WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” released on March 9th and is the first release of 2021. The new version is named after Esperanza Spalding, an American jazz bassist. Who rose to prominence as a singer, songwriter, and composer in her early twenties.
The Gutenberg plugin versions 9.3 – 9.9 are included in this update, which includes hundreds of improvements and bug fixes that make working in the block editor more systematic and exciting.
New Features and Improvements
As previously mentioned, WordPress 5.7 adds a slew of new features and enhancements. The new drag-and-drop capabilities in the block inserter are one of the highlights. Users can now drag and drop blocks and block patterns directly into the post content area, speeding up the page creation process.
Many of the enhancements to the user-facing editor in this release give the user more control over existing blocks:
Full height alignment: Now blocks support full window visibility.
Buttons block: You can now choose either a vertical or a horizontal layout. You can set the width of a button to a preset percentage.
Social Icons block: In the Social Icons block, you can now change the size of the icons.
Increase the Font sizes in more places: You can now control the font size in the List and Code blocks.
In addition, the UI for block variations has been improved with the addition of an icon and description for the variation in the block inspector. As well as a new dropdown for switching between variations. Reusable blocks updated so that they are now saved at the same time as the post. In version 10.1 of the Gutenberg plugin, which is not yet included in core, a slew of new features have been added. If you frequently use Reusable blocks, you should install the plugin to take advantage of the enhanced UI.
WordPress 5.7 introduces a streamlined color palette for the admin, in addition to all of the editor improvements. It narrows the palette down to seven core colors and 56 shades. One advantage is that all shades meet the recommended WCAG 2.0 AA contrast ratio when compare to white or black.
New Admin Color Scheme
Developers of themes and plugins who want to make their products more compatible with the WordPress admin color scheme can use the new standardized shades to do so. WordPress’ existing core classes have also been updated to include the new color palette, allowing plugin authors to work with it.
One click mugration from HTTP to HTTPs
A new one-click migration from HTTP to HTTPS is one of the most exciting technical enhancements in 5.7. If the user’s hosting environment supports HTTPS. WordPress can now detect it and update with a single click, handling mixed content rewrites where possible. In the Site Health Recommendations page you can find this option.
After the update to jQuery 3.5.1, WordPress 5.7 continues the cleanup, which will eventually result in the removal of the jQuery Migrate plugin. It removes many JQMIGRATE warnings and fixes numerous jQuery deprecations in external libraries.
The new filter-based Robots API included in 5.7 may also be of interest to developers. It allows for central management of the robots meta tag content injected into the page, as well as a setting that allows search engines to display large media from the site. Based on the new setting, a max-image-preview:large robots directive will be injected into the robots meta tag by default.
In addition, version 5.7 adds native support for lazy loading iframes. Which is a follow-up to WordPress’s support for lazy loading images in version 5.5. This should help pages with embeds and other types of iframes load faster.
For technical details on everything new in this release, see the WordPress 5.7 field guide. This update is the result of the efforts of 481 volunteer contributors. Who worked on 250 Trac tickets and over 950 GitHub pull requests.
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