQuery migrate helper
This is still an actual issue, as you might already know, the last 5.5 release introduced the removal of the jquery migrate script which resulted in lots of websites stopped to work.
This change cought many WordPress website owners of the guard as there were a lot of themes and plugins that were using the old legacy code of jQuery inside their products. Many WordPress websites were affected and lots of things break down, we even wrote an article on How to fix the jquery migration problem.
There where certain changes in the WordPress jQuery migrate helper plugin lately, please make sure that you fix the logged deprecations from the plugin report page before the next major WordPress update. Consider the jQuery migrate helper plugin as the temporary solution that will be removed soon.