WordPress 5.7 Beta 1 is now available for testing! ?

This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.7 Beta 1 in two ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).

The current target for final release is March 9, 2021. That’s just five weeks away, so your help is vital to making sure that the final release is as good as it can be.

So what’s new? ?

Improvements in Core

Lazy-load iframes
Now you can enable lazy-loading of iframes by adding the loading="lazy" attribute to iframe tags on the front-end. 

Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS is streamlined
Switching a WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS has proven to be a pain for all involved. While on the surface, the Site Address and WordPress Address have to be updated, content with embedded HTTP URLs remains unchanged in the database. With this release, migrating a site to HTTPS is now a one-click interaction. URLs in the database are automatically replaced when the Site and WordPress Address are both using HTTPS.  Also, Site Health now includes an HTTPS status check.

Standardize colors used in WP-Admin CSS to a single palette
This change collapses all colors used in the CSS to one of the available shades of blue, green, red, yellow, grey, black, and white. The palette makes it simpler than ever to build components your users can read, because half the range gives you great contrast with white type and a half with black, according to current accessibility guidelines.

Ongoing cleanup after update to jQuery 3.5.1
jQuery deprecations in WordPress Core and bundled themes show up a lot less often, and the notifications make more sense to the user.

New Robots API
The new Robots API allows the filter directives to be included in the ‘robots’ meta tag. Also, the directive max-image-preview:large is now included by default to allow large image previews to be displayed in search engines (unless the blog is marked as not being public).

Improvements in the Editor

  • Inserter drag and drop: Blocks and block patterns can now be dragged directly from the inserter into the post canvas.
  • Full height alignment: Blocks such as the Cover block now can have an option to expand to fill the entire viewport.
  • Block variations: The icon and description of a block variation is now shown in the block inspector, and a new dropdown in the block inspector lets you switch between block variations.
  • Reusable blocks: Several enhancements to the usability and stability of reusable blocks have been made, and reusable blocks are now saved at the same time that the post is saved.
  • Buttons block: The Buttons block now supports vertical alignments, and you can set the width of a button to a preset percentage.
  • Social Icons block: You can now change the size of the icons in the Social Icons block.
  • Font size in more places: You can now change the font size in the List and Code blocks.
  • Many many other enhancements and bug fixes. To see all of the features for each release in detail check out the Gutenberg release posts: 9.3, 9.4, 9.5, 9.6, 9.7, 9.8, and 9.9 (link forthcoming).

How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.7-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 143 tickets in WordPress 5.7, including 68 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. ✨

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

Props to @hellofromtonya, @sarahricker, @webcommsat, @marybaum, @jeffpaul, and @audrasjb for your peer revisions and @desrosj, @davidbaumwald, @cbringmann, and @chanthaboune for final review on this exciting news.

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