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The update of the new version took place on May 7 2019. The content management system has brought a few flavors which will definitely strengthen the users’ actions when its working in WordPress. Regardless of whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site yourself, WP will help you get information related to configuration problems or critical errors.
WordPress 5.2 is one of the most anticipated versions. This publication brought improvements in the visual editor – Gutenberg, improved security and facilitated the site health check function – Site Health. And now what’s new?
The most important changes
The Site Health mentioned above is designed to educate users and facilitate developers access to the most important technical information.
In the latest version, Site Health is a completely different tool, containing new pages which help in the process of reducing errors (related to PHP, software and server configuration). Thanks to this, the website owner will be able to quickly identify the potential cause of the problem and ensure its optimization. It also makes it easier to check the basic operating parameters which previously required specialized knowledge or additional plugins.
In the management panel, in the Tools section a new “WebsiteStatus” has been added. By clicking this tab, you will see critical information about WordPress configuration and elements which need improvement and our attention. At the top is the percentage of page rating based on the number of tests.
The critical part is a good form of control when we use classic hosting accounts which do not fulfill this function. The elements related to checking the status of performance should definitely add: control of the current version of PHP, WordPress and SQL server, verification of the required PHP modules, PHP working requests, or REST API support.
In the second segment, there is analysis of plugins and unused themes. In addition, we can check the HTTP/HTTPS connection, examine the debug mode, background updates and secure communication.
Except to the tab checking the condition of the site, the new version of WordPress will also see the ‘Information’ tab added next to it. This is the place where you can find all the information you need to help you debug, which you can send to programmers. For do that, use the button which copies website information into the cache. Additionally, we can find WordPress version data, page language, URLs, number of users, location and size of files, plugins, themes, required plugins, server architecture, PHP versions, file permissions, database extensions and many, many more.
The site is divided into sections. Plugins and themes can enter their own entries on this page using the debug information filter, adding entries to existing sections or creating their own sections.
The copied information contains only non-private information. Each new section added should use a plugin or theme to avoid name collisions. All basic entries have the prefix wp-.
Protection against critical errors
WordPress 5.2 has a feature to protect against critical errors. With this assistance, it recognizes errors and deactivates the faulty theme or plugin. This is to help detect events and not to cause our site to stop working. When the so-called white screen appears, resulting from a PHP error, the site will display a template in which the site administrator will be able to log in to the admin panel without any problems. WP sends email notifications to the admin address with information about the detected problem, which is very useful.
New facilities in Gutenberg
The corrections introduced to the Gutenberg editor have been applied for both ordinary users and developers. Of the more functional things, appeared option allows you to disable blocks which we do not use. We can turn off individual or whole blocks. Ordinary users will love the modernized multimedia and text blocks. Image and block editors have also been updated which work more efficiently and are more intuitive for the page owner. What’s more, Gutenberg loads faster and responds quickly to typed text. And programmers will definitely be interested in the improved conditional code execution function depending on the editor loading or not. Existing errors have already been repaired. The last about the Gutenberg editor, quite an important issue about regarding performance. With the WordPress 5.2 update, the new visual editor is much faster. The loading time decreased surprisingly much, by more than 40% between WP 5.0 and WP 5.2.
In addition to the features mentioned above, the latest WordPress update has also other features. Here are some of them:
WordPress automatically determines the PHP version is compatible with installed plugins or not. If the plugin requires a higher PHP version which it currently uses, WP will not allow you to update it, preventing potential compatibility errors. In addition, we recommend running PHP 5.6 or later due to its update.
A new wp_body_open () function has also been added which allows themes to support adding code directly at the beginning of the <body> element. Apart from the possibility of injecting the code into the header or footer and the wp_footer filter, just before the HTML tag, thanks to the update we will be able to inject the code also at the very beginning of the main section of the page, namely “body”.
The last newness is the new Twemoji 12.0.1, its 230 new emoticons. An updated Dashicons database is also available with 13 new icons, including Instagram. Used to improve the WordPress administration panel. And the latest font file formats were added, like WOFF 2.0 support.
This version will introduce a new font file format, WOFF2 (Web Open Font Format 2). WOFF2 is a more modern replacement for the original WOFF 1.0 format which uses improved compression, resulting in lower network consumption. WOFF2 is supported by all modern browsers but is not supported in Internet Explorer.
WordPress stores content, configuration and other information in a database. The WordPress database is a place where all user-defined WordPress site data is stored. The system is designed primarily to use the MySQL or MySQL database server. WordPress officially only supports MySQL or MariaDB, replacing MySQL. It is recommended to use MySQL 5.6/MariaDB 10.0 or newer.
WordPress for the better?
WordPress fascinated users with many functions, flavors which will definitely improve daily work on the site. The new Site Health functions will help you apply best practices in safety and performance. When we talk about security, we mean resistance to external attacks and stability of work. PHP error protection will detect events and the site will display a template with the option of logging into the admin panel. What’s more, the Gutenberg visual editor is more efficient, intuitive and will help in improving the writing of subsequent texts. Now you have nothing to do but update WordPress and test it yourself.