WordPress 6.1 is the next update of the popular content management system (CMS). We have looked at the beta version of WordPress 6.1 and show you in this post what to expect after the update of WordPress.
New major updates at WordPress are always tested and discussed in detail by the WordPress community several weeks before the release. This is also the case with WordPress 6.1, on which work has already started in May 2022. This time, too, the expectations for WordPress are high. Precisely for this reason, we have looked at the roadmap of the new version, as well as the beta versions released so far.
Schedule: When can I start using WordPress 6.1?
The release of WordPress 6.1 is scheduled for November 1, 2022. As usual, WordPress starts rolling out its beta versions weeks in advance.
Currently we are in the beta phases. From this year's September 20 on, the first beta version of WordPress 6.1 is available, since then another one follows every week. Since October 4, there are the so-called release candidates - of which there are three, which also appear every week. On November 1, 2022 WordPress 6.1 will be finally rolled out and made available to all users for update.
The goal of WordPress 6.1 is mainly to improve features from the past two updates, WordPress 5.9 and WordPress 6.0, as we are in the middle of phase 2 of the Gutenberg roadmap. The goal of the Gutenberg roadmap is full site editing of an entire WordPress website with blocks.
This makes WordPress 6.1, after WordPress 5.9 in January 2022 and WordPress 6.0 in May 2022, the third major update this year.
Overview: These are the most important changes in WordPress 6.1
Users are supposed to get many improvements with the update for full website editing, block editor and block-based patterns.
Let's take a look at the biggest and most important changes that await you with the update to WordPress 6.1 below.
New Standard-theme Twenty Twenty-Three
One of the most important changes in WordPress 6.1 is the new default theme Twenty Twenty-Three. The theme is, like its predecessor Twenty Twenty-Two, block-based. However, one of the biggest differences is that it no longer includes predefined images, instead it includes placeholders for your own images.
The new standard theme Twenty Twenty-Three also includes ten style variations that come directly from the community. Here are differences in the colors, layout or typography.
Improvements of the Block Editor
WordPress users use the block editor to create posts and pages for their website. Already in the last WordPress updates there were improvements for the editor again and again.
WordPress 6.1 now introduces changes and improvements that were already introduced in the Gutenberg releases from 13.1 to 14.1. In these Gutenberg releases, the main focus was to make the different blocks consistent. WordPress 6.1 builds on this and includes the following changes.
The table of contents Block
The new table of contents block, originally introduced with Gutenberg 13.3, is improved with WordPress 6.1: Once you add the table of contents block to a new post, the block automatically detects any heading blocks that have been added to the content. These are then displayed as anchor links in a list. Creating a table of contents is thus much faster and easier with this update.
Improvements of the comment block
With WordPress 6.1, users gain access to an improved comment block. For example, website owners can set different font colors and backgrounds to further customize the block.
New horizontal and vertical spacing in gallery block
Who creates image galleries with the Gallery Block, has significantly more design freedom with WordPress 6.1. With the update there is a new control for the axis spacing, with which the horizontal and vertical distances in the gallery block can be varied.
More features for featured images
With WordPress 6.1 the selection of featured images is much easier: After the update the featured images can be selected directly from the placeholder of the cover block.
Besides the mentioned changes, there will be other new and improved block types. For example, a margin support for the Columns block will be introduced, which will allow users to set individual margins and at the same time create each margin in a different style.
Automatic image conversion to WebP format
WebP was introduced with WordPress 5.8. WebP is a modern image format that provides better and lossless compression for images. Until now, you had the option to upload WebP images to your media library in WordPress.
However, WordPress has not supported automatic conversion of images to this format, this previously required a plugin. With WordPress 6.1 the automatic creation of alternative file formats is now supported.
More choice of template types in the editor
With WordPress 6.1, you can create a custom template for each post type. This means that you can find more template types for different use cases in the template editor. You can add and edit templates for custom post types and taxonomies. It is also possible to be very specific and use a different template for individual categories or tags.
For example, you can create and use a custom template for all your news articles in the "News" category, another template for all travel-related blog posts in the "Travel" category, and a third one for all personal blog articles in the "Blog" category.
With WordPress 6.1, various templates are unlocked, regardless of which block theme website owners use. Templates include, for example, individual pages, individual posts, a single term in a taxonomy, a single category, or a custom template that can be used for any post or site.
Fluid typography for responsive designs
WordPress 6.1 also supports fluid typography with the update. This web design innovation is designed to further refine responsive designs, as the text automatically adjusts its size to the user's display.
Previously, you had to set this for each device type individually, which didn't always work reliably. With WordPress 6.1 you can enable and disable via Fluid Typography via theme.json.
WordPress 6.1: Changes for developers
Especially for developers WordPress 6.1 also brings some innovations. For example, the API interface "Preferences Persistence API". The aim of the interface is that editors or website operators do not save their user settings locally, but directly in the WordPress database. This has the great advantage that the settings can be saved in all browsers and on all devices.
Also, WordPress 6.1 allows theme-developers to add button styles to their themes. This will make buttons in different blocks consistent. The update adds a new "wp-element-button" class to the elements. This way the buttons will always have the same style.
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Conclusion: Which changes are worthwhile in WordPress 6.1?
WordPress 6.1 will be the third major update this year. The goal of WordPress 6.1 is to improve the features from the past two updates, WordPress 5.9 and WordPress 6.0, as we approach the third phase of the Gutenberg roadmap. Currently, we are in phase 2, which is mainly about personalization. The third of four phases will be about more intuitive collaboration.
If you are interested in the WordPress development process and the planned features and innovations, you can find a list of changes and much more information about the new WordPress 6.1 here directly from the horse's mouth at WordPress.org.
What do you think about the planned changes in WordPress 6.1? We are looking forward to your comments.