The Road Ahead: What’s in Store for WordPress for the Rest of 2020?
Full-site editing, automatic theme and plugin updates, global styles, and more await. With the release of WordPress 5.4 and an open call for version 5.5 tickets, it is time to peer into the future and catch a glimpse of what is to come. It is shaping up to be an exciting year thus far. Josepha Haden, executive director of WordPress, provided a progress update on the 2020 goals in early March. As always, the timeline to hit certain goals can change based on roadblocks the development team hits and other factors. On the whole, the tentative roadmap looks feasible. Currently, WordPress 5.5 is set to ship on August 11, 2020. Version 5.6 is scheduled to follow on December 8, 2020. Some major changes are forthcoming. Let us take a moment to look ahead and see where the WordPress ship is sailing. Automatic Updates for Everything Automatic updates column on the plugin management screen. We have enjoyed automatic updates for minor versions of core WordPress since version 3.7. However, until recently, it has felt like progress on auto-updating everything had stalled. From mobile phones to smart TVs, the average end-user is accustomed to their software simply staying updated. In 2020, it is time WordPress continues pushing forward, particularly when staying updated is one component of maintaining a secure website. There are two separate changes centered on automatic updates in the pipeline. The first, which is set to ship in WordPress 5.5, is automatic updates for plugins and themes. The feature plugin has been in development for several months and should be stable enough to launch with the next version of WordPress. Plugin and theme developers will need to adopt a development strategy that aligns more with the WordPress philosophy of maintaining backward compatibility, at least to the point where an automatic update does not break a user’s site. This change is a welcome one because it will lead to a more secure web. However, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the months to come. I am certain there will be a road bump or two that the developer community will need to overcome. Automatic updates of core WordPress is slated to officially land in version 5.6. It should be an opt-in feature when it rolls out. The feature plugin should also be ready by the time WordPress 5.5 lands. Block Directory Integration WordPress.org’s block directory page. The block directory first landed in Gutenberg 6.5 as an experimental feature. For those of us running the plugin, it is almost easy to forget that it is not already a part of WordPress. The block directory is a listing of a special type of plugin that adds only a single block. In WordPress 5.5, users should be able to search and install blocks from this directory via the post editing screen. If you need a block that is not installed, you can install and begin using it without going through the normal routine with installing a plugin. Full-Site Editing Live Demo Q&A from The Gutenberg Times. I am excited about the prospect of full-site editing landing in WordPress. I am concerned that a target date within 2020 may be rushing a feature that may not be ready. I want this to be a successful transition of how themes work and how users interact with their sites. » Read More
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