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Written by Editorial Team on August 11, 2020

WordPress News: WordPress 5.5 Update

WordPress 5.5 is now live and before you even think of pushing the 'Update Now' button, here are some very important things you need to know. Failing to take some steps before updating your WordPress may lead to disastrous effects, including unable to login and a broken WordPress site all together. But apart from the bad news, WordPress 5.5 is a fresh and and high anticipated WordPress update that is very timely (to say the very least).

What is the WordPress 5.5 update?

WordPress 5.5 Update Core Features
~WordPress 5.5 Update Core Features

Every major WordPress update is given a nickname and WordPress 5.5 is known as “Eckstine”.

At this point in time, we had successfully updated over 50 of our clients' sites to WordPress 5.5 and it is also important to state that there were around 8 to 10 sites that failed to update badly (we did prior backups before updating the core files).

So, what is WordPress 5.5 update all about?

WordPress 5.5 update is all about the new looks, features and overall usability in WordPress. The most distinctive thing about WordPress 5.5 is the Gutenberg blocks that had gone through a rather complete overhaul (display, UX and UI). Apart from that, WordPress 5.5 also offers automatic plugins and themes updates which are very timely too especially in keeping your WordPress site updated with the latest files.

WordPress 5.5 developer features (that you might like)

  • Server-side registered blocks in the REST API: The addition of block types endpoints means that JavaScript apps (like the block editor) can retrieve definitions for any blocks registered on the server.
  • Defining environments: WordPress now has a standardized way to define a site’s environment type (staging, production, etc). Retrieve that type with wp_get_environment_type() and execute only the appropriate code.
  • Dashicons: The Dashicons library has received its final update in 5.5. It adds 39 block editor icons along with 26 others.
  • Passing data to template files: The template loading functions (get_header()get_template_part(), etc.) have a new $args argument. So now you can pass an entire array’s worth of data to those templates.
  • The PHPMailer library just got a major update, going from version 5.2.27 to 6.1.6.
  • Now get more fine-grained control of redirect_guess_404_permalink().
  • Sites that use PHP’s OPcache will see more reliable cache invalidation, thanks to the new wp_opcache_invalidate() function during updates (including to plugins and themes).
  • Custom post types associated with the category taxonomy can now opt-in to supporting the default term.
  • Default terms can now be specified for custom taxonomies in register_taxonomy().
  • The REST API now officially supports specifying default metadata values through register_meta().
  • You will find updated versions of these bundled libraries: SimplePie, Twemoji, Masonry, imagesLoaded, getID3, Moment.js, and clipboard.js.

How to update to WordPress 5.5?

Updating to WordPress 5.5
~Updating to WordPress 5.5

The quickest way to update WordPress 5.5 is to do it via the wp-admin. Here's how do you it.

Head over to wp-admin » Updates » Install Updates.

By default, WordPress will send you a reminder to a full website backup before updating and we highly recommend you to do so. If you are using cPanel hosting, head over to your cPanel daskboard, search for "Backup" and click "Backup full site." Depending on the size of your website, it would take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours for the backup to complete.

If you are using hosting control panels as we do, you can do it manually via the backend dashboard. We use RunCloud.io (here's our RunCloud.io review) and you can perform a full backup including database by heading to RunCloud.io » Backups » Create Backup.

Summary

We had been using WordPress 5.5 for over 6 hours now, and we find it rather quick, lesser bug and more importantly, it creates a very pleasant user experience especially when you are using Gutenberg to create your post. As a matter of fact, this WordPress news is created entirely using Gutenberg.

Have you updated to WordPress 5.5 yet? Leave a comment and tell us more about it!

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Article written by Editorial Team

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