With the release of WordPress 6.0 this spring, you’re probably wondering what’s next. If you’ve loved the updates in the last couple of releases, you have a lot to be excited about from WordPress 6.1.
Since 6.1 is still developing, we don’t know all the details yet. But thanks to some updates from the WordPress core team, we have a good idea of what to expect. In this post, we’ll cover when 6.1 is expected to be released, what the focus of the release will be, and how to prepare your site for WordPress 6.1.
When Will WordPress 6.1 Be Released?
WordPress 6.1 should be publicly available this fall. The WordPress Core team has set Oct. 25, 2022, as the target release date.
WordPress 6.1 timeline:
- Beta 1 & Feature Freeze – 20, 2022
- Beta 2 – 27, 2022
- Release Candidate 1 – 4, 2022
- Release Candidate 2 – 11, 2022
- Release Candidate 3 – 18, 2022
- Dry Run – 24, 2022
- WordPress 6.1 General Release – 25, 2022
For most websites, the first two and the last date are the ones that matter most.
As a reminder for Pressable customers, we make beta releases available for testing. You can clone your site as a staging site and change the WordPress version to the beta release so you can test your site’s compatibility with the new release.
Also, we automatically upgrade all sites to the latest version of WordPress within 24 hours of the general release of a new version.
What Features Are Expected in WordPress 6.1?
WordPress 6.1 will mainly focus on improving and expanding the new features from WordPress 5.9 and 6.0. The last two releases introduced new features and capabilities around visual and sitewide editing. Check out our guide to WordPress 6.0 and our overview of full site editing for all the details on the recent releases.
Looking ahead to 6.1, these are the main areas where you can expect to see enhancements or new features:
Developers hope to improve the usability of the Template Editor by adding the ability to browse, visualize, and edit a site’s structure. Also, we expect them to make it more obvious when and how to edit global elements like templates, template parts, or global styles.
The patterns feature was introduced late in the 6.0 development cycle. Think of patterns like a mini-template you can use for the section of the page. Check out the WordPress pattern repository for some great examples.
In WordPress 6.1, patterns are expected to play a bigger role with new customization options for custom post types and block types.
Upgrades to the global styles interface are also likely, and this may include better support for privileges and restrictions. In typography upgrades, look for new options for managing web fonts and implementing responsible typography.
Blocks are an essential part of the new WordPress editing experience. As a part of WordPress 6.1, work will focus on creating a shared set of design tools that work the same way across different block types. You can expect editing colors, typography, alignment, background, or positioning to work the same, no matter what block you use.
WordPress 5.9 introduced block themes, but issues with switching between block themes or upgrading from a classic to a block theme have prevented some users from making the switch. WordPress 6.1 is expected to address some of those issues to encourage more people to adopt block-compatible themes.
How to Prepare Your Site for WordPress 6.1
So what do you need to do to get ready for WordPress 6.1? Fortunately, the answer is probably not much. Like with most major WordPress releases, there’s a big focus on new features. But you don’t have to adopt those features right away.
Put a reminder on your calendar to check the release schedule in mid-September. As we suggested earlier, you’ll want to set up a staging environment to confirm compatibility with 6.1. Most sites won’t experience any issues but if they do, the most likely causes of problems will be outdated themes, plugins, or custom code.
With Pressable, staging sites are free with a hosting plan. They don’t count against your site total, so you can set up as many different staging environments as you need. As with version 6.0, a lot of the features in WordPress 6.1 will require using a block theme. If you’re not already using a block theme, you might want to set up a staging environment where you could try different block themes and give the new site editing and styling features a try.
Hosting for WordPress 6.1
At Pressable, we focus on providing excellent hosting for WordPress. With one of our managed hosting plans, you can trust that your site will always run on the latest version of WordPress. We take care of the updates for you. We also have WordPress experts standing by to help you troubleshoot any issues. Learn more about why Pressable is where WordPress works best. Schedule a custom demo today.
Jessica serves as the Director of Operations for Pressable and spends her days focused on creating the best managed WordPress hosting experience possible. She's been using WordPress since 2008 and has been serving in WordPress-focused roles since 2010. When she's not working, you can find her spending time with her family, serving in her community, watching hilarious dog videos online, or brewing a pitcher of iced tea.