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WordPress 5.5 – Coming Soon

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WordPress 5.5: These changes are coming in August
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Announced earlier this year by developers of WordPress is a feature that’s been desperately needed as standard for years. Automated plugin updates are finally coming to the core of WordPress as of version 5.5. Right now the feature is available as a separate plugin to add to sites.

 

WordPress 5.5 New Features

WordPress 5.5 will be the second major release of 2020 and aims to include a navigation menus block, automatic updates for plugins and themes, a block directory, XML sitemaps, lazy loading, and update Gutenberg to the latest release version as we continue to focus in 2020 on full site editing via Gutenberg.

When WordPress 5.5 is releasing?

WordPress 5.5 beta is out, and it is scheduled to be released on August 11, 2020.

Attention: WordPress 5.5 is still under development, which means features can still change and may not make into the final release.

In this article, WordPress Beginner Hacks will introduce you to some main new features of WordPress 5.5

Auto-Updates for Themes and Plugins

The upcoming WordPress 5.5 update will expand the content management system’s auto-updating capabilities to themes and plugins. Currently, auto-updating is only available for the WordPress CMS core. To prevent the site hacks, the auto-update functionality will be extended to themes and plugins. The auto-updating of themes and plugins is now expected to ship with the next version of WordPress (v5.5).

 

New Editor Features

Definite inclusion

  • New UI design
    • Block movers [PR]
    • Block Inserter panel
    • Surrounding elements
  • Block patterns UI and infrastructure
    • Move patterns to Inserter
    • Pattern search
    • Pattern categories

You can also test the following features by turning them on within the Gutenberg plugin Experiments screen.

  • Navigation block
    • Navigator interactions
    • Submenus
  • Navigation-Menu screen in wp-admin
  • Widget-blocks screen in wp-admin
  • Core block patterns
  • Block Directory
  • Block design tools

 

Feature Plugin: XML Sitemaps

As the native XML Sitemaps in WordPress Core which received lots of interest and feedback from the community, the XML Sitemap feature plugin (MVP) will be implemented in this version.

As a quick reminder of what this project is trying to achieve, here are the main features as described in the initial project proposal, which we would encourage you to read in its entirety.

XML Sitemaps will be enabled by default making the following content types indexable

– Homepage
– Posts page
– Core Post Types (Pages and Posts)
– Custom Post Types
– Core Taxonomies (Tags and Categories)
– Custom Taxonomies
– Users (Authors)

Additionally, the robots.txt file exposed by WordPress will reference the sitemap index.

Additionally, an XML Sitemaps API ships with the plugin aiming for developers to build on top of it.

The sitemap index

A crucial feature of the sitemap plugin is the sitemap index. This is the main XML file that contains the listing of all the sitemap pages exposed by your WordPress site and the time each was last modified. By default, the plugin creates a sitemap index at /sitemap.xml which includes sitemaps for all supported content, separated into groups by post types, taxonomies, and users.

Sitemap pages

Each sitemap page will be available at a URL using the following structure, sitemap-{object-type}-{object-subtype}-{page}.xml. Some examples of this structure applied to real content include:

  • Post type – posts: sitemap-posts-post-1.xml 
  • Post type – pages: sitemap-posts-page-1.xml
  • Taxonomy – categories: sitemap-taxonomies-category-1.xml
  • Users – sitemap-users-1.xml (note that the WP_User the object doesn’t support sub-types)

Update Themes and Plugins with a zip file

Upload Plugin

Sometimes WordPress plugin or theme updates may not work as expected in which case you have to manually update a theme or plugin. Currently, you can do that by using an FTP client.

WordPress 5.5 will allow you to do that inside the WordPress dashboard. You’ll be able to go to Plugins » Add New page and click on the Upload button.

Now go ahead and upload the zip file you downloaded for the plugin update. WordPress will automatically detect that this plugin is already installed and give you an option to ‘Replace current with uploaded’.

Upload Themes

Similarly, you can also install updates for WordPress themes. Simply go to Appearance » Themes page and click on the ‘Add New’ button. After that click on the Upload Theme button to upload your theme zip file.

WordPress will detect that you already have that theme installed and will give you the option to ‘Replace current with uploaded’ version.

Release Schedule

  • 7 July 2020: Beta 1, begin writing Dev Notes and About page, and last chance to merge feature projects.
  • 14 July 2020: Beta 2 and continue writing Dev Notes and About page.
  • 21 July 2020: Beta 3, continue writing Dev Notes and About page, and soft string freeze.
  • 28 July 2020: Release candidate 1, publish Field Guide with Dev Notes, commit About page, begin drafting release post, and hard string freeze.
  • 4 August 2020: Release candidate 2, update About page images, and continue drafting release post.
  • 11 August 2020: Target date for the release of WordPress 5.5.

Wrapping Up

Above are the main latest features of WordPress 5.5. Our team will plan to update our WordPress themes to support this version. Please stay tuned!

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