It’s a big week for WordPress users! With the release of WordPress 6.0 today, the popular content management system will debut new features and enhancements.
WordPress 6.0 promises new tools to make sitewide editing easier. But like any major release, new features could impact your existing site themes, designs, and plugins.
In this guide, we break down what you can expect from 6.0 and how to prepare your site to upgrade to the latest WordPress version.
What is the Current Version of WordPress?
WordPress released version 5.9 in January 2022, with the most recent version, 5.9.3, debuting in April.
To see what version of WordPress your site uses, log in to your WordPress admin and click on “Dashboard” and then “Updates.”
If you use a managed WordPress hosting service like Pressable, you can also find this information inside your hosting account.
What’s New in WordPress 6.0?
With the introduction of the Gutenberg editor, WordPress started transitioning to more visual editing capabilities. The release of WordPress 6.0 builds on that foundation to make the Gutenberg blocks even more flexible. Here’s an overview of what to look forward to in this new version.
Global Style Switching
Global Style Switching allows you to apply a different style to a page or post without changing themes. If you’ve changed your phone from light to dark mode, this feature works the same way. You can easily apply a different skin to your site. The global style settings will include fonts, colors, and other CSS settings. You can use this option to create a unique look for different sections of your website or when you need to quickly switch your entire site’s style while keeping the same theme.
New Blocks and Template Options
The new version expands how you can use blocks to design and build pages with options for new content types and new templates. Instead of writing custom code or relying on your theme templates, you can use these new blocks.
WordPress 6.0 will include new blocks for:
- Post comments
- Read more
- No results in query loop
- Post author biography
Additionally, you’ll be able to use blocks to edit five more templates:
This release of WordPress also includes new editing options that make using blocks easier.
Enhancements in the release of WordPress 6.0 include:
- Selecting Text Across Multiple Blocks. Easily highlight and edit text across multiple blocks instead of editing each block separately.
- Retain Styles. When transforming a block to a different type or creating new buttons, you can keep custom styles in place.
- List View Improvements. Hold the shift key and click to select multiple blocks to modify simultaneously. You also can see your content at a glance with a collapsed view.
- Block Locking. You now have the option to prevent a block from being moved, deleted, or both.
Improved Design Tools
The newest version of WordPress provides much-needed and requested enhancements to block design tools, including:
- Responsive Layout Options for Group Blocks. Pick how you want blocks to display based on screen size, either stacked or in a row.
- Color Panel. An all-new color panel and transparency options will make it easier to style blocks exactly the way you want.
- Gallery Spacing. Customize the spacing between images in a gallery block.
- Featured Image Cover Block. You can now set the cover block to use the post’s featured image. If you update the featured image, the image in the cover block will change as well.
What is the Release Date for WordPress 6.0?
So when can you expect all these exciting changes? WordPress 6.0 is scheduled for release today. You can download and install a beta or release candidate version if you want to get a sneak peek of the new version. Your host may offer an easy way to switch to these versions, or you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. To manually install the test version, download the latest version from the WordPress beta releases page.
What Will the Changes Mean for Pressable Clients?
Pressable hosting includes automatic updates for WordPress core files. Within 24 hours of the official release of a new version, all Pressable sites will receive an automatic update.
Pressable makes testing your site on beta releases of WordPress easy. All Pressable accounts have the option to switch to the beta version. We recommend using a test or staging site, so you can check third-party themes, plugins, and custom code to make sure they’re all compatible with the pending release of WordPress 6.0. WordPress doesn’t recommend using beta versions on live sites. For more details, read this step-by-step guide to testing a WordPress beta version.
What Changes Do Sites Need to Make to Get Ready for WordPress 6.0?
As with any WordPress update, the most likely culprits for issues on your site are your theme and plugins. Testing the beta version of the new version of WordPress on a staging site ensures you have a chance to address any compatibility issues before updating your live site.
WordPress 6.0 builds on the full site editing features released in version 6.0. To take advantage of many of these features and the new ones in version 6.0, you’ll need a Block Theme. Not all plugins, especially if you’re using page builders, are compatible with block-related features. You’ll want to test any new Block Themes on a staging site as well.
The Pressable Difference with WordPress Hosting
At Pressable, we promise to take care of ensuring your WordPress websites are running at their absolute best, so you can focus on growing your business and living your best life. Downloading and installing beta versions of WordPress is time-consuming and, to be honest, quite a bore. With Pressable, you can spin up a test site with the latest beta releases of WordPress within a couple of clicks. Try Pressable for free 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.