The first major update for the year 2021 was rolled out on March 9, 2021. Thanks to the WordPress community around the world who thrives and put effort to keep updating and improving WordPress that is used by millions of users. The latest version i.e. WordPress 5.7 “Esperenza” is a major update for many reasons.
In this article, we have compiled all the major and minor changes for the new version of WordPress and its implications for the users so stay tight and keep reading.
The features included in the new version of WordPress can be divided into two categories one is the Back-end updates that deals with change in functionalities of working of WordPress and next are changes in the block editor of WordPress that makes the developers task easier and better.
Technical or Back-end Updates:
1. Migration from HTTP to HTTPS made easier :
Providing security features like HTTPS is a necessity now because Google considers an HTTPS website more reliable and hence rewards the websites with HTTPS better for SEO. The process for migrating the website from HTTP to HTTPS is quite tedious as you have to change the instance of HTTP to HTTPS and this at some places might involve coding or doing some tweaks.
You require an SSL certificate for your website if you want to migrate to HTTPS. SSL certificates can be a costly affair sometimes but if you are a beginner and just looking for a cheap and effective fix you can set up a Cloudflare free SSL certificate. For setting up this certificate you need to follow few steps install few Plugins. Please read this article to set up the Cloudflare SSL certificate. Setting up a free Cloudflare SSL certificate.
Now if you have an SSL certificate installed on your website you can change the URL of the site address to HTTPS and migrate traffic from HTTP to HTTPS.
However by doing these. changes still some of the content like pictures or video will still load over HTTP because it is hardcoded in the database. In WordPress 5.7 under the site health feature, you can now just migrate all the traffic from HTTP to HTTPS even the photos and videos with just a click of a button. It changes all the Database URLs to the HTTPS version.
The button to change the settings from HTTP to HTTPS is available under this site health feature. This button enables you to access the magic button that we all are waiting for!.
With this update, mixed content warnings are very likely to be resolved.
2. Lazy Loading iFrames:
If you are not aware of the lazy-load feature of WordPress then let me brief you on this, It is a technique that is used to delay the loading of any image preview so that it loads only when the user views it. This is done to improve the performance of the WordPress website.
Lazy loading helps to improve Core Web Vitals that is also a very important SEO parameter, you can know more about it here: Google core web vitals
With WordPress 5.7 major release Lazy loading will be implemented by default even to the iframe embeds that are used to view any content fetched from some other site or to view a video on a website in an iframe. So any plugins or embed like youtube that uses iframe will be lazy-loaded by default.
3. Changes in robots.txt:
With WordPress 5.7 the new Robots API will allow developers to manage robot meta tags on a page. new function i.e. wp_robots allows you to filter results that are displayed on your WordPress website, i.e. you can control if the images displayed on your websites are to be viewed in large or not.
search engines like google discover will view your images in large previews for your website’s search results. Properly optimized site structure is very much necessary from an SEO point of view and the robot.txt file is a way of controlling the crawler’s activity on your website. Hence this is a good chance to look forward to. If you want more details on the robot.txt file you can visit the robots.txt guide.
4. Migration to Jquery 3.5.1:
Last but not least the final functional change in new releases is the upgrading to the latest version of Jquery. With this migration to the latest version of jquery, you need to make sure that all the plugins that you are using are updated to the latest version if they make use of jquery.
you might need to make changes to the code of your website if they make use of jquery. If you are not an avid user of jquery then this new update might not affect the functionalities of your website.
The new update for Jquery comes with many security enhancements, developer-friendly coding, and other features which WordPress was trying to implement since its previous update.
Updates in the WordPress block editor:
The WordPress block editor is the place where developer spends most of the time creating posts and pages. All the editing work on the Gutenberg block editor is carried in line with the themes used by different users.
With every new update, there are always UI changes and new controls are introduced to the editor section. So WordPress 5.7 has also brought in some new exciting and cool features for all the editors out there so stay tight and keep reading:
1. Drag and Drop Block inserter:
WordPress 5.7 now gives you the liberty to simply drag and drop blocks using the block inserter tool. This simplifies the process of managing vertical alignments and height alignments for any block as you will be aware of where the block will be inserted before you drop it.
2. Improvements in Button block features:
With WordPress 5.7 there are a couple of good chances in the Button block. Now you can set the width of the button in percentage. The percentage here refers to the parent container. You can set the width to 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% as per your requirement.
Now users can also choose a vertical alignment of buttons and not just horizontal. Users can toggle from horizontal to vertical alignments this will arrange all the buttons in a vertical fashion and not horizontal on any posts or page.
3. Social icons block variations added:
Now you can add social icons of different sizes and colors. For any social icon, you can select a color from the color palette of the theme. you can also select 4 different sizes i.e small, medium, large and huge from the drop-down menu. The same menu block also provides the colors support where you can select custom colors for your social icons.
4. Added font size support in more blocks:
Now users can use custom font sizes in the listed block and code blocks. A typography card is available in both the blocks from which the user can select a size from the standard available sizes or else the user can also mention the custom size in pixels under the custom tab.
You can change the size to default by clicking on the reset link button.
5. Full height blocks added:
You might be already using full-width blocks to make stunning covers for your website but here is good news for all of you now WordPress allows you to insert full-height blocks. This feature was first added with Gutenberg however now it is merged with core and implemented in cover blocks.
There is a toggle icon on the left top corner that allows you to toggle and add full-height images for your cover pages.
6. New color palette:
The new color palette is much more simplified in design it is a streamlined color palette that offers colors in different shades to choose from. Any color starts with the lightest shade i.e. white and gets darker with the same intensity and gradually turns black. WordPress is adding custom CSS settings that can help to easily add custom colors.
The color palette is displayed in a horizontal layout and you need to select the color of your choice, Now there is no need to write a custom code for introducing different shades.
With every update, many new features are included that might not be helpful to every user using WordPress. Many times new updates might affect the working of the current system because of changes in the core functionalities of WordPress for which you might require to update all your plugins or many times change some coding.
The only thing constant in today’s world is Change, being a WordPress site owner or developer it is always difficult to keep the site working in a smooth manner, and getting proper knowledge about WordPress is also a difficult task. you can contact us for auditing your website or just maintaining any WordPress website. for any WordPress help anytime, anywhere you can contact us here.