Meet Simone, our latest and greatest WordPress release. Named in honour of the legendary performer Nina Simone, who is known for tunes like “Feeling Good”, “Young, Gifted and Black”, and “Four Women”. Fire up a playlist with her best work and read on to discover what we have in store for you.
Welcome to WordPress 5.6
Sharing your stories has never been easier.
WordPress 5.6 brings you countless ways to set your ideas free and bring them to life. With a brand-new default theme as your canvas, it supports an ever-growing collection of blocks as your brushes. Paint with words. Pictures. Sound. Or rich embedded media.
Greater layout flexibility
Bring your stories to life with more tools that let you edit your layout with or without code. Single column blocks, designs using mixed widths and columns, full-width headers, and gradients in your cover block – make small changes or big statements with equal ease!
More block patterns
In some themes, preconfigured block patterns make setting up standard pages on your site a breeze. Let the power of patterns streamline your workflow and save you clicks. Plus, share these features with clients, editors, and more.
Better video captioning
To help you add subtitles or captions to your videos, you can now upload them within your post or page. This makes it easier than ever to make your videos accessible for anyone who needs or prefers to use subtitles.
Twenty Twenty-One is here!
Twenty Twenty-One is a blank canvas for your ideas, and the block editor is the best brush. It is built for the block editor and packed with brand-new block patterns you can only get in the default themes. Try different layouts in a matter of seconds, and let the theme’s eye-catching, yet timeless design make your work shine.
Perfect for a new year, Twenty Twenty-One gives you a range of pre-selected colour palettes in pastel, all of which conform to AAA standards for contrast. You can also choose your own background colour for the theme, and the theme chooses accessibility-conscious text colours for you – automatically!
Need more flexibility than that? You can also choose your own colour palette from the colour picker.
Improvements for everyone
For years, only developers have been able to update WordPress automatically. But now you have that option, right in your dashboard. If this is your first site, you have auto-updates ready to go, right now! Upgrading an existing site? No problem! Everything is the same as it was before.
Even if you’re not an expert, you can start letting others know about your site’s commitment to accessibility! The new feature plugin includes template copy for you to edit and publish, and it’s written to support different contexts and jurisdictions.
If you’ve not had the chance to play with block patterns yet, all default themes now feature a range of block patterns that let you master complex layouts with minimal effort. Customise the patterns to your liking with the copy, images, and colours that fit your story or brand.
REST API authentication with Application Passwords
Thanks to the API’s new Application Passwords authorisation feature, third-party apps can connect to your site seamlessly and securely. This new REST API feature lets you see what apps are connecting to your site and control what they do.
More PHP 8 support
5.6 marks the first steps toward WordPress Core support for PHP 8. Now is a great time to start planning how your WordPress products, services, and sites can support the latest PHP version. For more information about what to expect next, read the PHP 8 developer note.
In addition, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time, or they’ve been around since the first release all the way back in 2003. These releases are as successful as they are because of their efforts!
Finally, thanks to all the community translators who helped make WordPress 5.6. available in 38 languages at the time of release. Our community translators are hard at work ensuring more languages are on their way (70 are already at 90%). If contributing to WordPress appeals to you, it’s easy to learn more. Check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.