This new update to WordPress 6.1 is the most significant update to date, introducing a plethora of new features and enhancing previously available ones. Also, a brand new default WordPress theme with tons of fresh, stylish options you can apply with a single click is on the horizon. I’ll do my best to cover all the new developments in this article.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the interface you normally use has been updated, reorganized, and made faster.
One of the coolest features of the 2023 default theme is the collection of predefined styles that come standard. By selecting a predefined style from a drop-down menu, you can easily alter the look of your entire site. With a single click, you can alter settings such as the background color with the blocks provided. Just save it, and save it again, and you’re all set.
Fluid Typography and Spacing
This fascinating modernization includes fluid typography and fluid spacing. What this amounts to is allowing whoever is making a theme to specify a minimum and maximum font size. It’s a big improvement over the current method, and it happens automatically as the device window gets smaller. It’s going to make better responsive sites.
Margin and Padding Editing
Let’s talk about how the block editor has evolved. Many of the standard default blocks will soon have their margin and padding adjusted by the user. So when clicked on a block you can see a slider to fine tune adjustments. Clicking the gear icon next to the slider allows you to enter a fixed pixel value for the margin and padding in each dimension.
New Border Controls
As is evident from the image here, new border controls are being installed in the majority of blocks. This will look great with pictures because one of the controls is for the border itself and the other is radius settings to round off the corners. When you click on an image, you’ll be able to see the results of your edits instantly. It’s simple to adjust the border’s width, and you can even have it tailored to define odd edges. A corner’s color and radius can be customized independently or all at once.
An additional brand-new improvement has been made to the cover block. Simply clicking on it is all it takes to add it, and what’s really cool about it is that it’s getting some dynamic features added to it. If I wanted an image to appear in the background of the page, all I would have to do is click on a button, and it would automatically use the featured image from the post that you are currently viewing.
Default List Block
Additionally, there are some very welcome enhancements to the default list block. When this list over here requires some styling, you can rearrange it and indent it however you want easily.
Full Site Experience
Now let’s go over the full site editing experience changes. With adding only a snippet of code and activating the theme you can view options to set for template parts. You can edit template parts separately and design your website’s footer using the full site editing experience. I’m sure a lot of theme developers are easing their way into this but I was able to accomplish this with a few snippets of custom code and it was very easy.
Custom Template Types
In addition to all this, there is now a much larger selection of custom template types to choose from.
Click “add new” in the upper right corner of the templates page to see a list of all the custom post types currently installed on your site. Plus, you can make a custom template for that custom post type that you’ve created on your site. You can see at the down figure that there’s options here for adding taxonomies, Single Item: Posts and viceversa. Even though the previous version of WordPress contained some of these features, they have been vastly improved upon. If I want to create a custom post type with some custom fields, I can go into the full site editor here and I can create a custom designed page template for it. Also, what’s new is this last option here is you can have a custom template applied to a single post so it doesn’t have to apply to all of your posts.
Think about it like this: when it comes to blog posts, you can use a different template for each individual post if you want to, rather than using the same template for all of your posts. Also brand new is this.
A number of enhancements have been made to the menu bar that can be seen right here. You can generate a new menu or access the Manage menu with the simple click of a button.
The next modification is up here in this area at the top right, where there used to be a link that said “Preview.” Now, however, they have removed the “Pre” from the link, and it simply says “View.” This means that when you click on it, you are presented with the same options as the button that suggested previews in the past.
Three Dots Preferences
You can access the various preferences by clicking on the three dots that are located next to the “view” button that has recently been added and then scrolling down to preferences. In this section, you can configure your preferences for the display of button text labels. Therefore, this means that whenever I go into a page or a post, it will immediately bring up this list view by default.
A brand-new information icon presented as “i” has been added to the top of the page. If you click on the tiny icon, it will have a new time to read reading as well as other information regarding the post that you are currently on. Therefore, if you are writing a blog, specifically one blog post, you will be able to determine how much time someone should spend reading that particular blog post.
Now there’s two new site health checks regarding object caching. The reason you want to know this is because if you have clients and you give them the site and they’re inside of the site health, they will get alarmed if they get confused. You can see that there is already a tool for that right here where it says health check. If you expand it, it will provide you with some information.
Here, the response time of your server is an actual displayed metric. That explains why it showed up just a few seconds after I landed on the page. My search response time was being measured by it.
You can see right here that it’s taking 893 milliseconds, while the recommendation is that this should be less than 600 milliseconds. Therefore, if you are not using a hosting service of sufficient quality, your customers are going to come in here and say, “Oh, there’s something going on here.”
The final part of the improvements concentrates on the performance of the system. So whenever anyone visits a page on your website, what ends up happening is a request is made to a database. The database then gives a response and says something along the lines of, “Okay, here’s the content for that home page or blog post or whatever you are looking for.” That is what’s known as a query. When it comes to website hosting, the speed bottleneck, also known as the speed problem, is typically the amount of time it takes to make a query and then actually receive the data that was requested. Consequently, caching of that query is going to be incorporated into this update of WordPress. Therefore, the next time someone visits that same page, that query will not have to go and ask the database like it normally would. Okay, so it will ask, “what exactly is contained in this blog post?” It will in fact have stored a copy of that. Therefore, it will be possible to avoid making that query to the database. And because the issue of querying, or rather the process of querying the database, is what causes the majority of websites to move at a snail’s pace. All WordPress websites are going to experience a speed boost as a result of this change.
So, how much better is my site going to get? If you use the kind of extremely cheap and extremely problematic shared hosting, you can expect to see a significant improvement; however, if you use quality hosting provided by a reputable company, the difference may be less noticeable. The Pixagon team is thrilled about the upcoming speed updates, which will have a profound impact on WordPress sites’ ability to compete and each site’s position in Google’s search results.
Some of the new features introduced in the update of WordPress v. 6.1 pertain improvements to the full site editor with regards to the aforementioned blocks, the new dimensions and border controls, the menu enhancements, some of the UI alterations, and the fluid typography together with the a few miscellaneous additions and alterations, as well as the upgrades to existing blocks.
By 2024, we should see widespread use of block themes built on WordPress’ full site-editing platform. Today, It’s extremely technical and intricate. I don’t think it was designed with the end user in mind, but I hope to see it at a point where it’s simple for the average person to jump in and use. To that end, I can almost guarantee that some of Pixagon Team’s websites will begin testing out full-site editing and launch custom themes that support full-site editing early next year. Because I think it’s going to provide the most user friendly experience in the future for all WordPress websites.