WordPress 5.1 Field Guide

WordPress 5.1 is officially the best WordPress 2019 has seen yet! Users will see blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor improvements while developers will see PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 version upgrade notices and will be able to take advantage of 165 enhancements and features added.  Let’s look at the many improvements coming in 5.1…

Site Health 💻🏥

WordPress 5.1 includes portions of the Servehappy and Site Health projects. Notices will start being displayed to administrators of sites that run on long outdated PHP versions. WordPress will also start honoring pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party PHP version requirements.

Block Editor Goodies 🧱🏗️

The block editor continued its rapid iteration since WordPress 5.0 and now has version 4.8 of the GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ plugin bundled with WordPress 5.1. Most significantly, this includes performance improvements within the editor, a Getting Started with JavaScript tutorial, improvements to the design guidelines to build blocks, and high-quality README files for the UIUI User interface components.

Multisitemultisite Used to describe a WordPress installation with a network of multiple blogs, grouped by sites. This installation type has shared users tables, and creates separate database tables for each blog (wp_posts becomes wp_0_posts). See also network, blog, site Metadata 🏘️🗂️

5.1 brings with it a new database table to store metadata associated with sites, which allows for the storage of arbitrary site data relevant in a multisite / networknetwork (versus site, blog) context.

Cron APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. 🔁🔂

WordPress 5.1 includes a change in behavior for cron spawning on servers running FastCGI and PHP versions 7.0.16 and above. It also includes a change to the Cron API that updates the return values for functions used to modify scheduled tasks, it includes two new functions to assist with returning data (one to retrieve cron jobs ready to be run and another to retrieve a scheduled event), and it includes new filters for modifying cron storage.

New JSJS JavaScript, a web scripting language typically executed in the browser. Often used for advanced user interfaces and behaviors. Build Process 🇯🇸🏭

The JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/. code reorganization has been in `trunktrunk A directory in Subversion containing the latest development code in preparation for the next major release cycle. If you are running "trunk", then you are on the latest revision. since April 2018 and the new JavaScript build process will ship with WordPress 5.1.

Updated Styles and Strings 🔗🧵

Read below to learn about how the adminadmin (and super admin) table pagination links have had their CSSCSS Cascading Style Sheets. styling modified to improve accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) and how LocaleLocale A locale is a combination of language and regional dialect. Usually locales correspond to countries, as is the case with Portuguese (Portugal) and Portuguese (Brazil). Other examples of locales include Canadian English and U.S. English. Managers with commit access on the /dist repository will need to manually translate and deployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. changes to files that cannot use gettext.

Other Developer ❤️

There are even more goodies in 5.1 like updates to values allowed for the WP_DEBUG_LOG constant, new test config file constant in the test suite, new plugin action hooksHooks In WordPress theme and development, hooks are functions that can be applied to an action or a Filter in WordPress. Actions are functions performed when a certain event occurs in WordPress. Filters allow you to modify certain functions. Arguments used to hook both filters and actions look the same., short circuit filters for wp_unique_post_slug() and WP_User_Query and count_users(), a new human_readable_duration function, improved taxonomyTaxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies. metaboxMetabox A post metabox is a draggable box shown on the post editing screen. Its purpose is to allow the user to select or enter information in addition to the main post content. This information should be related to the post in some way. sanitization, limited LIKE support for metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. keys when using WP_Meta_Query, a new “doing it wrong” notice when registering REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”) https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/. endpoints, and more!

There are also a few additional changes that will receive a dev note shortly:

  • Object Caching can now degrade gracefully (#22661)
  • New parameter for the wp_check_filetype_and_ext filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. (#45707)
  • New filter for filtering and overriding block attributes (#45451)

But Wait, There is More!

Over 303 bugs, 156 enhancements, 9 feature requests, and 23 blessed tasks have been marked as fixed in WordPress 5.1. Some additional ones to highlight include:

  • Bootstrap/Load: WSODs protection returns incorrect content type for JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. Requests (#45933)
  • Cache API: Allow object caches to degrade gracefully (#22661)
  • Customize: Improve browser compatibility of X-Frame-Options and Content-Security-Policy headers for window in preview iframeiframe iFrame is an acronym for an inline frame. An iFrame is used inside a webpage to load another HTML document and render it. This HTML document may also contain JavaScript and/or CSS which is loaded at the time when iframe tag is parsed by the user’s browser. (#40020)
  • Customize: Use iframe sandbox attribute to restrict browsing in CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings. preview instead of attempting to rely on JS to intercept top navigation (#42341)
  • Customize: Fix counting of sections for widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. sidebars, allowing non-sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. sections to not interfere (#43556)
  • Customize: Prevent wp_targeted_link_rel() from corrupting Customizer changeset data (#45292)
  • Media: Parse the creation date out of uploaded audio files (#42017)
  • Media: No placeholder for ico file in list view of Media Library (#43458)
  • Media: media_handle_sideload() may unexpectedly return 0 on error (#44303)
  • Menus: Improve headings and instructions for better accessibility (#43397)
  • Menus: Show an appropriate message when no menus exist (#45155)
  • Networks and Sites: Improve site creation in multisite (#40364)
  • Networks and Sites: Introduce ms-site.php and ms-network.php files (#40647)
  • Networks and Sites: Implement wp_initialize_site() and wp_uninitialize_site() (#41333)
  • Plugins: Disable “Install Plugin” button for PHP required version mismatch (#43986)
  • Privacy: Show the comment / awaiting moderation message even without opt-in (#43857)
  • Query: post__in orderby not working when passed in an array to orderby (#38034)
  • REST API: Allow to filter the query in the search controller (#45454)
  • Taxonomy: Add un|registered_taxonomy_for_object_type action (#44733)
  • Users: New filter to short circuit WP_User_Query results (#44169)
  • Widgets: Make the Widgets screen “Enable accessibility mode” link more discoverable (#42778)
  • Widgets: Fix Gallery Widget preview after an image is deleted (#43139)
  • Widgets: Fix custom HTMLHTML HyperText Markup Language. The semantic scripting language primarily used for outputting content in web browsers. widget editor content not updating after save (#43657)

Please, test your code. Fixing issues helps you and helps millions of WordPress sites.

Props @desrosj for contributing to this guide.

#5-1, #field-guide