We have tested WordPress 6.2 and show you what to expect with the new release. From the new style book to changes in block settings and the integration of Openverse.
As with every WordPress update, expectations are high for version 6.2. The current changes do not seem spectacular at first glance, but they add some interesting features to full site editing and block themes.
With the customization phase, WordPress 6.2 brings us to halfway through the roadmap of Gutenberg, WordPress' advanced graphical editor. This phase is mainly about editing the entire website directly from the editor and without page builder. It is also about block patterns, the block directory and block-based themes.
Therefore, you should deal well with WordPress 6.2 in any case, if you create websites on behalf of customers, or if you already work with a block theme. These functions are worth knowing and testing:
Theme Twenty Twenty-Three and template colors
Since WordPress 6.1, Twenty Twenty-Three is the default block theme of WordPress. Through block themes you have a wide range of visual options and more features, directly in the site editor. The Twenty Twenty-Three theme is installed by default with WordPress 6.2.
To help you recognize when you are editing a template, such as a header or footer, these areas are color-coded. You can also see the same coloring in the block inserter.
Changing the block settings and styles
With WordPress 6.2, the settings icon changes. Also, the block settings is split into two tabs - settings and styles. This means you don't have to scroll as long when adjusting the block settings.
When you edit the style of blocks from a template, WordPress 6.2 gives you the option to apply those changes to every instance of that block. The first step is to select the block you want to change. Then you select the settings in the top right corner.
Then change the block styles to your liking in the block settings and select the "apply globally" field at the bottom.
Copy and paste block styles
Until now, if you changed the settings of a particular block and wanted to apply the same style elsewhere, your options were very limited. In addition to the new apply globally option, you can now copy styles from a single block and apply them to another block using the copy styles and paste options.
The new WordPress style book
One of the most important changes in WordPress 6.2 is the style book. It is used for overview and preview for different core blocks. These are the blocks that are installed with WordPress by default. To get to the core blocks, go to styles and then style book.
In the first step, you can see different sample versions of text-related blocks. In addition, various media, design, widgets and theme-related blocks are available here.
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In the style book there is the possibility to change styles as usual according to your ideas. At the same time, you get a preview of how these changes can affect several sample blocks. This should make working with the blocks altogether more efficient and clearer.
You also have the possibility to change individual blocks in the style sheets. Here, too, you can directly see a preview of how the block would look with the settings you have made.
Import widgets easily
If your WordPress website was created before the site editor, and you want to switch to a block theme, you can now import the previously configured widget settings.
Widgets in classic themes can already be managed with the block inserter. To import widgets into a template part of a block theme, select appearance, then site editor, and then templates. In the next step, create a new template.
After that add a new template block, choose a name that refers to the footer and select "Start Blank". Open the block settings and expand the "Advanced" section. Under "Import Widget Area" select the widget area you want to import and click "Import".
Integration of Openverse and Block Inserter Media
Openverse is a free photo and audio database that can now be integrated directly into your website. By going to the "Media" tab in the Inserter block and selecting "Openverse", you can search for licensed media that you can quickly and easily add to your website.
See also the discussion about external image media, hotlinking and privacy, which will also be solved with WordPress 6.2. Simon Kraft has written about it in his blog. Because otherwise the feature would not be compliant with current privacy regulations.
Sticky Navigation and Block Pattern Inserter
If you want to position the navigation bar so that it sticks to the top of the screen, this is now easily done, as of WordPress 6.2.
To do this, insert your header into a group block and select the group block. Then go to the settings, to Block, and expand the option "Position". In the last step, select the "Sticky" option from the drop-down list.
Block patterns are a straightforward way to quickly style content within a post or site. Since the update, the Block Pattern Inserter no longer has a dropdown menu to switch between pattern categories. From now on, pattern types will be displayed directly with a preview of the pattern before it is inserted into a post.
Schedule for WordPress 6.2
The release of WordPress 6.2 is scheduled for March 28, 2023. But like before every update, WordPress starts rolling out the beta versions weeks in advance.
Since February 7, 2023, the first beta version of WordPress 6.2 can be tested. Since then, another beta version appears every week. From March 7, 2023, the release candidates appear, of which there are a total of three versions, which also appear every week.
At the end of March, WordPress 6.2 should then be finally rolled out and made available to all users for update. This makes WordPress 6.2 the first major update in 2023.
Conclusion: Is WordPress 6.2 worth it?
WordPress 6.2 will be the first of three major updates this year. The release brings minor changes and the introduction of new features. Overall, the daily work on the website should be significantly simplified.
One of the most important changes of the update is the introduction of the new style book. Here you can find many examples of different core blocks that are installed with WordPress by default. Also, the new integration of Openverse, which allows you to find and use CC-licensed photos, images and audio content, is a help for some in their daily work.
WordPress updates are critical to the security, stability, and functionality of your WordPress website. The updates often include important security patches to close known vulnerabilities. Without these patches, websites are more vulnerable to attacks, malware and other threats. So WordPress 6.2 is worth it from this perspective as well.