📆 This is the April 2023 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”
Hey, WordPress fans. We are happy to be back with you sharing all of the latest WordPress news and events from the past month.
In the biggest news of the month, WordPress 6.2 went live, bringing a number of improvements to the Site Editor experience. It was, however, a day late – learn why below!
Beyond that, we got a look at what the real-time collaboration features in Phase 3 of the Gutenberg project might look like, there were some more WordPress acquisitions, and we announced our fun 15-minute WordPress design challenge here at CodeinWP (there’s a $1,000 cash prize if you win!)
Let’s get to all of the WordPress news from the past month…
April 2023 WordPress News with CodeinWP
WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy” released after a short delay
After a short delay, WordPress 6.2 was officially released into the wild on March 29.
WordPress 6.2, named “Dolphy” after Eric Allan Dolphy Jr, was originally scheduled for release on March 28. However, a regression with date formats was discovered during the final 24-hour freeze before the release.
Fixing this issue required another 24-hour code freeze before the release, which is why WordPress 6.2 didn’t go live until March 29.
As has become the norm for recent releases, most of the big feature additions and changes in WordPress 6.2 involve the WordPress block editor and/or the site editing experience.
First off, WordPress 6.2 brings a revamped Site Editor interface. A new browse mode makes it easier to navigate through various templates and template parts and easily create new templates as needed.
It also brings improvements to the Navigation block (which greatly needed help). In part, it’s now easier to manage menu items via a new sidebar in the Site Editor.
The Block Inserter also got a facelift – there’s now a new “Media” tab in addition to the “Blocks” and “Patterns” tabs. The Media tab will let you more easily add files from your Media Library to your designs. You can choose a specific media type – e.g. “Images” or “Videos” – and see the ten most recent files for that media type.
There’s also a new Openverse option in the “Media” tab that lets you explore more than 700 million creative works, all of which are licensed under a Creative Commons license or already in the public domain.
Finally, another notable addition is a new Distraction Free editing mode that hides a lot of the block editor interface so that you can focus on writing content.
Real-time collaboration is finally coming to WordPress
While most of the recent WordPress releases have focused on the Site Editor, the Site Editor is just one phase of the broader Gutenberg project (Phase 2, to be exact).
The next phase – Phase 3 – is now on the horizon, which will bring some tantalizing new features to the WordPress core.
Gutenberg Phase 3 will focus on real-time collaboration in the editor, similar to the type of collaboration that is available to Google Docs users.
On March 25, Matias Ventura published an outline of some of the features that might be included here:
- Multiple users being able to work on the same content/designs across all block editors.
- Asynchronous collaboration such as inline block commenting, assignment reviews, improved version control, task management, and more.
- Multi-step publishing workflows. These are already available via a number of content workflow plugins, but the idea would be to bring them into the core.
- Improvements to the post revisions interface, such as making it aware of individual blocks and more visual in general.
- Improvements to the Media Library, as well as the library for managing blocks, patterns, styles, and fonts.
As with Phase 2 of the project, it’s not like all of these features will come in a single release. They’ll likely be dripped out and improved over time.
Additionally, this phase is still in the exploratory phase, so things could change and features could be added or removed before prime time.
Overall, though, these features should be an attractive addition for organizations and teams who use WordPress.
However, I think the benefits for solo users will be more limited, so individuals might not see big improvements during the Phase 3 releases.
CodeinWP announces its 15-minute WordPress challenge
Let’s spice things up with a bit of WordPress news that’s closer to home.
A few days ago, we were happy to announce our 15 Minute WordPress Challenge. 🎯 🏋️
If you want to participate in the challenge, the goal is to use WordPress to build an educational website for kids in 15 minutes or less.
If your site wins the challenge, you’ll earn $1,000 in cold hard cash, plus free access to all of Themeisle’s premium themes and plugins.
There are also other prizes, with the People’s Choice Award getting $500 in cash and access to Themeisle’s themes and plugins, and eight finalists getting free access to Themeisle’s themes and plugins.
Again, the requirement is that you build your site in under 15 minutes, so you don’t need to invest much time to participate.
If you want to join the contest, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Create a screen recording of you building your website in under 15 minutes.
- Make sure the website is publicly available on a URL (you’re free to use a subdomain of an existing site or something like InstaWP if you don’t want to purchase a new domain).
- Submit the form on the 15 Minute WordPress Challenge page.
To learn more about the requirements for your website, you should read the “Website entry requirements” on the challenge page.
If you want to participate, you have until April 16 to submit your website.
You may also be interested in:
- WordPress 6.3, WordCamp Dhaka Cancelled, Plugin Vulnerabilities 🗞️ August 2023 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
- WooCommerce’s Own Hosting Service, iThemes Rebrands, Twitter API Ban 🗞️ May 2023 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
- WordPress 5.0 Releases December 6th, 2018; Here’s What You Need to Know 🗞️ December 2018 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
That sums up our April 2023 WordPress news roundup. Anything we missed?
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below:
Layout and presentation by Karol K.