WordPress 5.2 (Update): What's new for your website?Nick Spaulding
Why should you have the latest version of WordPress 5.2?
Around five years ago working with WordPress, there was a lot of resistance to the CMS from clients. The main push back was around the security domain. By that time, WordPress was fast becoming the world’s most popular CMS platform taking Security seriously.
As WordPress is the popular choice used for CMS to create alluring, efficient and quality websites. What comes next is the best part, the regular updates offered to the developers. Everyone knows the significance of this CMS when it comes to website development. But Security is arguably the imperative why you should keep your WordPress website up-to-date.
One of the reason to count that makes it vulnerable to security attack is - it’s so big. WordPress currently powers up a quarter of the internet in the world. Due to its dense popularity, it attracts the attention of anyone wanting to insert malicious code, steal data, or even take the sites down.
WordPress keep it a regular practice to launch regular updates for making your website more secure against the illicit practice. Since WordPress is an open source, anyone can learn the code and improve it. However, hackers can also study it and find alternative ways to breach into websites. But, the very size of WordPress and the community of its user and developer, it is also an asset.
Security susceptibility is tracked down and resolved whether via WordPress Site or alerting a plugin developer. This implies to WordPress core as well as to the plugins, as they release a WordPress update and fixes the issue. This point towards that if you are not using the updated version, you are probably using software with a known security vulnerability. Hackers can find the websites running on an older version, and you may become victim to the sophisticated attack.
You need to make sure that all your plugins, themes, and the core itself are up-to-date.
So, if you are still wondering why is it essential to keep your site up-to-date, there are four other main reasons for keeping your website up-to-date, which are:
WordPress updates are not just for security. Mostly, they will improvise the work efficiency and performance of the WordPress websites, or a plugin or a theme.
Let’s understand with an example, WordPress 4.1 includes improvements for complex queries to improvise the performance of the sites working on these, and simultaneously WordPress 3.9 includes enhancements for TinyMCE performance. Even, plugins also get an update to improve performance, perhaps to accelerate queries or scripts or run more efficiently.
Since speed is an essential factor in SEO, you should make it mandatory to update your site. Therefore, keeping your WordPress version and plugins update will help your site to perform impeccably well.
2. New Features
Matching the pace with the latest WordPress update also gives you access to new features. For instance, the latest release of WordPress has included significant advancements for the user interface of the admin screen mounted with accessibility improvements. Plugins are also in the list. Keeping them up-to-date gives you access to the latest goodies.
3. Compatibility (Or Sometimes NOT)
Besides a major WordPress release, many of the plugins are going to get an update to ensure compatibility with the new features or to use newly added features. Many times, a specific plugin doesn’t need any update as it remains compatible, but it’s the sole responsibility of the developer to check whether it’s consistent and update its own information in the plugin repository.
Often, you may find an update or a plugin having compatibility concerns with other plugins, which make it necessary to check the site before updating.
4. Bug Fixes
Alongside with WordPress security updates, a reason for minor WordPress release (including the one with X.X.X version number, instead of X.X which was a major release) is to eliminate bugs.
The big releases are counted to be very consistent and bug-free, all the thanks to the excellent development cycle and numerous people helping with testing. But sometimes a bug slips in, and a minor release come to quick-fix. For example, the release of 3.8.3 fixed a bug with the “Quick Draft” tool which was broken.
As, WordPress 5.2 is Still Under Development, which means some features won’t be able to make it to the final. So, let’s take a look at some of “The Upcoming Features Of WordPress 5.2”
1. Block Editor Update
WordPress 5.2 edition continue to have some added new features and enhancements to the block editor.
a. Performance Advancement
The latest release of WordPress 5.2 is marked with significant performance improvements. It will possibly cut-down 35% off the load time for massive or significant posts. WordPress 5.2 will also cut the keypress time in half, which would definitely make it feel way more responsive the time user is typing.
b. Accessibility Advancement
The core motive of WordPress is to emulate publishing and on the same note, make the software accessible for all users across horizons. The latest WordPress release will proffer various accessibility improvements to the block editor tool.
c. Debut Of New Blocks
WordPress 5.2 also introduces the following new blocks in the default editor. Few among them were already available as Widgets, but now it is possible to use them in posts and pages both.
Calendar block – It displays a calendar of your regular blog posts allowing users to click on a particular date and have a look at the posts published on that day.
RSS block – It will provide a comfortable hand to fetch and display any RSS feed in your WordPress posts and pages, respectively.
Amazon Kindle embed block – It will allow you to include content from Amazon Kindle.
Tag Cloud block – It displays the tag cloud in your content.
2. Improved Fatal Error Protection
The frequently encountered WordPress errors are usually fatal errors. These errors stop users from accessing the admin dashboard.
the users are then required to undo changes with the help of an FTP client or put a request asking their hosting company for support.
The commence of WordPress 5.2 introduces a new recovery mode for site administrators. In scenarios of a fatal error comes up, you can see a message that ‘This site is experiencing technical difficulties’. WordPress then sends an email to the mentioned admin email address with a unique login link.
Using that link, the user will be able to login to the WordPress admin area. Afterwards, the user has access to undo any changes that may have initiated the fatal error.This feature will be a boon for many beginners who find such demurs quite challenging for fixing such errors.
3. A New Advent Of Block Manager Tool
By default, the block editor tool arrived with several default blocks. You may also have plugins and themes that add on their own blocks to.
Nevertheless, the reality is that you will probably not going to use all those blocks. Mostly, users usually stick to their conventional handful of blocks for writing all their content.
The introduction of WordPress 5.2 with a new block management tool, will allow you to hide blocks that you no more want to use.
4. The Minimal PHP Version Requirement
WordPress is used by millions of people around the world, using different hosting companies and the environment. This is why WordPress is still supporting some older PHP version, which is a bit tedious work. Users are not even familiar that they can improve the performance of their websites by working on the new PHP version.
WordPress 5.2 will set the current minimum requirement of PHP 5.6. Which is considered an older version (the current stable version is PHP 7.3.2). The core motive stays to increase the minimum required PHP version with future releases gradually for PHP error protection.
At the time, the user will get notified of the older PHP version that they are working and need to update it.
The Next Step “How To Update”
In the year 2013, WordPress was enough kind to provide an “Automated Update”. This is not globally applied, rather will only be seen with minor release or non-frequent plugins or sometimes themes update that needs urgently pushing out.
Whereas, all other major WordPress updates whether it be plugins or themes, need to be processed by you. And, if you want to shoulder yourself off from the responsibility of doing that - or possibly in other words, don’t want to compromise your website’s safety, here is what you need to do:
1. Lineup Backups
We, know it's not possible to manually process each update, but similarly, it's essential to have regular backups saved to your site. You can do this by using a reliable backup and restore plugin. This approach will ensure that you have something to brace on in case something goes wrong during the process of automatic WordPress update.
2. Automate With A Plugin
The time you log into Wordpress and look out for the little notifications at the top of the screen that carries a message "You have updates waiting."
You can instead use a plugin to scrutinize the work for you. Easy updates Manager is a free plugin available that you can use either on a single WordPress website or for a full Multisite network.
After you have installed the plugin, you need to configure the setting in compliance with it.
Pay close attention to the General Settings tab as well. While at the top part of the page provides you with the ability to set universal controls over and see what is automated and what’s not, simultaneously in the bottom section you might find the particular things useful as well.
And don’t wear a cold shoulder at Advanced Settings before you save and shut up the configuration page. But, if you have multiple users who already have rights to your site and you don’t want them to have complete control over these settings, you can accommodate access levels there.
3. Robotize Your Workflow
Instead of aligning with one plugin to handle all the backups, why not to rely on one tool that consists all that automation into one? ManageWP is the right fit for this as it enables you to:
- Streamline all website updates- Especially for as many websites as you want that too from a single dashboard.
Schedule regular backups and save to your preferred off-site location.
- ManageWP tool- It also comes with full of security features to help you maintain the overall health and safety of your website without any much effort.
A Small Reminder For Techies:
So, if you are from a non-technical background and do not know much about the functioning of WordPress, hiring a professional developer would be the right decision. The developer will provide you with all the assistance related to your website and queries, and even you can ask them to guide you for the complete maintenance of the website, that include the following benefits:
- Technical support
- 100% Customization
- A better and comprehensive understanding of users requirements
- Unique content and SEO for better ranking
- Data privacy and security
Wrapping Up: In this blog, hopefully, you’ve learned why it’s important to keep updated your WordPress website.
Keep a note to revamp your WordPress installation up-to-date on regular basis. Regular updates with WordPress website development ensure that your site performs as efficiently as possible and more importantly. It will keep bug fixes and security patches on the first priority.
Adding on to regular maintenance responsibilities, don’t forget the other option to hire Wordpress Developer which manages daily WordPress backups, processing theme and plugin updates on your behalf.