Get ready for the upcoming release of WordPress 6.5 by testing Beta 2

Get ready for the upcoming release of WordPress 6.5 by testing Beta 2

The highly anticipated release of WordPress 6.5 is just around the corner, set to officially launch on March 26, 2024. But why wait until then to discover all the exciting new features and improvements? Beta 2 of WordPress 6.5 has been released, giving users the opportunity to test out the system and provide valuable feedback to ensure a smooth and bug-free final release.

To get started with the beta testing, users can try out WordPress Playground, a browser-based WordPress instance that comes pre-installed with additional plugins and test content. This allows users to explore the latest beta version without having to set up their own testing environment.

So, what can users expect to find in WordPress 6.5? Let’s take a closer look at some of the key updates and improvements.

Performance and Accessibility

One of the major focuses of WordPress 6.5 is enhancing performance and accessibility. The developers have listened to user feedback and made over 110 performance-related updates, resulting in improved loading speeds across the Post and Site Editor.

For example, typing speed has been significantly increased, with a decrease in latency from 60ms to just 15ms. Additionally, the loading time for the first block has been reduced from 20 seconds to 8.4 seconds, making the editing experience much smoother. Translated sites also benefit from improved load times, thanks to the merging of Performant Translations into Core.

Accessibility has also been prioritized in this release, with over 65 accessibility improvements made. These include fixes to contrast settings, cursor focus, submenus, positioning of elements, and more. WordPress is committed to achieving Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 compliance and has taken significant steps towards this goal.

Design and Customization

WordPress 6.5 introduces a range of design, UI, and UX enhancements to give users even more control over their websites. Some of these improvements include:

– Background image support in Group blocks, with options for backgroundSize and backgroundRepeat.
– AspectRatio support for the Cover block, allowing for better control of image proportions.
– Box-shadow support for the Column, Columns, Image, and Button blocks, giving users more styling options.
– The ability to rename blocks in List View, making it easier to manage and organize content.
– Custom WordPress contextual menus, overriding the default right-click behavior.
– Improved drag-and-drop experience throughout the Editor.
– Synced Patterns override for the Paragraph, Image, Heading, and Button blocks, making it easier to reuse content.
– New Meta Views in the Site Editor, supporting Grid layouts, sorting, and smart filters.
– Better Revisions in the Site Editor’s Styles and Style Book sidebar.

These updates provide users with greater flexibility and creative freedom when designing their websites.

Shiny New Features

One of the most exciting features of WordPress 6.5 is the introduction of the Block Bindings API. This API allows block attributes to be connected to values obtained from different sources, expanding the capabilities of existing blocks. For example, it enables users to display the content of a Post Author without needing a separate block for it.

The Block Bindings API powers the Synced Patterns feature and allows for the connection of custom fields to block attributes. While the list of supported blocks and attributes is currently limited, this is just the beginning of what can be achieved with this powerful API. Developers can explore its possibilities and learn more about it in Justin Tadlock’s tutorial on the WordPress Developer Blog.

Another exciting addition is the Font Library, also known as the WordPress font manager. Users will no longer need to write code or install plugins to manage fonts on their websites. The Font Library allows users to upload, install from Google Fonts, activate, and manage fonts directly within the WordPress Editor. It is theme-agnostic and can be accessed through the Styles sidebar. Developers can also access the Font Library programmatically and create custom Font Collections for their users.

Lastly, the Interactivity API introduces new possibilities for creating interactive elements on WordPress websites. Developers can explore the Interactivity API by checking out the WP Movies demo project on GitHub, which showcases some of its capabilities.

Now is the time to get involved and test out WordPress 6.5 Beta 2. Whether you’re a user or a developer, your feedback is invaluable in ensuring a successful final release. So, head over to WordPress Playground and start exploring the exciting new features. Don’t forget to report any bugs you encounter along the way. The future of WordPress is in your hands!

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