It feels like only yesterday we said hello to WordPress 5.9, a release that gave us full site editing for block-based themes, an improved block editor and more. Now we’re back to introduce the next major release, WordPress 6.0 a.k.a “Arturo”!
With nearly 1000 improvements and bug fixes, there’s certainly a lot to unpack with the new 6.0 update, so let’s get cracking.
What’s inside WordPress 6.0?
A lot of the major changes improve the full site editing experience we’ve been slowly introduced to. Basically, this means that you can customise your themes with the same easy-to-use block editor that you use to create site pages and posts (Don’t forget you need a block-enabled theme to use these features).
So what’s new?
Easy style switching
Switch up your style in a few clicks with block themes that now contain multiple style variations. Using styles is super easy to do – all you have to do is make sure you’re using a theme that supports the Site Editor, navigate to Appearance > Editor, click on the Styles icon and get customising!
Better writing experience
Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or a business writing a new page full of fresh content, WordPress 6.0 is stuffed full of improvements to the writing experience, like:
- Multi-block selection. Exactly as it sounds, you can select text across multiple blocks, making it easier to copy and paste exactly what you need to, where you need to.
- Quick post and page linking. Simply type two open square brackets ’[ [‘ to quickly access a list of recent pages and posts so you can easily link to relevant content.
- Keep block styles. Now you can transform blocks (eg. from a Paragraph block to a Code block) and keep existing styles from one to another.
- Custom buttons. Create customised buttons and automatically keep style customisation for new ones you make.
- Control tag clouds and social icons. Make tag clouds and social icons more appealing with updated settings and even more control.
Improved list view
List View is a great way to visualise your post/page layout and easily switch blocks around and now it’s got even better. New keyboard shortcuts mean you can select multiple blocks (Shift+click) to drag and drop them within the list and modify them in bulk. Plus List View has its own keyboard shortcut (Shift+Alt+O) so you can open and close it without lifting a finger (literally!).
Export block themes
Been editing your theme and liking what you’ve come up with? WordPress 6.0 now lets you save and export your theme as a .zip file with all of your changes applied to it so you can take what you’ve created and use it on any other WordPress site.
We don't know about you but it’s almost like Christmas has come early when there are new blocks to play around with, which is why we’re even more excited about the WordPress 6.0 update. There are loads more blocks to use inside the theme editor like:
Comments Query Loop
If you’re familiar with the Query Loop block, then the Comments Query Loop block won’t be too alien to you. It’s an advanced block that displays post comments. The great thing is that it contains several inner blocks that you can add, remove and customise so that it looks exactly how you want it to.
Love a ‘read more’ button? Now you can use them outside of the Excerpt block and they’re fully customisable too! Edit borders, roundness, colours, padding and more. You can even get right into the typography and change the font family, font size, text decoration, font weight and letter spacing.
Want to include author information on your posts but wish you had more control over how they look? WordPress 6.0 introduces the Avatar and Post Author Biography blocks, so now you can style them individually, stack them in a column, display them in a row and even put other blocks between them.
Additional design tools
We all know that it’s not just about the types of blocks you can build with, it’s also about how you can edit and use them. With this latest major WordPress release, design tools have become even more powerful with improvements including:
- Responsive group layouts
Switch it up and get creative with the option to display groups of blocks in rows, stacks and group variations.
- Gallery spacing
Use block spacing to increase the gap between gallery images or remove it all together – it’s your choice!
- Control transparency
Let those creative juices flow with control over the transparency of your colours. It’s a small change but it makes a world of difference to your site. You can even control the transparency of Separator blocks.
- New colour panel
See your colour options at a glance with the new colour panel. It saves space while still letting you control what you need to in a few clicks.
- Border controls
Get your borders looking exactly how you want them to with new border controls. You can change the colour, thickness, style and even the radius(roundness).
WordPress updates usually bring performance improvements and of course, 6.0 (Arturo) is no different. This release brings a ton of enhancements with it, including improving page and post load speeds, navigation menus, reducing query execution times, caching and more.
Accessibility should always be towards the top of the priority list when building and editing your site. WordPress 6.0 brings more than 50 updates that are focused on making the CMS more accessible, including default alt text for feature images, adding button text labels to the editor and checking link colour contrast with the new colour panel.
Are there any WordPress 6.0 changes for developers?
A huge platform for developers, some changes have been made under the hood as well:
- Addition of a filter to get_the_author_link
- Improvements to the sticky post query
- Webfonts API to provide a more efficient way for theme authors to manage local fonts using PHP or theme.json
- An API to stop certain blocks from being shown in Widget areas
Phew, we said there was a lot to unpack in the WordPress 6.0 update and what we’ve covered barely scratches the surface! Want to dig deeper into what the update brings to the table? WordPress has their own release notes or you can see the full list of tickets on Trac.
If you’re as excited about WordPress 6.0 as us and are eager to check it out, the good news is that if you’re a Fasthosts customer, automatic updates mean it’ll be ready for you to use. If you don’t have automatic updates enabled, you can install it with one click – simply log in to your Control Panel to get started.