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WordPress 5.2 Release Candidate

Posted April 26, 2019 by Josepha. Filed under Development, Releases.

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.2 is now available!

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the WordPress 5.2 release date. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.2 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 7, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.2 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 release candidate: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

What’s in WordPress 5.2?

Continuing with the theme from the last release, WordPress 5.2 gives you even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.

The Site Health Check and PHP Error Protection tools have brand new features, giving you peace of mind if you discover any issues with plugins or themes on your site. There are also updates to the icons available in your dashboard, fresh accessibility considerations for anyone using assistive technologies and more.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.2 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.2. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.2 Field Guide has also been published, which goes into the details of the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


Howdy, RC 1!
With tools this interesting,
I can hardly wait.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 3

Posted April 12, 2019 by Jonathan Desrosiers. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 3 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

There are two ways to test the latest WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 2, nearly 40 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes:

  • The new Site Health feature has continued to be refined.
  • Plugins no longer update if a site is running an unsupported version of PHP (see #46613).
  • It’s now more apparent when a site is running in Recovery Mode (see #46608).
  • The distraction free button no longer breaks keyboard navigation in the Classic Editor (see #46640).
  • Assistive technologies do a better job of announcing admin bar sub menus (see #37513).
  • Subject lines in WordPress emails are now more consistent (see #37940).
  • Personal data exports now only show as completed when a user downloads their data (see #44644).
  • Plus more improvements to accessibility (see #35497 and #42853).

Minimum PHP Version Update

Important reminder: as of WordPress 5.2 beta 2, the minimum PHP version that WordPress will require is 5.6.20. If you’re running an older version of PHP, we highly recommend updating it now, before WordPress 5.2 is officially released.

Developer Notes

WordPress 5.2 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! The beta 3 release also marks the soft string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


Would you look at that
each day brings release closer
test to be ready
.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 2

Posted April 9, 2019 by Gary Pendergast. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 1, nearly 100 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes:

  • We’ve added support for Emoji 12! 🪂
  • A brand-new wp_body_open() template tag (and corresponding wp_body_open action) will let themes (and plugins!) add content right after the <body> is opened (#12563).
  • Superfluous paragraph tags will no longer incorrectly appear in dynamic block content (#45495).
  • The Site Health screens have received several bug fixes, tweaks, and performance improvements.
  • Crash Protection no longer interrupts plugin editing (#46045).
  • Custom error handlers now load correctly (#46069).

Minimum PHP Version Update

As of WordPress 5.2 beta 2, the minimum PHP version that WordPress will require is 5.6.20. If you’re running an older version of PHP, we highly recommend updating it now, before WordPress 5.2 is officially released.

Developer Notes

WordPress 5.2 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.


The wonderful thing
about betas, is betas
are wonderful things.
🐯

Minimum PHP Version update

Posted April 1, 2019 by Aaron Jorbin. Filed under Development.

WordPress 5.2 is targeted for release at the end of this month, and with it comes an update to the minimum required version of PHP. WordPress will now require a minimum of PHP 5.6.20.

Beginning in WordPress 5.1, users running PHP versions below 5.6 have had a notification in their dashboard that includes information to help them update PHP. Since then, the WordPress stats have shown an increase in users on more recent versions of PHP.


Screenshot of the "PHP Update Required" widget from the WordPress dashboard. Contains information about detecting an insecure version of PHP, how it affects your site, and a link for information on upgrading.
The dashboard widget users see if running an outdated version of PHP

Why You Should Update PHP

If your site is running on an unsupported version of PHP, the WordPress updater will not offer WordPress 5.2 to your site. If you attempt to update WordPress manually, that update will fail. To continue using the latest features of WordPress you must update to a newer version of PHP.

When updating to a new version of PHP, WordPress encourages updating to its recommended version, PHP 7.3. The PHP internals team has done a great job making its most recent version the fastest version of PHP yet. This means that updating will improve the speed of your site, both for you and your visitors.

This performance increase also means fewer servers are needed to host websites. Updating PHP isn’t just good for your site, it also means less energy is needed for the 1-in-3 sites that use WordPress, so it’s good for the planet.

How to Update PHP

If you need help updating to a new version of PHP, detailed documentation is available. This includes sample communication to send to your host for them to assist you. Many hosting companies have published information on how to update PHP that is specific for them.

5.6 now, but soon 7+

This is the first increase in PHP required version for WordPress since 2010, but may not be the only increase in 2019. The WordPress core team will monitor the adoption of the most recent versions of PHP with an eye towards making PHP 7+ the minimum version towards the end of the year.

Update PHP today, so you can update WordPress tomorrow!

The Month in WordPress: March 2019

Posted by Hugh Lashbrooke. Filed under Month in WordPress.

WordPress reached a significant milestone this month. With some exciting developments in Core, an interesting new proposal, and the return of a valuable global event, March was certainly an interesting time.


WordPress Now Powers One-Third of the Web

WordPress’ market share has been steadily increasing, and as of halfway through this month, it powers over one-third of the top 10 million sites on the web (according to W3Techs, which tracks usage statistics for all major web platforms).

This growth of WordPress is only made possible by the large team of volunteers working to build the project and community. If you would like to get involved in building the future of WordPress, then check out the Make network for a contributor team that fits your skill set.

WordPress 5.2 is on the Way

WordPress 5.1.1 was released this month, with 14 fixes and enhancements, and the Core team is now focusing on the next major release, version 5.2. This release will include some great new features, along with the latest updates to the block editor.

One of the most anticipated new features is the improved fatal error detection – this was removed from v5.1 shortly before release so that it could be improved and made more secure for this release. Along with that, PHP 5.6 is going to become the minimum required PHP version for WordPress, a significant step towards a more modern web and updated coding standards.

WordPress 5.2 is now in beta and you can test it by installing the Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Proposal for a Central Block Directory

With blocks becoming the new way to manage content in WordPress, more and more types of blocks are being developed to cater for different use cases and content types. In an effort to make it easier for content creators to find these block types, there is a proposal for a new type of plugin and a directory to handle it.

The proposal outlines a new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks and nothing else, named Single Block Plugins. The primary benefit would be to provide content creators with individual pieces of functionality and new types of blocks without the need to search for and install new plugins.

The Single Block Plugins would be hosted in a separate Block Directory section of the Plugin Directory and they would initially be JavaScript-based. Each plugin will register a single block, and they will be searchable and installable from within the editor itself. This puts blocks at the publishers’ fingertips — you no longer have to leave the editor to find them.

Want to get involved in shaping this new type of plugin? Join in the conversation on the proposal post, follow the Meta team blog, and join the #meta channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Global WordPress Translation Day is Back

On 11 May 2019, the fourth Global WordPress Translation Day will take place. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from core to themes, plugins to marketing.

Over the course of 24 hours, WordPress communities will meet to translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org. During the last Global WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries, and even more communities are expected to take part this time.

Want to get involved in the Global WordPress Translation Day? Find out how to organize a local event, apply to be a speaker, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Gutenberg Development Continues

With the block editor in WordPress Core, the team has been able to focus on adding some frequently requested features. Version 5.3 of Gutenberg,  released this month, includes a new block manager modal, the ability to nest different elements in the cover block, and some UI tweaks to improve the hover state of blocks.

Want to get involved in developing Gutenberg? Check out the GitHub repository and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.


Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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