WordPress 5.5 Planning Roundup

There have been some scattered discussions about making some shifts to the way that we manage releases. I’m open to suggestions on the timeline below if I have misunderstood anything!

As was suggested in the WP5.3 debrief, the cycle for WP5.5 has a longer alpha period (clocking in at ~126 days, one week less than WP5.3). As was discussed in the core committer Slack channel and subsequently suggested by @francina, this cycle also has a shorter RC period (clocked in at 14 day, two weeks shorter than WP5.3 but one week shorter than WP5.4).

Proposed WordPress 5.5 Schedule

These are my best guesses at the milestones, based on what I was able to find of the discussions:

  • Alpha: 3 March, 2020 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. is open for 5.5 alpha contributions
  • Kickoff: 13 May, 2020 (that’s this post!)
  • Betas: 7 July, 2020 (8 weeks from kickoff)
  • ReleaseRelease A release is the distribution of the final version of an application. A software release may be either public or private and generally constitutes the initial or new generation of a new or upgraded application. A release is preceded by the distribution of alpha and then beta versions of the software. Candidates: 28 July, 2020 (3 weeks from betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1)
  • General Release: 11 August, 2020 (2 weeks from release candidaterelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta). 1)

Proposed WordPress 5.5 Scope

The main goal for 2020 is full sitesite (versus network, blog) editing via 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/. For WP5.5 the following features are in the suggested roadmap:

  • Update WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. to include current releases of the Gutenberg 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.
  • Navigation menus 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. in Core.
  • Automatic updates for plugins and themes in Core.
  • Block directory in Core.
  • XML Sitemaps 
  • Lazy Loading 

Also in that roadmap are a few hopeful items. Getting these into the Gutenberg plugin would be a great goal!

There were also a collection of hoped-for tickets raised on my earlier post as well as a number from component maintainers. I ended up with some outstanding questions on those, but should have everything I need soon.

Proposed WordPress 5.5 Leads

This area is intentionally incomplete. I’ve got some more confirmations/discussions I’m working through!

  • Editor Tech:
  • Editor Design:
  • Core Tech:
  • Docs coordinator:
  • Marketing/Release Comms:
  • Triagetriage The act of evaluating and sorting bug reports, in order to decide priority, severity, and other factors. PM:
  • Release coordinator:

#5-5 #planning