And finally today on 11 August 2020, WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” was officially released, and is available for download. This is the fifth major release since the launch of the WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg) in WordPress 5.0. This version WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine” includes lazy loading, Default XML sitemap, automatic updates for plugins and themes, developer updates, and more.
Note: Minimum PHP Version Required to Run WordPress 5.5 Is Now 5.6.20. That means If you’re using an older version, you’ll need to update PHP before upgrading to WordPress 5.5.
WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”
The Name “Eckstine,” in honor of American jazz and pop singer Billy Eckstine.
Download WordPress 5.5
Before update WordPress to 5.5 we recommend to check and make sure all installed plugins are up to date.
- When you open the WordPress Dashboard, you get notified WordPress 5.5 is available.
- You only need to click “please update now” link to get WordPress 5.5 installed.
- Also, you can click on the Updates icon in your WordPress admin dashboard.
- And click on the “Update Now” button to get WP 5.5 update
- While your site is being updated, it will be in maintenance mode.
- As soon as your updates are complete, your site will return to normal.
- As long as everything goes well with the update you should then see the “Welcome to WordPress 5.5” screen. And that’s it! Quick and easy.
WordPress 5.5 features
WordPress 5.5 focuses on “speed, security & search” it also includes lazy loading feature, Default XML sitemap, automatic updates for plugins and themes, 1500+ changes to the block editor interface, 300+ bug fixes and more. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, here all you need to know new things in this version of WordPress 5.5
Outdated plugins and themes are still the #1 reason for WordPress sites get hacked and to shortcut this issue, WordPress 5.5 introduces auto-updates for plugins and themes.
According to the WordPress documentation:
“The new auto-update UI is great, but it would benefit from having a way to remotely disable the auto-update for a plugin/theme.”
A website Site map helps search engines discover new web pages to rank. And WordPress 5.5 introduces built-in XML site maps means users will not need a third-party plugin to generate a site map.
Lazy loading is a method for postponing the download of images and videos that aren’t on screen or needed. Previously we use lazy load plugins to enable that function and now WordPress 5.5, images wait to load until they’re just about to scroll into view. The technical term is ‘lazy loading.’ On mobile, lazy loading can also keep browsers from loading files meant for other devices.
There is new block patterns make it simple and fun to create complex, beautiful layouts, using combinations of text and media that you can mix and match to fit your story. You will also find block patterns in a wide variety of plugins and themes, with more added all the time. Pick any of them from a single place — just click and go!
Now the block editor supports inline image editing (crop, rotate, and zoom right from the image block).
You can now copy links in media screens and modal dialogs with a button, instead of trying to highlight a line of text.
WordPress 5.5 also brings the following for developers:
- Defining environments: WordPress now has a standardized way to define a site’s environment type (staging, production, etc). Retrieve that type with
wp_get_environment_type()and execute only the appropriate code.
- Dashicons: The Dashicons library has received its final update in 5.5. It adds 39 block editor icons, along with 26 others.
- Passing data to template files: The template loading functions (
get_template_part(), etc.) have a new
$argsargument. So now you can pass an entire array’s worth of data to those templates.
- The PHPMailer library just got a major update, going from version 5.2.27 to 6.1.6.
- Now get more fine-grained control of
- Sites that use PHP’s OPcache will see more reliable cache invalidation, thanks to the new
wp_opcache_invalidate()function during updates (including to plugins and themes).
- Custom post types associated with the category taxonomy can now opt-in to supporting the default term.
- Default terms can now be specified for custom taxonomies in
- The REST API now officially supports specifying default metadata values through
- You will find updated versions of these bundled libraries: SimplePie, Twemoji, Masonry, imagesLoaded, getID3, Moment.js, and clipboard.js.
The release of WordPress 5.5 was led by Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald and was supported by a release squad that made the new version with all its enhancements possible for the general users.
- Editor Tech – Jorge Filipe Costa
- Editor Design – Mark Uraine
- Core Tech – Sergey Biryukov
- Design – Tammie Lister
- Docs Coordinator – JB Audras
- Docs and Comms Wrangler – Mary Baum