Roadmap to 6.2

WordPress 6.2 is set to be released on March 28th with an exciting list of features to look forward to. The main focus of this release is refinement and ease, with significant improvements in the site editing experience. This includes a revamped approach to navigating between templates and template parts, an additional way to manage menus with the navigation 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., and the ability to import widgets to block themes. As always, the base block experience is also improved with various features like a new distraction free writing mode and a scaled block settings experience. 

The result is the start of wrapping on Phase 2 of the Gutenberg roadmap, marked in part by the planned removal of the beta label from the Site Editor. With a strong foundation with this release, sights will be set on breaking ground on Phase 3 more concretely alongside continual improvements for the now broadened site experience. 

What follows are the key sections of work, including items from the broader CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. side of work. 

Elevating the block editing experience

The Site Editor experience has been transformed into one that centers the entire structure of your site starting with your homepage. Rather than being dropped into a single template, various features come together to both ease navigating across your site and add necessary friction to take the actions you want. Alongside this broader shift, you can: 

  • Use a reimagined Site Editor experience with Browse mode (36667). 
  • See template parts and reusable blocks at a glance with added colorization (32163).
  • Write without distraction with a new editing mode designed to do just that (41740). 
  • Add Media from your Media Library directly from the Inserter (44918). 
  • Pull images in from Openverse in the Inserter with the option to disable (46222). 
  • Note an updated Block Settings icon that paves the way for future changes (46851). 
  • Migrate widgets to block themes (39270).
  • Access the list view and document information all from one panel (44788).

Video of distraction free mode:

Video showing an early look at the reimagined site editor experience:

Refining and expanding block capabilities

Individual blocks, particularly the Navigation block, continue to expand in capabilities and experience while the overall block settings have been iterated upon with more complex blocks in mind with a split between Styles and Settings tabs. 

  • Enjoy an additional way to edit the Navigation block with a new list view baked into the block settings 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.
  • Restrict the ability to edit the content on the Navigation block’s inner blocks (links and submenus) to further curate the experience (44739).
  • Rely on various fallbacks for the Navigation block out of the box (45976) (46286).
  • Customize blocks with a new split Styles and Settings to better scale with the growing set of design tools (40204).
  • Use the new “Sticky” block position option in the inspector to ensure a block at the root level remains on screen regardless of where someone scrolls (46142).
  • Set the width of blocks within a Row block (44467).
  • Choose a row or stacked layout right from the Group block setup state (43433). 
  • Surface aspect-ratio tool for custom image dimensions (38990). 
  • Add/remove captions for various blocks (Audio, Video, Image) directly from the block toolbar.  
Three images of the split settings as part of the navigation block on an orange background.

Building with patterns

Patterns continue to be an integral paradigm to empower everyone. A redesign of the Inserter offers an easier way to pick and choose between patterns, including newly bundled HeaderHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. & Footer options. Developers and Site Builders who provide patterns for clients can expand where patterns can be used with an option to register patterns specifically for templates. The result of advancing patterns allows you to: 

  • Find patterns with greater ease thanks to a redesign of the Pattern Inserter (41379) along with improved categorization (44501). 
  • Switch between Header and Footer patterns bundled into Core (46017).  
  • Register patterns for specific template types, limiting where the patterns appear. For example, an Error 404 pattern would only make sense when used with the 404 template (45814).
  • Pick from a growing collection of Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. patterns from the block itself (44140), with an improved setup state (47366). 

Video of the redesign of the Pattern Inserter featuring the new footer patterns

Designing with WordPress

With the strong styling foundation provided by theme.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. and the Styles Engine, new functionality is slated for inclusion to unlock more styling possibilities and to make it easier than ever to design what you want within the Site Editor. 

  • Design blocks globally with the new Style Book that allows you to see all blocks on your site as you style them (44420). 
  • Use an inline preview of blocks when working with Styles to better understand the impact of changes (42919). 
  • See a broader view of your template when selecting a style variation (44987).
  • Apply local changes from a single block globally across your entire site, with a new “Apply globally” control within the Advanced block settings (44361, 46965). 
  • Copy and paste block styles to create consistent designs faster than ever (44418). 
  • Add custom CSSCSS Cascading Style Sheets. for your entire site (30142), or individual blocks (44412). 
  • Edit block style variations from Styles (46343).
  • Add the ability to set minimum fluid font size in theme.json for fluid typography (45536). 
  • Add shadow preset support with theme.json (46813).

Video of the Stylebook

Read more about style related options coming to 6.2 in the Strengthening style options post.

Moving performance forward

Work continues to iterate on performance improvements for theme.json thanks in part to using object cache. A hallway hangout is set for February 13th, 2023 to discuss the cluster of improvements going into this release for anyone keen to hear more details. To get involved with performance work, join the performance meetings and the #core-performance channel.

Iterating on PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher 8.2/8.x items

Work has mainly revolved around the following items:

To get involved with this work, please review the overarching tracking issue, the current open issues, and join #core-php.

General bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. fixes and enhancements 

In TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress., there are already 110+ tickets closed. Taken together, these bug fixes and enhancements continue to further the overall experience of using WordPress. 

Thank you to @desrosj @hellofromtonya @matveb for input on this post and @kellychoffman @richtabor @priethor for helping edit it.