WordPress released version 5.5 to the public on August 11, 2020. Named Eckstine, after Billy Eckstine, an American jazz and pop singer, and a celebrated bandleader during the swing era.
This WordPress version addresses a slew of improvements designed to make the internet a safer, accessible, and beautiful place. This update includes automatic updates for plugins and themes, XML sitemaps, lazy-loading images, and a slew of upgrades to the built-in block editor.
In addition to the above, there are over 157 enhancements and feature requests and 307 bug fixes. Of course, all these improvements mean code changes, which could, in turn, require you to make updates to your site, plugin, or theme.
In this blog post, we will break down our top three updates, and discuss why you should update your WordPress to this version.
There are some significant accessibility updates, touching on all aspects of development. With 34 various accessibility updates, one important update concerns screen-readers. When a site displays a list of links on a page for navigational use, it can become difficult for users to use screen-readers to navigate these links while understanding its purpose.
WordPress 5.5 addresses this issue with a new theme support feature named navigation-widgets. When support is declared, all default widgets included in WordPress that produces lists of links will be accessible for screen-readers.
Have you ever heard of the term lazy-loading? It’s an optimization setting that speeds up a website. Essentially, it means that this site delays loading the image until the moment it’s needed. This trick cuts down on that initial load time. Allowing these images to load while you scroll.
By default all images in WordPress 5.5 will feature lazy-loading.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, powering over 37.5% of the internet. That impressive market share has only gone up over the years. WordPress consistently grows its market share by ~1-4% (in overall market share numbers) for the past eight years.
This popularity makes it an obvious target for hackers, who often target their attacks against plugins. Why plugins? It’s because WordPress allows users to submit them to the directory. Anyone can find or download your plugin, regardless of code quality. 98% of WordPress vulnerabilities are related to plugins.
On the six security updates, the new version features the ability to place your plugins on auto-update. These new controls will allow website owners to keep their sites up-to-date and secure with less time and effort.
These updates only scratch the surface of what WordPress 5.5 offers. Contact B-Web Services today to start on your next project!