Everything You Need To Know About WordPress 6.2, 2023's First Major Release
WordPress 6.2: Enchanting The Site Editing Experience
It’s official - WordPress’ first release of 2023 is available now, bringing an update that focuses on exciting new features and improvements to the existing block editor system.
Designed to help propel Gutenberg as the standard site editor of choice, Dophy, the latest release (named after jazz musician Eric Allan Dolphy Jr.) focuses heavily on performance - because after all, isn’t that what everyone’s looking for with a website these days! The new Dophy release aims to give users more control than ever over what a WordPress website looks and feels like, without needing to install an additional theme or rely upon more advanced CSS.
Let’s dive right in to some of the key changes:
1 Updates to the Site Editor
Available to websites using a block theme (which means if you don’t see it, you’re using a theme that doesn’t support the site editor) 6.2 brings a new, updated interface. The new display allows users to navigate through templates and edit areas of a website in one place, rather than flitting between pages and different backend sections. It also provides an overview of all templates, providing easy access to edit your pre-built sections.
2 Hello, Style Book
Whilst previous WordPress versions provided customisation via different sections on a right-hand panel, this new version of WordPress comes with a Style Book, which gives you a complete overview over the display of universal blocks. This makes it easier than ever to change the appearance of your website, styling the headings, paragraphs, images etc in one place. Using the Style Book provides users with an easy way to keep styling consistent throughout a website and reinforce branding - much like Elementor's global style settings for example.
3 Improved Customisation For The Navigation Block
Gutenberg already provided a navigation block - helpful for anyone looking to display menus in new places, unlike the rigid theme settings of the past. The latest release aims to make this easier to use - providing users with the option to add, remove and edit the separate items in your menu in the block settings of your navigation block.
Using the right-hand column, users can select an existing menu or build something new entirely - plus, there's a handy 'Search' option to now add to the menu, which provides a search function in the main navigation area. This feature is new for WordPress and usually involves either customising a section or styling something by hand - so I'm excited to test this one out. As usual, it's worth checking if your theme conflicts with the block editor, as backend changes are not always reflected in the front, depending on your website.
4 Turn On Distraction Free Mode
Yep, I think this new update was made for people like me. This clever feature helps you work on posts and pages with as little fuss as possible. It works by hiding the toolbars that are normally visible when working on WordPress items, helping you to concentrate on the task at hand and not flit between items. To test this out, click on the three dots at the top right corner of your page (next to Publish/Update and settings) and select Distraction free. You can turn it off in the same way.
5 Powerful Performance
It's not enough for a website simply to look nice these days, it needs to perform well too. In fact, it's a number one priority for most individuals and businesses. That’s why this update comes with a plethora of performance improvements, aiming to improve speed, page load times and responsiveness. WordPress even appointed a designated performance lead for this new release, which proves it's making performance a high priority for updates going forwards.
And that's not all - there are numerous other changes that come with WordPress 6.2, including Sticky blocks, faster plugin & theme updates, Google font changes and more. You can read about them all via wordpress.org now.
Sophie Ritchie, CEO + founder SR DESIGN