New WordPress version released: “Esperanza”
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We hope you are as excited to read about these new changes introduced with the new WordPress version, “Esperanza”, as we are to inform you about them! Before we get into the technical details, let’s share a few words about the namesake of this latest release from the WordPress development team.
“Esperanza” is named in honor of Esperanza Spalding, a modern musical prodigy. You can read more about her and her music in this Wikipedia article.
This update is mainly focused on providing the best version of WordPress with simpler interactions and more focus on the content. Over 127 bugs, 66 enhancements and feature requests, and 29 tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.7.
So what are the major new features with the “Esperanza” update? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details!
HTTP TO HTTPS Converter now available
WordPress 5.7 promises to simplify the process of migrating a site from HTTP to HTTPS. Until now, converting a WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS hasn’t been an easy and accessible task for everyone. With this latest release, conversion can now accomplish it in one click. After initiating the conversion, URLs in a site’s database are automatically replaced when the site and WordPress address uses HTTPS. That means no more hunting and guessing!
The upgraded interface of the Site Health panel, under the HTTPS Status section, now has its very own button used to switch directly from HTTP to HTTPS. This is a huge step ahead in easing HTTPS migration as it’s usually a process done through the web hosting control panel!
Now there is an Easier to Use Editor in the new WordPress version
In the “Esperanza” version there are massive improvements in the block editor. WordPress users will now enjoy a refined interface of the Gutenberg version 9.9, as well as many bug fixes and improvements. It combines seven patches (versions from 9.3 to 9.9) into one and updates from versions 10.0 и 10.1.
Blocks and patterns can now be easily dragged straight from the inserter and added into posts and pages. The editor will now provide more block variations and options for customization and switching between them.
WordPress 5.7 also includes the following enhancements to the editor:
- Adjust font size in more places: Font size controls are now available in the List and Code blocks. No need to go to another screen to make adjustments.
- Reusable blocks: Enhancements make reusable blocks more stable and easier to use. They will now save automatically with the post after clicking “Update”.
- Drag-and-drop: Drag blocks and block patterns into the post from the inverter.
- Full-height alignment: Have you ever wanted to make a block, like the Cover block, fill the whole window? Now you can.
- Social Icons block: You can change the size of the social icons with this feature.
- Buttons block: Now you can choose between a vertical or a horizontal layout. And you can set the width of a button to a preset percentage.
Enhanced Color Palette introduced
The new color palette WordPress 5.7 has introduced collapses all of the colors in the WordPress source code down to seven core colors with a range of different 56 shades. All of which meet the recommended contrast ratio (of WCAG 2.0 AA) when placed again white or black. All of the seven core colors start at white and get darker with the same amount of “darkness” on each shade towards dark. You can find this new and simpler color palette in the default WordPress color scheme. It offers developers a color palette with a wider range of light and darker color schemes.
You can find the color palette codes here.
New WordPress version adds Robots API
The latest WordPress 5.7 also comes with a new Robots API that makes it entirely possible for developers to manage the robots meta tag on a page. With a new function named wp_robots, they will manage the robots’ meta tag by adding their own filters. This new API includes a setting to control whether search engines are allowed to display large media from a site.
By default, the directive “max-image-preview: large” will be added into the robots meta tag, and this means that your image previews will be available at a larger resolution in the search results. Google, for instance, uses images served like this in Google Discover. Of course, the system will automatically hide this tag for websites that are marked as not public.
If you are curious to learn more about the robots.txt file in your web hosting, please take a look at this HostArmada knowledgebase article.
Lazy Load for iFrames
After the WordPress 5.5 release in August 2020, default lazy loading for images was introduced. What is it exactly? Lazy loading means that an image or object on your site doesn’t load until it appears in your visitor’s browser. This is done to decrease loading time for a page, and with it, improve the speed of your site.
With these latest changes coming with WordPress “Esperanza”, lazy loading is also possible for all embeds that use iframes. For example, a YouTube video that you embed on your page. All you need to do is add the following attribute to your iframe tag: loading=”lazy” and you will be able to achieve it!
We are very thankful to the WordPress development team and their affiliated contributors, who have made all these much-needed changes and polishes a reality! The “Esperanza” update quite easily freshens up WordPress in more ways than one. Further, it innovates its already successful design model to be more accessible than before to a new generation of people looking to start an online project.
Here at HostArmada, we’ll be glad to assist further with any questions, concerns, or issues that may arise with the introduction of the new WordPress version! Reach back to us anytime, as we remain 24/7 at your disposal.