WordPress 5.1

So What’s new in WordPress 5.1?

WordPress releases can sometimes be like London buses. It’s not been long since we reported on the release of WordPress 5.0, or ‘The Big One’, as it was known in many circles, and here we are to write about the latest update, WordPress 5.1, or “Betty”.

If WordPress 5.0 was the battering ram of change for WordPress users, with the introduction of the new content editor, then WordPress 5.1 should be considered as the polish for that battering ram, designed to soften the edges and render things more palatable for all users.

Named after famed jazz vocalist, and Hawaii’s ‘First Lady of Jazz’, Betty Taylor – WordPress 5.1 focuses on improving the customer experience within the new block editor, with some new updates for the Gutenberg editor itself, alongside some performance updates for aspects such as site speed.

Improvements to Gutenberg:

Introduced in the last instalment of WordPress, the block editor is constantly being iterated and improved upon and will continue to do so over the next few iterations, as more users acquaint themselves with the editor and more user feedback is processed. According to reports, The editor should feel a little quicker to start, and typing should feel smoother.

Site health

As part of a drive to increase both site speed and security, Betty showcases a new element to be aware of, WordPress Site Health, which automatically scans your site for outdated versions of PHP (WordPress’ programming language). This is also now the default for whenever a new plugin is added to your site.

Development Tools

A number of tools for WordPress developers/site administrators have been tested, developed and released, with the below taken from WordPress.orgs’ release notes for Betty.

Multi-site meta-data – 5.1 has Introduced a new database to store site-related metadata and allows the storage of any site data related to a network / multiple site environment.

Cron API – The Cron API brings functions to help return data and includes filters for modifying the cron store. Other changes affect cron generation on servers running FastCGI and PHP-FPM 7.0.16 and higher.

New JS builder – WordPress 5.1 has a new JavaScript build option.

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