WordPress version 6.0 is now available for download, as of May 24! This release includes a number of new features and improvements, such as an improved block editor experience, better accessibility, and performance enhancements. Let’s take a look at what’s new in WordPress 6.0.
New Page Patterns
Creating a new page was always a process that starts from scratch. But certain kinds of pages, like About us, or Contact us tend to have templates that work better for them. With WordPress 6.0, themes can now have page patterns that make it a lot easier to create one of these pages quickly. This works particularly well for a certain page template that you may end up using in a variety of different instances, like landing pages.
Improvements to the Gutenberg Editor
There are also a number of new convenient functions to the Editor. Users can:
- Select text across multiple blocks for easier copying and pasting.
- Type two open brackets `[[` to quickly access a list of recent posts and pages.
- Keep existing styles when you transform some blocks from one kind to another—from a Paragraph block to a Code block, for instance.
- Create customized buttons and any new buttons you make will retain the style customizations automatically.
- Make tag clouds and social icons even more appealing with updated settings and controls, and a new outline style for the tag cloud.
Global Style Switcher
One of the best features of WordPress is the ability to have the content live separately from the design — so that you can switch the theme of your website at any time and the underlying content switches styles seamlessly. In practice, this does not always work perfectly, and aspects of the site can break when switching themes. So once they find one that works for them, most sites tend to stick with a theme for a while before attempting to change again.
WordPress 6.0 builds on this flexibility with the style switcher, which gives website designers the ability to change between different variations of the theme.json without actually switching the WordPress theme. This means that users should be able to experiment more and change the design of their site with a single click until they settle on the one that suits them best, without having to actually change themes.
To allow the setting of a custom opacity for each block, the Separator block has been updated to use the block that supports color settings. The custom opacity can then be set using the alpha channel setting of the selected color.
A Number of Important Accessibility Improvements
These are small but important refinements, like setting the featured images alt text as the blog post title by default, unless different alt text is provided. Other accessibility improvements include:
- Allowing tabbing into block placeholder, allowing for actions like tabbing into a block that only contains a block inserter, such as an empty Group block.
- Announcing search results in the Block Manager.
- RichText: Reversing disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.
- Ensuring that blocks with a placeholder setup have their description read by VoiceOver, giving context for the block itself and the resulting controls.
- Removing role attributes on SVGs meant for “decoration”.
- Implementing a better method for Block Inserter Search focus.
- Improving successful draft save notification for screen readers by making it more descriptive.
As you can see, the WordPress team continues to release valuable updates, and WordPress 6.0 is no different. If you haven’t already upgraded your site, be sure to do so soon.
Do you have any questions about the new features in WordPress 6.0? Get in touch with us!