WordPress News Roundup: WordPress 6.1 Planning, Jetpack Split Features into Plugins + 4 More Updates | June 2022

WordPress.org is having a cool-off period after the release of WordPress 6.0 at the end of May. But June is still a busy month in WordPress. Many things happened around the world of WordPress this month.

From WordCamp Europe 2022 recap, WordPress 6.1 planning to WordPress’s advice for theme makers, read on to learn more about:

1. WordCamp Europe 2022 recap

2. WordCamp Europe 2023 calls for organizers

3. WordPress 6.1 planning

4. Gutenberg 13.4 and 13.5 releases

5. WordPress advises theme authors to use locally hosted font

6. Jetpack goes modular

Recap of the WordCamp Europe 2022

This year’s WordCamp Europe, held in Porto, was the first in-person WordCamp Europe since 2019. The event took place from June 2-4, attracting over 2,500 enthusiasts and many companies in the WordPress space. Many people were excited to finally be able to meet and talk to other enthusiasts in person.

WordCamp Europe kicked off with the contributor day where contributors work together on the WordPress.org project. The main event began on the second day. A total of more than 50 events took place across three days, including discussions, work sessions and workshops.

WordCamp Europe ended with many exciting outcomes and directions for the future, including:

  • Promises to make the WordPress platform more robust and user-friendly.
  • Accessibility and the full-site editing project will receive priority in the next updates.
  • More focus on performance improvement and optimization.
  • Emphasis on strengthening the relationships among the community members and building partnerships.

WordCamp Europe 2023 calls for organizer

It’s been less than one month since WordCamp Europe concluded but the WordPress team is already looking ahead. The next WordCamp Europe will be held in Athens. This event will take place from June 8-10.

The team put out a call to look for organizers. If you’re interested in becoming an organizer for the WordCamp Europe 2023, contact the team.

Planning for WordPress 6.1

On June 23, the WordPress release squad announced the planning for the release of WordPress 6.1. The team expects to have this release go live on October 25, 2022. Following a four-month cycle, this will be the third major release of 2022.

WordPress 6.1 aims to refine the experiences found in WordPress 5.9 and 6.0. Users can expect further improvements to full-site editing, the block editor as well as the performance of WordPress as a whole.

Gutenberg updates

Gutenberg 13.4 was released on June 8, 2022, just two weeks after the release of WordPress 6.0. The end of May and the beginning of June was a busy period in WordPress. But that didn’t stop the Gutenberg team from pumping out bug fixes and improvements to the block editor.

Version 13.4 came with 25 enhancements and nearly 30 bug fixes. Notable enhancements include:

  • New axial spacing is available in the gallery block.
  • Performance improvement to the block editor.
  • Themes can now add styles to their buttons using theme.json.

The team released Gutenberg 13.5 on June 22, 2022. This version came with 12 enhancements, 15 bug fixes, an improved UX for using featured image and some quality of life improvements. Notable enhancements include:

  • A new UX for using the featured image in the cover block.
  • More design tools for the Post Navigation Link.
  • Add label to preview options drop-down menu.

WordPress advises theme authors to use locally hosted font

WordPress.org’s themes team is updating its recommendation for hosting webfonts. The new advice was made after a website in Germany was fined for violating the GDPR by using Google-hosted webfonts.

Many theme makers have been enqueuing Google Fonts from Google Content Delivery Network. This method is to enhance website performance, but it goes against the GDPR because it exposes visitors’ IP addresses.

In an announcement, Benachi – the themes team representative, advised all theme makers to update their themes. “We recommend updating by switching to locally hosted webfonts. Luckily Google Fonts can be downloaded and bundled in a theme. Bundled font files allow users to host webfonts locally and comply with GDPR.”

The team recommends that theme makers refer to the Twenty-Twenty-Two theme to learn how to implement locally hosted webfont files using theme.json. At the same time, WordPress contributors are working on updating all WordPress’s default themes to use locally hosted webfonts.

It will take a while for theme authors to adopt this advice and update their themes. In the meantime, users can consider using a plugin to host webfonts locally.

Jetpack goes modular

Jetpack announced on June 1 that it is splitting six of its most popular features into individual plugins. The six features that are now available as individual plugins include:

  • Jetpack Backup: real-time site backups.
  • Jetpack Protect: scan for security vulnerabilities in the WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
  • Jetpack Boost: improve site speed and SEO.
  • Jetpack Social: automatically share new posts and products on social channels.
  • Jetpack Search: help visitors to find what they’re looking for.
  • Jetpack CRM: provide better customer service and communication.

This is Automattic’s response to feedback from developers and site owners asking for the ability to use specific components of Jetpack in their website setup. Before this, Jetpack has been criticized by developers and users for bundling too many features in a plugin, making it “bloated”. With this change, Jetpack users will only have to install what they need, meaning fewer “bloat” features and more performance gain.

If you want to take your WordPress website to a new level, sign up for a Bluehost hosting package or our Blue Sky service to get in-depth WordPress assistance today. 

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Tiffani Anderson
Tiffani Anderson |
Tiffani is the Content and Social Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. She has a passion for creating engaging content, SEO and social media!

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