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WordPress 5.2 Beta 1

Posted March 27, 2019 by Josepha. Filed under Development, Releases.

WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 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.

You can test the WordPress 5.2 Beta two ways:

WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test so we can find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.

Block Editor

The block editor has received significant performance improvements since WordPress 5.1, shaving 35% off the load time for massive posts, and cutting the keypress time (how responsive it feels when you’re typing) in half!

Accessibility continues to improve, too. The block editor now supports your browser’s reduced motion settings. The post URL slug has better labelling and help text. The focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks is clearer and more consistent. There are a variety of new speak messages, and existing messages have been tweaked for more useful screen-reader behaviour.

We’ve added several new blocks:

  • An RSS block
  • An Amazon Kindle embed block
  • A Search block
  • A Calendar block
  • A Tag Cloud block

To help you keep track of these blocks, and only show the ones you need, there’s a new block management tool to switch blocks on and off.

Block Management Modal

We’re constantly working on existing blocks, too. There are hundreds of bug fixes and improvements in the block editor, you can read more about them in the Gutenberg plugin releases: 4.9, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

The WordPress Mobile Apps

The block editor isn’t just for websites, either. The WordPress mobile apps now include an experimental version of a built-in block editor. This is still under development, but you can try it out now!

Site Health Check

Site Health Check is an ongoing project aimed at improving the stability and performance of the entire WordPress ecosystem.

The first phase of this project (originally scoped for WordPress 5.1) is now included in WordPress 5.2. For the first time, WordPress will catch and pause the problem code, so you can log in to your Dashboard and see what the problem is (#44458). Before, you’d have to FTP in to your files or get in touch with your host.

In addition, we’re adding a new Health Check tool to your Dashboard. Visit the Tools menu and click on Health Check to get information that can help improve the speed and security of your site.

PHP Version Bump

With this release, WordPress will increase its minimum supported PHP version to 5.6. To help you check if you’re prepared for this change, WordPress 5.2 will show you a warning and help you upgrade your version of PHP, if necessary.

For Developers

  • Plugins can now specify the minimum version of PHP that they support, so you can safely modernise your development practices without risking breaking your users’ sites. (#40934)
  • We’ve added the sodium_compat library, which provides backwards compatibility for the Sodium-based cryptography library added in PHP 7.2. (#45806)
  • There’s a new release of Dashicons, the WordPress Dashboard icon font. There are 25 new icons for you to use! (#41074)
  • You can now pass a label to get_search_form(), improving accessibility. (#42057)

There have been 130 tickets closed in WordPress 5.2 so far, with numerous small bug fixes and improvements to help smooth your WordPress experience.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for developer notes (which are assigned the dev-notes tag) in the coming weeks detailing other changes in 5.2 that you should be aware of.

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.


With each new release,
bearing multiple betas;
We fix, then we fly.

One-third of the web!

Posted March 15, 2019 by Joost de Valk. Filed under General.

WordPress now powers over 1/3rd of the top 10 million sites on the web according to W3Techs. Our market share has been growing steadily over the last few years, going from 29.9% just one year ago to 33.4% now. We are, of course, quite proud of these numbers!

The path here has been very exciting. In 2005, we were celebrating 50,000 downloads. Six years later, in January 2011, WordPress was powering 13.1% of websites. And now, early in 2019, we are powering 33.4% of sites. Our latest release has already been downloaded close to 14 million times, and it was only released on the 21st of February.

Graph showing the growth of WordPress market share relative to other CMS's like Joomla, Drupal and others. Starting at just over 10% in January 2011 to 33.4% now.
WordPress market share on the rise over the last 8 years. Image source: W3Techs.

Over the years WordPress has become the CMS of choice for more and more people and companies. As various businesses use WordPress, the variety of WordPress sites grows. Large enterprise businesses all the way down to small local businesses: all of them use WordPress to power their site. We love seeing that and we strive to continuously make WordPress better for all of you.

We’d like to thank everyone who works on WordPress, which is built and maintained by a huge community of volunteers that has grown alongside the CMS. This incredible community makes it possible for WordPress to keep growing while still also remaining free. And of course, we’d like to thank all of you using WordPress for using it and trusting in it. To all of you: let’s celebrate!

WordPress 5.1.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Posted March 12, 2019 by Luke Carbis. Filed under Releases, Security.

WordPress 5.1.1 is now available! This security and maintenance release introduces 14 fixes and enhancements, including changes designed to help hosts prepare users for the minimum PHP version bump coming in 5.2.

This release also includes a pair of security fixes that handle how comments are filtered and then stored in the database. With a maliciously crafted comment, a WordPress post was vulnerable to cross-site scripting.

WordPress versions 5.1 and earlier are affected by these bugs, which are fixed in version 5.1.1. Updated versions of WordPress 5.0 and earlier are also available for any users who have not yet updated to 5.1.

Props to Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies who discovered this flaw independent of some work that was being done by members of the core security team. Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities, which gave us time to fix them before WordPress sites could be attacked.

Other highlights of this release include:

  • Hosts can now offer a button for their users to update PHP.
  • The recommended PHP version used by the “Update PHP” notice can now be filtered.
  • Several minor bug fixes.

You can browse the full list of changes on Trac.

WordPress 5.1.1 was a short-cycle maintenance release. Version 5.1.2 is expected to follow a similar two week release cadence.

You can download WordPress 5.1.1 or visit Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now. Sites that support automatic background updates have already started to update automatically.

In addition to the security researcher mentioned above, thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 5.1.1:

Aaron Jorbin, Alex Concha, Andrea Fercia, Andy Fragen, Anton Vanyukov, Ben Bidner, bulletdigital, David Binovec, Dion Hulse, Felix Arntz, Garrett Hyder, Gary Pendergast, Ian Dunn, Jake Spurlock, Jb Audras, Jeremy Felt, Johan Falk, Jonathan Desrosiers, Luke Carbis, Mike Schroder, Milan Dinić, Mukesh Panchal, Paul Biron, Peter Wilson, Sergey Biryukov, and Weston Ruter.

The Month in WordPress: February 2019

Posted March 1, 2019 by Hugh Lashbrooke. Filed under Month in WordPress.

A new version of WordPress, significant security enhancements, important discussions, and much more – read on to find out what has been going on in the WordPress community for the month of February.


Release of WordPress 5.1

Near the end of the month, WordPress 5.1 was released, featuring significant stability and performance enhancements as well as the first of the Site Health mechanisms that are in active development. Most prominent is the new warning for sites running long-outdated versions of PHP.

You can check out the Field Guide for this release for a detailed look at all the new features and improvements. The next release is already in development with plans to improve the Site Health features, PHP compatibility, and a number of other things.

Want to get involved in testing or building WordPress Core? You can install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Gutenberg Development Continues

The block editor that is now a part of WordPress core started out as a project named Gutenberg with the lofty goal of creating a whole new site-building experience for all WordPress users. The first phase of Gutenberg resulted in the block editor that was included in WordPress 5.0, but development didn’t stop there – phase 2 of the project is well underway.

This month, one of the initial goals for this phase was reached with all of the core WordPress widgets being converted to blocks – this will go a long way to allowing full sites to be built using blocks, rather than simply post or page content.

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

Block Editor Comes to the Mobile Apps

As Gutenberg development continues, the Mobile team has been working hard to integrate the new block editor into the WordPress mobile apps. Near the end of February, the team shipped a complete integration in the beta versions of the apps – this a significant milestone and a big step towards unifying the mobile and desktop editing experiences.

Both the iOS and Android apps are open for beta testers, so if you would like to experience the block editor on mobile today, then join the beta program.

Want to get involved in developing the WordPress mobile apps? Follow the Mobile team blog, and join the #mobile channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordPress Triage Team Announced

One of the goals for 2019 that Matt Mullenweg (@matt) announced in his State of the Word address last year was to form a team who would work to manage the ever-increasing number of tickets in Trac, the bug tracker that WordPress Core employs.

This team, known as the Triage Team, has been announced. Their work will involve coordinating with component maintainers, release leads, project leadership, contributors, and other WordPress related projects with issue trackers outside of Trac to ensure that everyone is empowered to focus on contributing.

The team was formed based on nominations of volunteers to take part and will be led by Jonathan Desrosiers (@desrosj). The other members of the team are Chris Christoff (@chriscct7), Tammie Lister (@karmatosed), Sergey Biryukov (@sergey), and Sheri Bigelow (@designsimply) – all of whom have a strong track record of contributing to WordPress, have exhibited good triaging practices, and are overall good community members.


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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