Help Test WordPress 6.5 Beta 1

It’s time for the next big release in the WordPress world! WordPress 6.5 is planned for March 26, 2024, and we need your help to make it the best it can be. New features and improvements make this release a game-changer as always. 

This is the second Call for Testing post for the 6.5 release after the early call that highlighted new Editor features. 

Table of Contents:

Why should you test the upcoming WordPress version

Are you a professional QA specialist, developer, business owner or blogger? You can easily test WordPress Betas, Release Candidates and the development version at any given moment to be sure that your site, theme and plugins are fully compatible with the upcoming version and there are no complications with server settings, certain data in the database or other things that can be almost unique for your site. This way you can be sure that when a new version is launched, you can easily update your site, or your theme/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 Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party users will be happy when they update their sites. 

Do you find something that does not match up but you are not sure? Report it in the Forums (details below).

This is also a great way for you to contribute to WordPress and become a part of the worldwide open-source community improving the CMS you are using in your day-to-day business that benefits your business as well. 

Get ready

This is quite simple. You can test the latest development version, or a specific 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./RCRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. with the WordPress Beta Tester Plugin on any site you want, but please only test on a development siteDevelopment Site You can keep a copy of your live site in a separate environment. Maintaining a development site is a good practice that can let you make any changes and test them without affecting the live/production environment. and not on a production/live site. You can use any local environment and run WordPress locally or launch another site on your hosting. Some hosting companies provide a simple way to launch a staging site alongside your main site, so check what options you have. And please consider the security of your staging site by avoiding the use of simple passwords or leaving the installation process halfway through.

Test Environment installation

If you are a developer or a QA specialist and are planning to test patches, you can follow these instructions to set up a WordPress development version locally; or if you want to test just what is already in the release, use a Playground or install WordPress in your local environment and use the WordPress Beta Tester Plugin

For more detailed steps about the Beta Tester Plugin, follow this link for complete instructions.

With Playground, you can also easily test individual Core tickets.

What to test

Each release introduces a lot of new features, improvements and bug fixes. Most of them do not require any additional actions from you, but in some cases, something might need to be changed. This is why testing is a good practice as well as following along with the release to see if something can require actions from your side or provide you new opportunities.

If you missed the previous call for testing, you can start with Early Opportunities to Test WordPress 6.5.

To make your testing experience as smooth as possible and save your time, follow the instructions: 

General testing

  1. Update your theme and plugins to the latest versions.
  2. Switch to the Beta/RC/Night build you want to test.
  3. Check Site Health to see if there are already some issues that will be unrelated to the update.
  4. Check for Errors, Warnings and Notices
    • Turn on the debug log by adding settings to your wp-config.php. (Note that SCRIPT_DEBUG can change the behaviour of scripts, so it is recommended to test this constant both on and off.)
    • Run a spider against your site to process all the available pages.
    • Open the developer console in the browser.
    • Try to create a new post, add some content and save it, especially try to copy and paste content from another source, add comments, add media files of different types and do other usual actions in the admin. While doing it, pay attention to the information in the console to see if there are any issues.
      Note: Sometimes some issues are not visibly affecting any of the site functionality and sometimes it can be tricky to decipher where they are coming from. 
    • Check special functionality, go through the most important logic of your site: if you have an e-commerce store, place an order; perform a search; etc.
    • Open your site in different browsers and try the same things.
  5. Check the debug log to see if something is reported there.
    Note: Things that occur in the theme or a plugin need to be addressed to its developer. Additional information about your environment and site setting is in the Site Health information. Check information for any sensitive data before publishing it in any forum or other public space.
  6. Check Site Health to see if some issues were not present before.
    Note: depending on the message, the steps you should take can be quite different. For example, if you have a low PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. version (this issue should be present before testing the upcoming version) this can and should be changed on the hosting. So, for most of these issues, your hosting provider or a site developer will be the first person to go to.
  7. If errors appear in the log, check the paths to where these issues occurred, and contact the theme/plugin developer, or ask in the Forums (or your local native language Forum). But firstly check if this is already reported by someone else. In our case, multiple reports are not making things more important but only creating additional work for contributors who are triaging tickets. And read the sticky post first to find out how to work and communicate in the Forums.

If this looks complicated, just do what you can and take it easy. If you didn’t find anything, most likely everything is working for you just like it should.

Check the WordPress 6.5 Release Schedule to see which pre-release build can be tested now.

Advanced testing

Ready to get started to dive deeply into testing? Be creative and think out of the box. 


  • Test across different browsers.
  • Test in different languages.
  • Compare features on different screen sizes, including tablets and mobile.
  • Use just your keyboard to navigate, or use a screen reader.
  • Test with both 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 classic themes.
  • Try to make everything the wrong way.

Key Features to Test

There are a lot of new features mentioned in the 6.5 Beta 1 release post. Each feature needs to be properly tested in all possible ways, noticing nuances and details. Start with the Font library, it will be a lot of fun to explore and will be useful for you shortly. If you are a plugin developer or a plugin user who has issues with plugin dependencies from time to time, try Plugin dependencies to see how it is working and if this meets your expectations. And there are even more new options and enhancements in the Editor. Forget about testing and spend some time admiring the great work… Not really, test them while having fun.

New translation system

WordPress 6.5 changes how translations are being loaded, replacing the existing localization system with a more lightweight and much faster mechanism. This is mostly an invisible change which has been extensively tested before via the Performant Translations plugin. If you are using WordPress in a language other than English (US), you should verify whether translations are still loaded everywhere as expected. Especially if you are using any kind of multilingual/translation plugin. Make sure that all your translations are up-to-date on Dashboard -> Updates as well. More information about this new translation system will be published in a dedicated developer note soon.

Where to report feedback

If you find any issues but are not sure that is actually a bug or where should be reported, share them on the alpha/beta forums. If you are certain that you found a bug in WordPress Alpha/Beta/RC and don’t have an issue with something else, report it on Core Trac. And the Test Reports plugin will help you in creating detailed reports. Please search for an existing report first. 

For helpful reporting guidelines, refer to the Test Reports section of the Test Handbook. Also, see the CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Team guidelines for Reporting Bugs.

Please share feedback as soon as you can before the final release on March 26, 2024.

What else you can do

  • Share this post to advise other WordPress developers, DevOps, QA specialists and site owners to join efforts in testing.
  • Ask your local meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. organizers to make a meetup about testing, QA and release cycles. 
  • Subscribe to the Test Team blog to get further information and updates. You may also subscribe to the Core Team blog to stay in the 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. with Core updates, including the latest “Week in Core” posts.
  • Join our regular Test Team meetings in the #core-test Slack channel, where you can get real-time updates, get help with testing or discuss tricky cases. Participate in team meetings and test scrubs every week to engage in the testing community.
  • Do you have suggestions for how this post can be improved? Please leave a comment below.

A big thank you to @vipuljnext, @lumiblog, @swissspidy, @ironprogrammer, @ankit-k-gupta, @webtechpooja and @annezazu for contributing to this post.



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