December 8th, 2020
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.
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.
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.
Twenty Twenty-One is here!
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 that are accessible too!
A rainbow of soft pastels
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.
Improvements for everyone
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The WordPress 5.6 release comes to you from an all-women release squad:
- Release Lead: Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune). Cohort: Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann) and Angela Jin (@angelasjin).
- Release Coordinator: Dee Teal (@thewebprincess). Cohort: Thelma Mutete (@thelmachido) and Laura Nelson (@laurora).
- Triage Lead: Tonya Mork (@hellofromtonya).
- Core Tech Lead: Helen Hou-Sandì (@helen). Cohort: Amy Kamala (@amykamala) and Ebonie Butler (@metalandcoffee).
- Editor Tech Lead: Isabel Brison (@isabel_brison). Cohort: Chandrika Guntur (@cguntur), Anchen le Roux (@anchenlr), and Rebecca Hum (@rebasaurus).
- Design Leads: Ellen Bauer (@elmastudio) and Tammie Lister (@karmatosed). Cohort: Anyssa Ferreira (@anyssa), Estela Rueda (@estelaris), Tracy Apps (@tray), and Sophia DeRosia (@eringoblog).
- Design Tech Lead: Shital Marakana (@shital-patel).
- Accessibility Lead: Sarah Ricker (@sarahricker). Cohort: Hauwa Abashiya (@azhiyadev).
- Marketing & Communications Leads: Abha Thakor (@webcommsat) and Yvette Sonneveld (@yvettesonneveld). Cohort: Nalini Thakor (@nalininonstopnewsuk), Meher Bala (@meher), Olga Gleckler (@ogleckler), Larissa Murrillo (@lmurillom), Michelle Frechette (@michelleames), Breann McDede (@bmcdede), and Afshana Diya (@afshanadiya).
- Documentation Lead: Shawntelle Coker (@sncoker). Cohort: Daisy Olsen (@DaisyO), Meher Bala (@meher), Winstina Hughes (@planningwrite).
- Documentation Review Lead: Michele Butcher-Jones (@m_butcher). Cohort: Nidhi Jain (@jainnidhi), Laura Byrne Cristiano (@newyorkerlaura).
- Default Theme Design Lead: Mel Choyce-Dwan (@melchoyce). Cohort: Ellen Bauer (@elmastudio).
- Default Theme Development Lead: Carolina Nymark (@poena). Cohort: Kelly Choyce-Dwan (@ryelle) and Jessica Lyschik (@luminuu).
- Default Theme Wrangler: Jessica Lyschik (@luminuu).
- Test Lead: Monika Rao (@monikarao). Cohort: Allie Nimmons (@alliennimmons).
- Support Lead: Bet Hannon (@bethannon1).
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, 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, ajensen, Ajit Bohra, Akira Tachibana, aktasfatih, Albert Juhé Lluveras, albertomake, Alex Concha, Alex Kirk, Alex Kozack, Alex Lende, Alex Mills, Alex Standiford, Alex Stine, allancole, Allie Nimmons, ambienthack, Amit Dudhat, Amol Vhankalas, Amy Kamala, Anand Upadhyay, Anders Norén, 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, 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, bduclos, Beatriz Fialho, Ben Meredith, Bernhard Kau, Bernhard Reiter, Beth Soderberg, bgermann, Bhagvan Mangukiya, bhautikvirani, Billy, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, bmcdede, bobbingwide, BoldGrid, Boone Gorges, Boy Witthaya, Brady Vercher, Brandon Kraft, Brandon Payton, Brent Miller, Brent Swisher, Brian Henry, Brian Hogg, bridgetwillard, brijeshb42, Burhan Nasir, Caleb Burks, Calin Don, Cameron Voell, campusboy, Carike, Carolina Nymark, Caroline, ceyhun0, Chad Reitsma, Chandrika Guntur, Chetan Prajapati, chexwarrior, Chintan hingrajiya, Chip Snyder, Chloé Bringmann, Chouby, Chris Alexander, Chris Van Patten, chriscct7, Christian Martin, Christoph Herr, Christopher Churchill, chunkysteveo, Claudiu Lodromanean, Clayton Collie, Collins Agbonghama, Commeuneimage, Copons, Corey Salzano, cpapazoglou, 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, dd32, Dean, Debabrata Karfa, Dee Teal, Deepak Lalwani, dekervit, demetris (Demetris Kikizas), Denis de Bernardy, 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, dyrer, Earle Davies, Ebonie Butler, Edi Amin, Ella van Durpe, Ellen Bauer, Enej Bajgoric, Enrique Sánchez, epiqueras, Erik Betshammar, erikjandelange, Erin ‘Folletto’ Casali, eroraghav, Estela Rueda, etoledom, EugeneBos, Evan Mullins, 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, 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, HoaSi, Howdy_McGee, Hugh Lashbrooke, Ian Dunn, Igor Radovanov, Imran Sayed, ingereck, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), iqbalbary, Irene Strikkers, Isabel Brison, jagirbaheshwp, Jake Spurlock, Jake Whiteley, James Collins, James Koster, James Nylen, James Rosado, jameslnewell, Jan Thiel, Janvo Aldred, Jared Cobb, Jason Caldwell, Jason LeMahieu (MadtownLems), 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, joelclimbsthings, joelyoder, 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. 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Johnson, landau, Larissa Murillo, latifi, Laura Nelson, Laxman Prajapati, leogermani, Lester Chan, Leutrim Husaj, lim3ra, Lionel Pointet, llizard, Louis, Luca Grandicelli, Luigi Cavalieri, Luke Cavanagh, Lumne, mager19, Maggie Cabrera, Mahesh Waghmare, mailnew2ster, Mainul Hassan Main, malinajirka, manzwebdesigns, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marie Comet, Marijn, 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, Mayank Majeji, Meagan Hanes, Meg Phillips, Meher Bala, Mel Choyce-Dwan, mgol, mgrenierfarmmedia, Michael Arestad, 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, nicomollet, Niels Lange, Nik Tsekouras, Nikola, Nikolay Bachiyski, njbrown, nlpro, Noah Allen, noahshrader, nourma, O André, 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. 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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.