This month was characterized by some exciting announcements from the WordPress core team! Read on to catch up with all the WordPress news and updates from September.
WordPress 5.5.1 Launch
On September 1, the Core team released WordPress 5.5.1. This maintenance release included several bug fixes for both core and the editor, and many other enhancements. You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or download it directly from WordPress.org. The next major release will be version 5.6.
Gutenberg 9.1, 9.0, and 8.9 are out
The core team launched version 9.0 of the Gutenberg plugin on September 16, and version 9.1 on September 30. Version 9.0 features some useful enhancements — like a new look for the navigation screen (with drag and drop support in the list view) and modifications to the query block (including search, filtering by author, and support for tags). Version 9.1 adds improvements to global styles, along with improvements for the UI and several blocks. Version 8.9 of Gutenberg, which came out earlier in September, enables the block-based widgets feature (also known as block areas, and was previously available in the experiments section) by default — replacing the default WordPress widgets to the plugin. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the What’s next in Gutenberg blog post.
Twenty Twenty One is the WordPress 5.6 default theme
Twenty Twenty One, the brand new default theme for WordPress 5.6, has been announced! Twenty Twenty One is designed to be a blank canvas for the block editor, and will adopt a straightforward, yet refined, design. The theme has a limited color palette: a pastel green background color, two shades of dark grey for text, and a native set of system fonts. Twenty Twenty One will use a modified version of the Seedlet theme as its base. It will have a comprehensive system of nested CSS variables to make child theming easier, a native support for global styles, and full site editing.
Follow the Make/Core blog if you wish to contribute to Twenty Twenty One. There will be weekly meetings every Monday at 15:00 UTC and triage sessions every Friday at 15:00 UTC in the #core-themes Slack channel. Theme development will happen on GitHub.
- WordPress plugin authors can now opt into confirming plugin updates via email. This feature will allow plugin authors to approve any plugin updates over email before release.
- September was the busiest month for online WordCamps so far, with seven events taking place: WordCamp Ogijima Online, WordCamp Colombia Online, WordCamp Asheville, NC USA, WordCamp São Paulo, Brazil, WordCamp Virginia Beach, WordCamp Lima Peru, and WordCamp Philadelphia, PA, USA. You can find live stream recaps of these events on their websites. The camps are also in the process of uploading their videos to WordPress.tv. Check out the WordCamp Schedule to follow upcoming online WordCamps!
- The Themes team has added a delist feature to the themes directory. The feature will allow a theme to be temporarily hidden from search, while still making it available. The team may delist themes if they violate the Theme Directory guidelines.
- The Themes Team has also released its new web fonts Loader project. The webfonts loader will allow theme developers to load web fonts from the user’s site, rather than through a third-party CDN. The project lives in the team’s GitHub repository.
- The Support team is discussing the level of control users should have over their support forum topics. The team is thinking of allowing users to archive their topics and lengthen time-to-edit to remove any semi-sensitive data. In a separate, but related, post, Support team members have started discussing how to curb support requests for commercial products.
- The Mobile team came up with a proposal for dual licensing Gutenberg under GPL 2.0 and MPL (Mozilla Public License) 2.0, so that non-WordPress software developers can potentially use it for their projects.
- Since Facebook and Instagram are deprecating oEmbeds, the Core Team will be removing Facebook and Instagram’s oEmbed endpoints from WordPress core code.
- Following extensive discussion, the Documentation team has tentatively decided to allow external and commercial links in the WordPress documentation. The team aims to publish a formal proposal that will be left open for feedback before finalizing it.
- Members of the Polyglots and Marketing teams are celebrating the International Translation Day for WordPress over the week of September 28 – October 4! Community members can join or organize translation events, or contribute to WordPress core, theme, or plugin translations during this period.
- WP Accessibility day — a 24-hour global online event dedicated to addressing website accessibility in WordPress, is being held on October 2. The event is open for all and has experts from all over the world as speakers.
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