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WordPress 5.6 “Simone”

Posted December 8, 2020 by Josepha. Filed under Releases.

Meet Simone, our latest and greatest WordPress release. Named for the legendary performer Nina Simone, who is known for tunes like “Feeling Good”, “Young, Gifted and Black”, and “Four Women”. Fire up a playlist with her best work and read on to discover what we have in store for you.

WordPress 5.6 Simone with a photo of Nina Simone

Welcome to WordPress 5.6

Sharing your stories has never been easier.

WordPress 5.6 brings you countless ways to set your ideas free and bring them to life. With a brand-new default theme as your canvas, it supports an ever-growing collection of blocks as your brushes. Paint with words. Pictures. Sound. Or rich embedded media.

colored circles

Greater layout flexibility

Bring your stories to life with more tools that let you edit your layout with or without code. Single column blocks, designs using mixed widths and columns, full-width headers, and gradients in your cover block—make small changes or big statements with equal ease!

More block patterns

In some themes, preconfigured block patterns make setting up standard pages on your site a breeze. Let the power of patterns streamline your workflow and save you clicks. Plus, share these features with clients, editors, and more.

Better video captioning

To help you add subtitles or captions to your videos, you can now upload them within your post or page. This makes it easier than ever to make your videos accessible for anyone who needs or prefers to use subtitles.

black vertical line

Twenty Twenty-One is here!

Examples of block patterns available in Twenty Twenty-One.

Twenty Twenty-One is a blank canvas for your ideas, and the block editor is the best brush. It is built for the block editor and packed with brand-new block patterns you can only get in the default themes. Try different layouts in a matter of seconds, and let the theme’s eye-catching, yet timeless design make your work shine. 

What’s more, this default theme puts accessibility at the heart of your website. It conforms to the WordPress accessibility-ready guidelines and addresses several more specialized standards from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at level AAA. It will help you meet the highest level of international accessibility standards when you create accessible content and choose plugins which are accessible too!

A rainbow of soft pastels

A mobile screenshot of each included color palette in Twenty Twenty-One, going in ROYGBIV order.

Perfect for a new year, Twenty Twenty-One gives you a range of pre-selected color palettes in pastel, all of which conform to AAA standards for contrast. You can also choose your own background color for the theme, and the theme chooses accessibility-conscious text colors for you — automatically!

Need more flexibility than that? You can also choose your own color palette from the color picker.

colored circles

Improvements for everyone

Expanding auto-updates

For years, only developers have been able to update WordPress automatically. But now you have that option, right in your dashboard. If this is your first site, you have auto-updates ready to go, right now! Upgrading an existing site? No problem! Everything is the same as it was before.

Accessibility Statement 

Even if you’re not an expert, you can start letting others know about your site’s commitment to accessibility! The new feature plugin includes template copy for you to edit and publish, and it’s written to support different contexts and jurisdictions.  

Built-in Patterns

If you’ve not had the chance to play with block patterns yet, all default themes now feature a range of block patterns that let you master complex layouts with minimal effort. Customize the patterns to your liking with the copy, images, and colors that fit your story or brand. 

colored and textured rectangles

For developers

REST API authentication with Application Passwords

Thanks to the API’s new Application Passwords authorization feature, third-party apps can connect to your site seamlessly and securely. This new REST API feature lets you see what apps are connecting to your site and control what they do. 

More PHP 8 support

5.6 marks the first steps toward WordPress Core support for PHP 8. Now is a great time to start planning how your WordPress products, services, and sites can support the latest PHP version. For more information about what to expect next, read the PHP 8 developer note.

jQuery

Updates to jQuery in WordPress take place across three releases 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7. As we reach the mid-point of this process, run the update test plugin to check your sites for errors ahead of time.    

If you find issues with the way your site looks ( e.g. a slider doesn’t work, a button is stuck — that sort of thing), install the jQuery Migrate plugin.

Check out the Field Guide

Read about the latest version of WordPress in this guide. It highlights developer notes for each change in the release. 

“It’s a new day, it’s a new life for me….and I’m feeling good.”

~Nina Simone

The Squad

The WordPress 5.6 release comes to you from an all-women and non-binary identifying release squad:  

As always, this release reflects the hard work of 605 generous volunteer contributors. They collaborated on nearly 350 tickets on Trac and over 1,000 pull requests on GitHub.

Özgür KARALAR, 1naveengiri, A5hleyRich, aaribaud, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, aaronrobertshaw, abderrahman, Abha Thakor, Abhijit Rakas, Abhishek Pokhriyal, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Zielinski, Addie, Adrián de Grafreak, Adrianti Rusli, Afshana Diya, Ahmed Chaion, Ahmed Elgameel, Ahmed Saeed, ajensen, Ajit Bohra, Akira Tachibana, aktasfatih, Albert Juhé Lluveras, albertomake, Alex Concha, Alex Kirk, Alex Kozack, Alex Lende, Alex Mills, Alex Standiford, alexstine, allancole, Allie Nimmons, ambienthack, Amit Dudhat, Amol Vhankalas, Amy Kamala, Anand Upadhyay, Anchen le Roux, Anders Norén, André Maneiro, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrei Baicus, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko, Andy Fragen, Andy Peatling, Andy Skelton, Andy Stitt, Angel Hess, Angela Jin, Ankit Gade, Ankit Panchal, Anne McCarthy, Anthony Burchell, Anthony Hortin, Anton Lukin, Antonis Lilis, anuj2, Anyssa Ferreira, apedog, Apermo, archduck, archon810, Ari Stathopoulos, arippberger, arjendejong, ArnaudBan, Arpit G Shah, Arslan Ahmed, Arslan Ahmed Kalwar, Asvin Balloo, Atharva Dhekne, Austin Passy, austin880625, avixansa, ayesh, Ayesh Karunaratne, BackuPs, Barry, Bart Czyz, bartosz777, basscan, bduclos, Beatriz Fialho, Ben Meredith, Bernhard Kau, Bernhard Reiter, Bet Hannon, Beth Soderberg, bgermann, Bhagvan Mangukiya, bhautikvirani, Billy S, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, bobbingwide, BoldGrid, Boone Gorges, Boy Witthaya, Brady Vercher, Brandon Kraft, Brandon Payton, Breann McDede, Brent Miller, Brent Swisher, Brian Henry, Brian Hogg, Bridget Willard, brijeshb42, Bruno Ribaric, Burhan Nasir, Caleb Burks, Calin Don, Cameron Voell, campusboy, Carike, carloscastilloadhoc, Carolina Nymark, Caroline, celendesign, ceyhun0, Chad Reitsma, Chandrika Guntur, Charalampos Papazoglou, Chetan Prajapati, chexwarrior, Chintan hingrajiya, Chip Snyder, Chloé Bringmann, Chouby, Chris Alexander, Chris Van Patten, chriscct7, Christian Martin, Christoph Herr, Christopher Churchill, Christopher Finke, chunkysteveo, Claudiu Lodromanean, Clayton Collie, Collins Agbonghama, Commeuneimage, Copons, Corey Salzano, cranewest, Csaba (LittleBigThings), ctmartin, Dávid Szabó, Daisy Olsen, Dan Farrow, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, danieltj, dantahoua, Darin Kotter, Dave McHale, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Baumwald, David Gwyer, David Herrera, David Shanske, David Smith, David Wolfpaw, david.binda, Davis Shaver, dbtedg, dd32, Dean, Debabrata Karfa, Dee Teal, Deepak Lalwani, dekervit, demetris (Demetris Kikizas), Denis de Bernardy, Denis Yanchevskiy, Derek Herman, Designer023, dfenton, Dharmesh Patel, Dharmin Shah, Dhruvin, Dhul Wells, dietpawel, Dilip Bheda, dingo-d, DjZoNe, dogwithblog, Dominik Schilling, donmhico, donsony, Dossy Shiobara, dpacks, Dr. Ronny Harbich, dratwas, Drew Jaynes, dsifford, dushakov, dushanthi, Earle Davies, Ebonie Butler, Edi Amin, Ella van Durpe, Ellen Bauer, Enej Bajgorić, Enrique Sánchez, epiqueras, Erik Betshammar, erikjandelange, Erin 'Folletto' Casali, eringoblog, eroraghav, Estela Rueda, etoledom, EugeneBos, Evan Mullins, Evangelos Athanasiadis, Fabian, Fabian Kägy, Fabian Todt, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Ferenc Forgacs, Florian TIAR, flymike, Francesca Marano, Frank Klein, Frankie Jarrett, fullofcaffeine, Gan Eng Chin, Garrett Hyder, Gary Cao, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, gchtr, Gennady Kovshenin, George, George Stephanis, geriux, gKibria, Glauber Mota, glendaviesnz, goldenapples, Greg Ziółkowski, guidooffermans, gumacahin, H-var, hakre, happiryu, Hareesh, Haris Zulfiqar, harrym, harshbarach, Hauwa Abashiya, Haz, Helen Hou-Sandí, Henry Wright, Herre Groen, hmabpera, HoaSi, Hong Nga Nguyen, Howdy_McGee, Hugh Lashbrooke, Ian Dunn, ibiza69, ifnoob, Igor Radovanov, Imran Sayed, ingereck, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), iqbalbary, Irene Strikkers, Isabel Brison, Ismail El Korchi, jagirbaheshwp, Jake Spurlock, Jake Whiteley, James Collins, James Huff, James Koster, James Nylen, James Rosado, jameslnewell, Jan Thiel, Janvo Aldred, Jared Cobb, Jason Caldwell, Jason LeMahieu (MadtownLems), Jason Ryan, javorszky, Jaydip Rami, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Matson, Jeff Ong, Jeff Paul, jeffikus, jellypixel, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Scott, Jeremy Yip, Jeroen Rotty, jeryj, Jeslen Bucci, Jessica Lyschik, jfoulquier, jimyaghi, Jip Moors, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joel Yoder, joelclimbsthings, Joen Asmussen, Johanna de Vos, John Blackbourn, John Godley, John James Jacoby, Jon Brown, Jonathan Bossenger, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Stegall, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, jordesign, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, joseaneto, Josepha Haden, Josh Levinson, Josh Pollock, joshuatf, JOTAKI, Taisuke, Joy, jsnajdr, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Junaid Bhura, Justin Ahinon, justlevine, K. Adam White, Kai, Kai Hao, Kailey (trepmal), Kalpesh Akabari, Karthik Bhat, Kaspars, Kelly Dwan, Kelly Hoffman, Kelly R, kellybleck, kellylawrence, Kerry Liu, Kevin Hagerty, Kharis Sulistiyono, Kipperlenny, Kiril Zhelyazkov, Kirsty Burgoine, Kishan Jasani, Kite, KittMedia, kjbenk, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, komagain, Konrad Chmielewski, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Krupa, Kyle B. Johnson, landau, Larissa Murillo, latifi, Laura Byrne, Laura Nelson, Laxman Prajapati, leogermani, Lester Chan, Leutrim Husaj, lim3ra, Lionel Pointet, litemotiv, llizard, Louis, Luca Grandicelli, lucasbustamante, Luigi Cavalieri, Luke Cavanagh, Lumne, mager19, Maggie Cabrera, magnuswebdesign, Mahdi Akrami, Mahesh Waghmare, mailnew2ster, Mainul Hassan Main, majhajob, malinajirka, Manzur Ahammed, manzwebdesigns, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marie Comet, Marijn Koopman, Marin Atanasov, Marius Jensen, Mark Jaquith, Mark Parnell, Mark Robson, Mark Smallman, Mark Uraine, Marko Heijnen, markshep, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, Mateus Machado Luna, Mathieu Viet, Matias Ventura, Matt Cromwell, Matt Gibson, Matt Keys, Matt Mullenweg, Matt Wiebe, mattchowning, Matthias Pfefferle, mattoperry, Maxime Pertici, Mayank Majeji, Meagan Hanes, Meg Phillips, Meher Bala, Mel Choyce-Dwan, mgol, mgrenierfarmmedia, Michael Arestad, Michael Babker, Michael Beckwith, Michele Butcher-Jones, Michelle Frechette, Miguel Fonseca, mihdan, Mike Schroder, mikelopez, Mikey Arce, Milan Dinić, Milana Cap, Mitchell Bennis, mmarco9, Mohammad Jangda, Monika Rao, mopsyd, Morgan Estes, Morgan Kay, Morteza Geransayeh, mqudsi, mreishus, mrgrt, mrjoeldean, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, musicaljoeker, mweichert, n5hzr, Nabil Moqbel, Nalini Thakor, Naoki Ohashi, Naoko Takano, Nate Gay, Nathan Johnson, Navanath Bhosale, Naveen Kharwar, Neil James (lcyh78), nendeb, net, Netravnen, NicolasKulka, nicomollet, Nidhi Jain, Niels Lange, Nik Tsekouras, Nikola, Nikolay Bachiyski, njbrown, nlpro, Noah Allen, noahshrader, nourma, oakesjosh, oguzkocer, Olga Gleckler, Omar Alshaker, Omar Reiss, oolleegg55, Optimizing Matters, Ov3rfly, ovann86, ovenall, oxyc, Paal Joachim Romdahl, pabloselin, Paddy, Pankaj Mohale, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Casier, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Bunkham, Paul Schreiber, Paul Stonier, Paul Von Schrottky, Pedro Mendonça, pentatonicfunk, pepe, Peter Elmered, Peter Smits, Peter Wilson, Phil Johnston, Pierre Gordon, Pilar Mera, Pinar, Piotrek Boniu, pishmishy, pkvillanueva, prashanttholia, Pratik K. Yadav, Prem Tiwari, Presskopp, presstoke, prionkor, psealock, Puneet Sahalot, Q, Rachel Baker, Rajan Vijayan, rajeshsingh520, Rami Yushuvaev, Ravi Vaghela, ravipatel, rebasaurus, redstar504, Regan Khadgi, Rene Hermenau, retlehs, retrofox, riaanlom, Riad Benguella, Rich Tabor, Richard Tape, Rnaby, Robert Anderson, Robert Chapin, Rodrigo Arias, Rodrigo Primo, roger995, rogerlos, roikles, Rolf Siebers, Ronak Ganatra, roo2, rtagliento, Ryan Fredlund, Ryan Kienstra, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Sören Wrede, Sabrina Zeidan, Saeed Fard, salvoaranzulla, Sam Fullalove, Sam Webster, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sanjeev Aryal, Saqib Ameen, Sarah Ricker, sarayourfriend, sawanoboly, scarolan, Scott Cariss, Scott Reilly, scribu, scruffian, seanpaulrasmussen, Sebastian Pisula, SeBsZ, Senning, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, SergioEstevao, shaunandrews, Shawntelle Coker, Shital Marakana, shramee, Simon Resok, sirreal, Slava Abakumov, smerriman, snapfractalpop, sproutchris, Stéphane Treilhou, Stanko Metodiev, Stefano Garuti, Stephen Bernhardt, Steve Dufresne, Steven Stern (sterndata), stevenlinx, Stoyan Georgiev, sudoshreyansh, Syed Balkhi, szaqal21, t-p, Takashi Kitajima, Tammie Lister, Tanvirul Haque, TeBenachi, techboyg5, Tellyworth, thefarlilacfield, Thelma Mutete, thib3113, thijsvanloef, Thomas M, Thomas Patrick Levy, thomaslhotta, thorlentz, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, Timi Wahalahti, Timothy Jacobs, TimoTijhof, Tkama, tmdesigned, TobiasBg, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Toni Viemerö, Tony A, Tonya Mork, tonysandwich, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul I Chowdhury, tracy apps, transl8or, treibstoff, Trisha Cornelius, Tung Du, tzafrir, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Valentin Bora, Varun Sharma, vcanales, vidhiaddweb, Vinayak Anivase, Vinita Tandulkar, Vinny, virgodesign, Vlad T., WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, Webmigrates Technologies, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Winstina Hughes, wittich, worldedu, worldweb, Y_Kolev, Yan Sern, Yoav Farhi, yscik, Yui, Yvette Sonneveld, and Zebulan Stanphill.

In addition, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time, or they’ve been around since the first release all the way back in 2003. These releases are as successful as they are because of their efforts!

Finally, thanks to all the community translators who helped make WordPress 5.6. available in 38 languages at the time of release. Our community translators are hard at work ensuring more languages are on their way (70 are already at 90%). If contributing to WordPress appeals to you, it’s easy to learn more. Check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.

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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