Tap into the power of WordPress 6.5: New and Exciting Updates!

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With WordPress 6.5 being released on March 26th, it’s time to take a look at what the developers in WP have installed for us. This is the year’s first major release, and it’s bound to have plenty of new features and tweaks. As it has been over the past two years, the attention goes primarily to the editor and customization features.

Still, there are some interesting new additions to the best CMS platform. So, let’s take a closer look at what WordPress 6.5 has to offer.

The Fonts Library

Probably the most significant upgrade in this rendition of the website-building platform goes to the fonts library. This new feature was planned for v. 6.4 but needed some extra work. Thus, the developers pulled it at the last minute for this release. Thankfully, in v. 6.5, the font library is finally finished.

The fonts library can be found in the Styles panel inside the site editor. Once there, switch to typography, and you will see the manage fonts button right across from “Fonts.” Clicking on the button will open a popup window covering the screen. This is the library.

Right off the bat, you will see the fonts you currently installed. If you want to use your own unique font, you can upload it. Make sure, however, that it is in an acceptable format and that you have the right to use it.

Screenshot of the font library

You can also check out all Google Fonts under the “Install Fonts” tab and choose the one that best suits your brand. Though browsing is an option, we suggest finding one first, as the library contains over 2000 pages of Google fonts. Browsing through all of them wouldn’t be a proper use of your time.

After finding the font you want to integrate into your website, select it and click the install button. It will then be back in your “Library” tab in a few seconds.

This will help you build your brand typography without the limitations of WP fonts and without the complications of finding and installing outside fonts.

Plugin Dependencies

Users have been waiting for this feature for a long time. For a platform priding itself on the massive number of plugins, WordPress didn’t make it easy to find out which add-ons play nicely together and which don’t. With the v. 6.5 update, this significant inconvenience is in the past.

Plugins often require other plugins to work correctly. For example, some payment add-ons require WooCommerce on the website to work as intended. On the other hand, some plugins may fight with another plugin if their functions contradict or cover each other.

Thus, plugin creators will now have the opportunity to add a “Requires Plugin” entry to their header.

When all the plugins required for the main one to work are installed and activated, the user will be able to activate the main plugin. On the other hand, they won’t be able to deactivate plugins that would interfere with another plugin. For example, if you want to deactivate WooCommerce, you must first deactivate all plugins that are dependent on it.

So, why is this so important? Well, it helps you avoid the stress, wondering, and additional research why a particular plugin does not work. Till now, you had to check this in Google, forums, and open tickets. Now, you know what it takes for a plugin to operate at its optimal capacity before opening it. It’s a small change indeed, but it enhances the UX immensely.

Custom Fields for Blocks

Arguably, the most exciting debut with v. 6.5 is the association of custom fields with block attributes. Though custom fields are nothing new for the WP infrastructure, until now, they were only possible for posts, pages, and other content types. With v. 6.5, developers can attribute custom-field data (like metadata, for example) to individual blocks.

Moreover, advanced users can also provide dynamic data for blocks from various sources thanks to the block-binding API. This functionality will allow developers to choose dynamic values from a drop-down menu by registering previously established connections in the editor.

Design and Customization

As usual, WordPress focused its efforts on improving the design and customization options. This trend has been ongoing for the past several years, ever since WP developers started working on the Gutenberg page builder. WordPress 6.5 does not disappoint when it comes to design and customization enhancements.

Block Editor improvements

The Custom Field for Blocks is the highlight of the design and customization updates. Still, it’s hardly the only upgrade. WP developers took it upon themselves to improve the block editor massively. After all, that’s where most users spend the majority of their time on WordPress.

Over a dozen small but instrumental tweaks and fixes make working within the editor much easier.

Drop shadow Effect

One of the more exciting debuting features in WordPress 6.5 is the Drop shadow effect. It will be available for several block types, including images, columns, and buttons.

Screenshot of the shadows option

To activate the shadow, select the block, go to the Style Panel, select the three-dot menu next to “Border & Shadow,” and activate the shadow.

Smart Overlay Colors

The Cover block also got some pampering with a brand-new feature. With WordPress 6.5, users will be able to give the cover block a smart overlay refurbishing. What makes the feature smart is its automated detection of the image’s background color and choosing the best shade to give your cover an exquisite look. To use this option, go to the style panel of the cover block and select the “Overlay” option under the “Color” segment.

New List View options

Making editing more straightforward and better organized is one of the foremost efforts of the WP developers. In v. 6.4, they allowed users to rename Group blocks from the List View. This allowed them to find more effortlessly the block group they wanted to work on. It was a great way to optimize the work and prevent mixups.

With v. 6.5 coming around, WP is continuing this trend, allowing users to rename any block in the list view. This will further enhance organizational clarity when working inside the editor.

Screenshot of list renaming option

Furthermore, with v. 6.5 entering the game, users will be able to bring the settings up by right-clicking on a block. Indeed, that’s not a huge change, but it effectively enhances the user experience and streamlines the work.

Improved preference panel

Another small but efficient change is the upgrade of the preference panel. With this update, two new panels will appear—”Appearance” and “Accessibility.” This will gather many handy options in the same place and categorize them within their specific niche, naturally leading to far more intuitive usability.

Link Control Changes

Another minor change that brings a much better user experience is the link control. WordPress 6.5 still allows you to choose from a list of your website pages, but it will display them with different icons. Though a small change, this will make finding the right page much easier.

Screenshot of new linking options

Moreover, when the anchor word is bound, you will now see one more option along with the edit and remove link. The new option is copy, which will come in quite handy for those who want to link the same page multiple times throughout the content.

Synced Patterns Get More Powers

Ever since their inception, synced patterns have been a hit among developers. They allow developers to reuse them and make global changes without needing to visit every single copy, streamlining the work process immensely. Now, with v. 6.5, synced patterns become even more powerful.

This had one very obvious flaw. Sometimes, patterns have to be changed. But with v. 6.4, this was impossible. A change in one copy of the synced pattern leads to changing every single one.

With v. 6.5, this has been solved. Developers can now change some aspects of the pattern without affecting the rest. For example, if you want to change some specific content, you can go to the block settings, expand the advanced panel, check the “Allow Instance Overrides” box, and make your change. This makes the patterns immensely more powerful, as now you can use them not only as complete copies but also as patterns that can be edited based on context and needs.

Improved Revisions

One of the more significant changes in WP 6.5 is the revisions. Up until now, you had to choose your previous style rendition blindly to see what had been changed. With WP 6.5, this is in the past. The revision list now describes the changes you made.

Implementing a previous version is also much more straightforward, with an apply button right beneath the description.

Interactivity API

The true MVP in this WordPress version, however, without a doubt, is the Interactivity API. This feature allows developers to build top-of-the-line front-end interfaces without the need for complete page reloads. This enables the creation of much more user-friendly websites that are far more “interactive,” SEO-friendly, and fast.

Screenshot of the demo website for the Interactivity API

Essentially, this feature changes what the users can see without the need to reload the entire website. This significantly cuts the loading time, allowing users to browse your content much faster. The Interactivity API is a game-changer for image-heavy websites and galleries.

The developers actually build a quick demo website to showcase this new feature. You can check it out here.

Other Changes

Along with the big changes, WordPress developers also implemented another 681 enhancements. Moreover, they fixed 488 bugs, about half of which were based on user tickets.

Furthermore, the performance has been upgraded significantly. The block and site editors will now load twice as fast, and the input time will be four times faster.

Of course, all of these enhancements will only be worthwhile if you have a brilliant hosting infrastructure to support your website. That’s where we at HostArmada excel. Along with our seamless integration with WordPress, we offer lightning-fast speed, robust security, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

So, enhancing your website through updating your WordPress to v. 6.5 is only the first step. The genuine upgrade can only happen by securing HostArmada as a hosting provider.