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What’s New in WordPress 5.2

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WordPress 5.2 has been released and our team has the following overview of the new features and functionality.

Site Health Check

The biggest feature of WordPress 5.2 is the Site Health Check. This feature brings two features to the admin dashboard to help users maintain their website and spot common issues.

The Status tab runs a number of tests on the website and will categorize the results as either critical, recommended or good. These results in turn determine the health percentage that is shown at the top of the page. Each test can be expanded to see an explanation of the problem that needs to be addressed and may offer the option to automatically fix the issue for you.

WP5-2 Site Health Check

The Info tab provides (you guessed it) detailed information about the configuration of your install.  The cool feature here is the ability to export a list of all the information – handy for an email exchange with your web support team.

Protection Against Fatal Errors in WordPress

The “White Screen of Death” is one of the most common and frustrating errors in WordPress. The latest version introduces a new recovery mode for website administrators. When a fatal occurs, an error message will show that “This site is experiencing technical difficulties”. WordPress will then also send an email to all administrators with a special login link for them to access the dashboard in Recovery Mode and undo any changes that may have triggered the error.

Cool.

PHP Version Requirements

The latest update of WordPress revises the minimum PHP version requirement to PHP version 5.6. Those who using PHP version older than 5.6 will no longer supported by WordPress. According to stats, are still (rather significant) number of websites are still using PHP version below 5.6.

Improvements for the Gutenberg Editor

The “Block” feature and Gutenberg were introduced in WordPress 5.0 and improvements have happened with each subsequent release.  The following are the improvements of the block editor in WordPress 5.2.

  • improvement in performance
  • introduction of new “block” features
  • improvement in accessibility

Under The Hood Improvements

In addition, there are a number of other changes which are useful to developers including new Dashicons for the WordPress administrator area and an option to define the log file path for the WP_DEBUG_LOG function in the wp-config file.

Take a Backup First

This is a major release, and will not auto update for you. So be sure you take a full backup before updating.

Wait a Little Bit

We advise holding off updating for a few days to ensure all the bugs are worked out. There were multiple bug reports in the beta version that caused the release to be delayed for a week. So, there may still be a few bugs to address.

Any questions … click on Contact Us at the top of the page!

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