What Business Owners Should Know About WordPress Updates in 2021
WordPress continually creates updates and improvements to improve customer experience and security. While it may be challenging to keep up with all the latest updates that WordPress puts out, a WordPress maintenance company stays on top of critical updates and can keep your website up to date accordingly.
In 2021, there are some key considerations to keep in mind as you’re tracking and implementing WordPress updates.
1. The Gutenberg Project
As WordPress itself states, the company is continually evolving. In 2021, WordPress is entering Phase 2 of an initiative it calls the Gutenberg Project. The Gutenberg Project is designed to improve content management and access to content generally on the web. The Gutenberg project is a year-long initiative that will focus primarily on full site editing. Through full site editing, WordPress intends to expand block editing to entire websites rather than individual pages and posts.
Ultimately, WordPress’s Gutenberg project has the three following goals:
- Full site editing
- Learn WP
- Contributor tools
Full site editing will be enabled by helping customers transition to using the Gutenberg plugin, which will be followed by WordPress Core. Together, they will allow for full site editing with Gutenberg blocks. The implementation timeline is the introduction of the MVP Gutenberg plugin by the end of April 2021, followed by the Core plugin with WordPress 5.8.
Learn WP is an educational component designed to help customers become more familiar with WordPress and feel more comfortable and confident using its features. The educational series will consist of recorded training sessions, workshops, and self-service learning opportunities through the WordPress website. WordPress intends to regularly introduce new lesson plans and workshops. Its lessons will be followed by quizzes to ensure a high level of comprehension and expertise.
The third component in the 2021 Gutenberg project is contributor tools. These tools will be introduced throughout the year. Their goal is to reduce the amount of web maintenance and monitoring that teams usually face.
2. Planned Releases
WordPress routinely plans updates for site improvement and security. Currently, it plans the following releases in 2021:
- 5.8 (July 2021)
- 5.9 (December 2021)
Although it intends to release these two versions within the timeline specified, WordPress notes that releases are subject to change. They will be confirmed approximately one month before rollout. Individuals can also get more information through the ‘Make WordPress Core’ blog post on the WordPress website. For security, all new WordPress features are halted approximately one month before the new versions are introduced. This prevents a hacked WordPress site by eliminating bugs. It also provides enough time to ensure all codes are free of errors and other problems.
Along with launching its two new versions in 2021, WordPress plans to roll out the Gutenberg project in four phases. First comes improvements to the site’s design to enable easier editing. Next, the project will improve customization options through block directory, block patterns, block-based themes, and full editing. Collaboration with multiple authors is the third phase of the project’s plan. Finally, the project will have a multilingual component that allows for interaction and engagement across multilingual websites.
3. WordPress 5.7
The current version of WordPress is called WordPress 5.7, which is also titled “Esperanza.” WordPress 5.7 was released in March 2021. It is the first of three major WordPress updates planned for 2021. WordPress 5.7’s major updates and improvements include making WordPress more user-friendly and expanding block editor functionality. WordPress 5.7 is also the first step in achieving WordPress’s goal of providing Full Site Editing capabilities by the end of the year.
4. Improvements and New Features
As with other WordPress updates, 5.7 introduced some helpful improvements and new features. Version 5.7 of WordPress fixed more than 125 bugs and introduced nearly 70 enhancements and features. Some of the benefits of 5.7 include a new feature that makes it easier for administrators to resend password reset information for individuals who have forgotten their passwords. The update is secure and only allows the links to be sent from authentic administrators to real customers for security purposes. Customers can reset their passwords for greater privacy and security.
Another key update of 5.7 is allowing customers to migrate their WP site from an “HTTP” to an “HTTPS” address. Rather than going through a multi-step process as was previously required, 5.7 allows this transition to take place in just one click of a mouse. WordPress even automatically makes the update in its databases for customers who switch to HTTPS.
Customization is another highlight of WordPress 5.7. With the latest version of WordPress, customers can create more personalized websites, such as adding custom colors to their social sites and social icons. Social icons can also be customized by size for the first time. Fonts can also be adjusted in WordPress 5.7.
5. The Importance of Back Ups
While you’re naturally eager to install the latest version of WordPress, experts caution that it’s essential to back up your information first. You can easily create a WordPress backup site that includes all of your WordPress themes, files, plugins, database, and media library before continuing with the update. If you install a backup plugin, such as BackupBuddy or BackUpWordPress, you’ll be able to have a complete backup of your website, which protects your files and allows your website to continue functioning smoothly even after installing an update.
Website Restore | Website Security Scanning
New changes are in store for WordPress users in 2021, which can put your website at risk if you do not have a WordPress maintenance company. Our team at Website Restore assists with website security scanning, backups and WordPress updates to ensure your website is protected through 2021 and the years to come.