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      WordPress 6.1 Released! Here’s What’s New

      Dec 22, 2022

      4 minute read

      On November 01, 2022, WordPress 6.1 ‘Misha’ was released.

      It is the last major release of the year and offers significant updates to the software.

      In this blog post, we will discuss the new features and enhancements of this version.

      But first, here’s a little trivia for you about its nomenclature.

      Misha is named after the Soviet-Norwegian jazz pianist Mikhail Misha Alperin. He was a founding member of the first Moldavian jazz quartet, and later the Moscow Art Trio. Alperin is known for his spellbinding blend of jazz and folk music worldwide.

      Why the Release and What It Brings?

      WordPress 6.1 release continues to build and refine the full-site editing experience introduced in WordPress 5.9 earlier this year. It aims to improve the design tooling consistency of WordPress core blocks. The update also brings new opportunities to customize website styling and page design along with other enhancements to take users’ WordPress experience up a notch.

      WordPress 6.1 – Key Features and Updates

      WordPress 6.1 features

      Twenty Twenty-Three Default Theme

      WordPress 6.1 comes with a brand new default theme Twenty Twenty-Three. The theme has the default minimalist design, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. TT3 has 10 style variations, all of which are fully customizable. They have their own color palette, typography, and layout that users can use for their posts and pages.

      New Templates in Site Editor

      With full-site editing, you can now work with the site editor instead of the theme customizer tool. You can create custom templates for various pages with much finer control. These include:

      Post: Create a single template for a specific post or all
      Page: Create templates for pages including homepage, single post, 404 page, and search result page
      Author: Create a template for all authors or a specific one
      Category: Create a template to use for a single category or all

      Content-Only Block Editing

      WordPress 6.1 introduces content-only editing for blocks, patterns, and templates. With this, users can only change the content of a block without breaking the layout or changing the styles accidentally.

      When content-only editing is enabled, the settings sidebar changes. Instead of the usual controls, you will also see a list of blocks that you can select from. You can enable or disable this function anytime while editing.

      Fluid Typography and Spacing

      Fluid typography refers to the capacity of text to adapt according to the screen size. While responsive websites already offer this capability, it only works on pre-determined sizes.

      However, with fluid typography, the text automatically resizes as per the viewport, scaling from a minimum to maximum width smoothly.

      Similar to typography, WordPress 6.1 also supports fluid spacing. Earlier it was not possible for theme authors to set fixed values for padding, margin, and gap. But now, they can easily transfer spacing settings from one theme to another.

      Block Editor Improvements

      WordPress 6.1 brings many new changes and improvements to the existing block types.

      1. Inner Blocks for Quote and List Blocks – Move list items up and down.
      2. Featured Image in Cover Block – Select the featured image to be used for the cover block.
      3. New & Improved Borders – Customize the top, bottom, left, and right borders separately.
      4. Refined Navigation Blocks – Change background and text color for sub-menus.
      5. More Padding and Margin Options – Set padding and margins with neat visual hints using the Dimensions tool.

      Design Tool Enhancements

      WordPress 6.1 offer many refinements to Editor design that aims to enhance user experience.

      1. Time to Read Section introduced in the Information Panel.
      2. Site Icon replaces the WordPress logo in the top left screen corner.
      3. Status & Visibility Panel renamed to Summary – Template and Permalink panels are merged into the Summary panel.
      4. New Options in Preferences Section –
      a) ‘Always open list view’ shows the list sidebar by default for all articles.
      b) ‘Show button text labels’ replace icons in toolbars with text labels.

      Other Notable Updates

      Besides the above-discussed updates, here are some under-the-hood improvements in WordPress 6.1:

      • Support for starter patterns for any post type
      • Simplified data access with React hooks
      • Filters to hook into theme.json data
      • Classic themes can use template parts
      • Expanded support for query loop blocks
      • 60 Accessibility and 25 Performance updates

      WordPress 6.1 Installation/Update

      WordPress 6.1 is a major release. So, unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you would have to initiate the update manually. To download WordPress 6.1, go to Dashboard > Updates menu in your site’s admin area and click the ‘Update Now’ button. Alternatively, you can visit the release archive[i] and follow the step-by-step instructions[ii].

      The Final Note

      WordPress 6.1 brings a ton of improvements to the existing CMS performance and overall WordPress experience. The new features of the release are reliable and will enhance the development environment to a great extent.

      What do you think of WordPress 6.1? Do share your thoughts and experiences with us.

      Need Help With Your WordPress Platform? Talk to Our WordPress Wizards!

      At Grazitti, our WordPress team is well-versed in building and optimizing stellar WordPress websites for businesses of all sizes. To learn more about our services, email us at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.


      [i] Release Archive – WordPress

      [ii] Step-by-step Instructions – Updating WordPress

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