Whats coming in WordPress 5.2

Posted on 26/02/2019 by Neil Skoglund

Since WordPress 5.1 was released on the 21st of February it's been downloaded over 3.9 million times. The first release of 2019 was only a small part of the 9 priorities Matt Mullenweg identified for 2019. Today we're going over all the features proposed for WordPress 5.2 and what you can expect to see with them.

Proposed WordPress 5.2 Schedule

  • Beta 1: March 14, 2019.
  • Release Candidate 1: April 10, 2019.
  • General Release: April 23, 2019.

Site Health and WSOD protection

The White Screen Of Death (WSOD) protection feature proposed to be released in 5.1 have actually been bumped to 5.2 with saying:

"While it missed WordPress 5.1, the core PHP team have been reworking the PHP Error Protection feature, and are on target for releasing it in WordPress 5.2."

Another great new usability feature is the site health check plugin, this is being merged into core for the 5.2 release, allowing users to get a great quick glance at their site health

Block Management for Gutenberg

Block management gives users the ability to hide or turn off blocks that are not in use. With all the new blocks being added to the WordPress ecosystem, especially with a push to convert core widgets to blocks. Users will soon be pushed to using the block interface as widgets slowly die out and this means a firmer idea of blocks and how to use them. With so many blocks being added it means block management is more essential than ever.

Additionally, the Gutenberg team have made more UX and performance improvements, which you can see in recent Gutenberg plugin releases.

Update Package Signing - needed for Auto Updates

Auto Updates are 2 of the other 9 projects for 2019 but to make those happen, the WordPress team are making sure automatic updates can be completed in a secure and reliable means, and with that there are a few steps needed to be completed before that can happen.

The first step is implementing update package singing so that any downloaded updates are validated before being installed. This makes sure it's received from a valid source and with a valid signed package to make sure viruses and other sources are not trying to compromise your site.

Once package signing is updated in WordPress 5.2.x releases, the next steps include improving error detection and fallback functionality for plugin and theme updates as well as giving UI options for enabling auto-updates.

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