The WordPress 6.0 Release Features Enterprise Marketers Can’t Wait to Try
Is WordPress’s Gutenberg Block Editor the universal key to content agility, more effective content workflow, and the Fifth Law of Thermodynamics all rolled into one? Maybe, if you ask WordPress VIP customers and content creators.
With the upcoming rollout of WordPress 6.0, an improved block editor, block patterns, better content controls, and a host of new features are certainly going to make the lives of those creators even easier. But ease of use doesn’t come at the expense of brand governance, as businesses will also enjoy greater control over the block experience.
The big takeaway for our enterprise customers
Expect an improved Gutenberg editor experience, better overall performance out of the box (thanks to improved caching and taxonomies), and faster, less error prone content creation—especially for those long, more complex pages and posts.
Technical note: In keeping with WordPress version numbering convention, 6.0 is an incremental release and in almost all cases should be a very easy upgrade with little to no impact to your sites. The bulk of the changes will affect the features of the wp-admin experience, namely in the block editor.
Our editor’s pick of WordPress version 6.0 features
But before we dive into the bulk of WordPress 6.0 release and the most useful functionality for enterprise WordPress users, here’s a quick snapshot of our favorite features to pay attention to:
- Patterns: Gives designers control over specific block designs for better visual consistency across sites; allows designers to create unique, reusable starting points for content creators.
- Block locking: Provides the flexibility to lock a block so other editors can’t delete it, making adherence to standards and collaboration between team members easier.
- Select text across blocks: Makes it easy to edit text-heavy pages with multiple blocks.
- Easier handling of list view: Gives a better overview of your blocks and makes it easy to manipulate several blocks at once.
- Code editor: Offers quick access to underlying code with option to switch back and forth.
Improved authoring and editing experience in WordPress 6.0
Historically, when a user created a page, they started with a blank canvas—not always ideal creatively or efficient. With WordPress 6.0, instead of empty space, it’s possible to create a flow where a pop-up modal displays a set of patterns content creators can easily choose from to create their pages or to add design elements to a block.
Block patterns are collections of blocks saved into a template for quick and easy reuse, saving designers and content creators time and increasing efficiency. Best of all, adding patterns is now easier than ever, with straightforward pattern registration built in.
Our hot take on patterns:
Especially at the enterprise level, which typically involves complex sites and hosts of content creators in the mix, it’s a real chore to maintain visual consistency. We’re delighted that patterns allow designers to easily set up consistent layouts, colors, and other variables, freeing content creators to be more productive and worry less about going off brand.
Block locking UI
Worried about users accidentally (or purposely) updating a reusable block and not realizing that block will get updated everywhere or that the block was a “must have” per your own internal standards? Block locking is now part of core WordPress. You can choose to disable the option to remove a block, move it, or both, right in the editor.
Block locking also comes in handy when you need to lock down specific text or a component—e.g., corporate legalese, a how-to video, etc.—on a single page (rather than across the entire site).
Users can have a preset, limited set of options to choose from to ensure their blocks look great without additional design review. It’s also possible to specify permission-based roles to modify locked block settings.
Our hot take on block locking:
This is another win for maintaining brand consistency. Setting creative and guardrails into themes and locking down legal-related components on a page-by-page basis allows content creators to create with more agility, less red tape, and less “Oops, what did I just do?”
Easier management of complex pages
WordPress 6.0 now allows you to select text across multiple blocks and transform the text to your liking with a single edit.
List View improvements give you a better overview of those blocks. And new keyboard shortcuts (shift + click) let you select multiple blocks in bulk and quickly reposition them, delete them, or modify them in other ways. You can also see your content more easily at a glance with a collapsed by default view.
Retain Styles does exactly what it says: it keeps your custom styles in place, whether transforming between blocks or creating new buttons. This is particularly helpful for creators who previously worried about their styling changing when blocks changed.
A Code Editor/Switcher provides easy access to the underlying code on a page.
Our hot take on easier management of complex pages:
Content creators at organizations with sites featuring super long, text-heavy, multiple-block pages will be jumping for joy at the bounty of convenience WordPress 6.0 brings. In fact, simply being able to select text across multiple blocks may just become your new best friend.
WordPress 6.0 for designers
For creatives, WordPress 6.0 welcomes a potpourri of improvements that allow finer control, including more group block variations to create new layout options (Stack, Row), the ability to set your featured image in a Cover block, control over the exact size of your featured image, gap support for the Gallery block, a new color panel, and more transparency options.
We’re also happy to see a Webfonts API, which allows theme authors to include multiple font options within a single `theme.json` file or to offer vastly different styles by utilizing different font options in their multiple `theme.json` variations. This makes use of a general API so it can work with any type of theme, including classic themes.
Rounding out the new design features are:
- Template creation—previously, adding new templates was restricted to just a few of the major templates. Now, editors can add new templates for Author, Date, Category, Tag, and Taxonomy.
- New default blocks—Read More, Post Author Biography, Avatar, Comments Query Loop, and No Results, which can be included within Query Loop. Instead of building custom versions, these can be leveraged by design and development teams.
- Style Switcher—theme authors can now create multiple `theme.json` variations and place them into their theme’s `/styles` folder.
WordPress 6.0 performance improvements
There are a few new additions to the WordPress Caching API to supplement the `wp_cache_get_multiple()` function. All of these new functions accept an array of data to be passed so that multiple cache objects can be created, edited, or deleted in a single cache call. It’s also possible to flush runtime cache without flushing the entire persistent cache, particularly helpful for instances where long-running processes such as Action Scheduler or WP-CLI are run.
There are typically many term queries on the average page load. These can slow WordPress performance.
By removing term cache limit, having term query caches only cache the term ID, and better term query cache key generation, WordPress performance improves in general.
The result is term query should remain cached much longer when not invalidated, caches remain primed, the values stored in the cache will be much smaller, fewer and smaller queries being run against the term table, and a reduction in queries being run on page load.
WordPress 6.0 accessibility improvements
WordPress 6.0 is packed with a large set of improvements to improve the user experience for those with accessibility needs.
Here are selected highlights:
- Navigation Block user experience—refined to ensure changes to the UI continue to include accessibility features.
- List View—improved to allow users to quickly navigate between complex content; updated managing media options, including “Copy URL to clipboard,” attachment properties on custom cropped images.
- Quick/Bulk editing—improved keyboard and screen reader operability.
- Use Post Title—usable as Featured Image’s alt text when linked to the post.
- Easier keyboard navigation—allow tabbing into block placeholders.
- Blocks with a placeholder setup—descriptions readable by VoiceOver, giving context for the block itself and resulting controls.
Find out more about WordPress 6.0
As you can see, we’re excited about this new release, and the ability it will give businesses to create content even faster and with more precision. A good next step is taking a look at our Exploring WordPress 6.0 video below.
Here are two other resources to take a deeper dive into WordPress 6.0: