WordPress 5.6 was released earlier today and is the last major release for 2020.
This new version contains many improvements and new features. It also includes a brand new default WordPress theme.
In this post, we'll share what's new in WordPress 5.6 and what features you should try out after updating your websites.
WordPress 5.6 is a major release, and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you will need to manually initiate the update.
Important: Don't forget to create a full WordPress backup before starting the update.
That said, here's everything that's new in WordPress 5.6.
Twenty Twenty-One - The new default WordPress theme
WordPress traditionally releases a new default theme every year, usually named after the year. WordPress 5.6 comes with Twenty Twenty-One as the new default WordPress theme.
This new theme provides a canvas for the WordPress block editor and site editing features. It is designed to be simple, aesthetic, opinionated and refreshing.
Twenty Twenty-One uses a pastel green background color and two shades of dark gray for the text. It also comes with colors for dark mode which can be activated by customizing the theme.
You can also change the background color by choosing from several pastel color combinations or choosing your own colors. The theme will also automatically adjust the color of the text.
Here's a look at what those built-in color combinations would look like.
For typography, the designers opted for the system default fonts. This means that no additional font files to load and easy to create child themes which have their own typography and fonts.
If you are testing the theme with a new WordPress site, you can then try out the new homepage layout. Just go to Appearance »Customize page and click the Publish button to generate basic web pages including a home page.
This sample homepage gives you an idea of what you can do with the Block Editor. You can simply edit the page and replace it with your own content.
Earlier this year, WordPress 5.5 introduced templates for the block editor. Twenty Twenty-One uses this feature by adding new block templates that you can use in your posts and pages.
Overall it is a beautiful WordPress theme, which is easy to customize and can be used to build any type of website.
Block Editor Improvements
the WordPress content editor This is where users spend most of their time writing blog posts, creating pages, and creating layouts. WordPress 5.6 brings several improvements to the block editor.
Here are some of the more notable changes to the Block Editor in WordPress 5.6.
Video position control for the cover block
Previously cover block only showed the position controls for the images. With WordPress 5.6, the cover block now allows users to set the position of the video inside the cover block.
Models organized into categories
The Templates panel under the “Add New Block” column now has a category selector. This makes it very easy for users to find and use a template they need. Users will also be able to see the available templates with their theme and distinguish them from the default templates.
Keyword variations to improve block search
The Block Editor now allows developers to store keyword variations that can help users find a block. This would improve the block finder function and allow users to discover the blocks added by block libraries or third-party plugins.
Characters in the information panel
The Info Panel will now display characters as well as words, paragraphs, and blocks used in your content.
Color support for the Lists block
List block now has the option of choosing text and background colors without adding the list in another block.
Social icons block
The Social Icons block has two improvements. First of all, there is a new gray style for the social icon buttons. Second, users can now choose to open all links in the block in a new window.
Bonus: want to add social sharing accounts? Here is how to add social share accounts in WordPress.
Editor options are now called preferences
The default block editor has a settings panel where you can configure the editor as you like. In WordPress 5.6, this modal is now called “Preferences” instead of “Options”.
The modal itself is now more useful with descriptions of the various elements. This would make it easier for beginners to decide which items they want to activate.
Automatic updates for major versions of WordPress
Earlier this year, WordPress 5.5 made it easier for users to turn on automatic updates for specific plugins. WordPress 5.6 has extended this by adding the ability to also enable automatic updates for major versions of WordPress.
You can go to Dashboard »Updates in the WordPress admin area and click on the link `` Enable automatic updates for all new versions of WordPress ''.
It is completely optional for you to decide whether you want to enable this feature or not. If you are using a managed WordPress hosting, then you don't have to worry about them as they will automatically update WordPress for you.
Support for PHP 8
WordPress is written primarily with the PHP programming language. Just like WordPress, PHP is also releasing new versions to improve performance, add features, and fix bugs.
They were due to release PHP 8 on November 26, as the WordPress 5.6 release approached. The core team has planned and worked hard to find and fix known compatibility issues with PHP 8.
This will ensure that users who upgrade to the latest version of PHP will not face any major problem. However, theme and plugin developers may still need to test their own code for compatibility.
Application passwords for the REST API
the REST API in WordPress allows developers to communicate with a website outside of the WordPress installation itself.
To ensure its security, WordPress has used cookies and nonce keys to ensure that only legitimate users can access the API. For developers, these methods were not very effective.
WordPress 5.6 will allow developers to use app passwords in WordPress. Just like the popular Facebook and Google platforms, users can now allow apps to access and manage their website from the User Profile page. Users can also revoke access to an app at any time.
Changes under the hood
WordPress 5.6 has arrived with tons of features and improvements aimed at developers. Here are some of the biggest changes under the hood.
WordPress 5.6 continues phase two of three-step plan to upgrade the kernel jQuery supplied with WordPress. Theme and plugin developers that rely on jQuery already test their code for any issues, so it's not likely to affect a large number of users. (See the details)
The new version 5.6 also includes REST API Batch Framework to make a series of REST API calls in a single request to the server. (See the details)
A new action
wp_after_insert_post is also available in WordPress 5.6. It allows theme and plugin developers to run custom code after a post has been posted and its terms and metadata have been updated. (See the details)
WordPress 5.6 replaced the old PHP type conversion functions with type casts. (# 42918)
WordPress 5.6 also introduced the ability to merge WP_Error objects into each other. This would allow developers to add more than one data item to the WP_Error object. (# 38777)
We hope this guide has helped you find out what's new in WordPress 5.6. We're especially excited about the new default theme and improvements to the Block Editor.
What are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below.
The post office What's new in WordPress 5.6 (features and screenshots) appeared first on WPBeginner.
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The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business. That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.
Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about , starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counterintuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.
Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank. Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is course out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now. You can’t fire bad employees fast enough. You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you ( see next tip ).
The problem is probably you. When I was a young directeur, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that 90 percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.
Take care of your stars. This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a star employee is enormous, yet précurseurs rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated. Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink. If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche ?
Learn to say ' yes ' and ' no ' a lot. The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no. ” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.
It boggles my mind how little most fondateurs value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat business is the easiest to get. Learn two words : meritocracy and nepotism. The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The second is how you don’t run an organization – by playing favorites and being biased.
Know when and when not to be transparent. Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.
Trust your gut. This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea. ” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.
Protect and defend your intellectual property. Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.
Learn to read and write effective agreements. You know the expression “good fences make good neighbors ? ” It’s the same in business. The more effective your agreements are, the better your business relationships will be.
Far too many créateurs d'entreprise run their business like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Know your finances inside and out. If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits ( gross and net ), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for trouble. Big dysfonctionnement.
You don’t know what you don’t know. Humility is a powerful trait for leaders, and that goes for new business owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers. Behind every failed company are dysfunctional, delusional, or incompetent précurseurs. The irony is, none of them had the slightest idea that was true at the time. Even sadder, most of them still don’t. Don’t end up like one of them.
For every success you have in growing your market share, another or other businesses will inevitably lose ground. Here are 11 quick and easy business tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.
Of course, we all want to spark growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans. Content marketing, paired with optimized website forms and éclairé fax automation follow-up is critical to success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money. Not an spécialiste in creating optimized lead generation pages on a website ? No worries, use a trusted tool like Leadpages to make it happen.
Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product ( unless you run Starbucks or Adidas ! ) Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals. Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan : When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services. Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable ?
Dropping prices doesn’t necessarily raise sales, for instance ( though it will definitely squeeze margins ). If you place yourself as a premium brand, then your customers aren’t necessarily value-driven in the first place, and cutting prices could even tarnish your brand. Consider this case study from Robert Cialdini’s seminal book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ : a jeweller sold out of turquoise jewelry after accidentally doubling, instead of halving, the price. The inflated price tag lent the product an unwarranted cachet ! If you are a premium brand, there are ways to optimize your pricing without lowering prices. For example, offer the quality-conscious customer an ‘exclusive’ benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, on the other hand, don’t assume slashing prices means incurring a loss. Low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your site and return again. Context also counts for a lot with pricing. The best way to sell a $5, 000 watch, for instance, could be by putting it next to a $10, 000 watch. Think strategically when it comes to deciding any price point.
Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s so very important ! Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who’s attending to them. While the employee’s personality obviously has no bearing on the price or your product’s ability to serve their needs is irrelevant. Friendly customer-facing équipe will always attract more sales. Be rigorous in hiring people who are genuinely cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Make sure your training program teaches them to adopt a consistently friendly approach that puts customers at ease and feel like a priority.
Say you’re a bricks-and-mortar store and you’re getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches… why not close up an hour later ? While this may cause disgruntlement among équipe, solve this venant by getting creative with rosters. Monitor customer footfall throughout the day and week to identify your busiest periods, and équipe people accordingly. You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer sérieux hours created by your extended opening hours. It’s a win-win !
Even in the digital age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than mail or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand. By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funnelling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage ( i. e., FAQs ). But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number. Put it front and center on your digitale page, particularly if you’re a retail offering. ‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.
Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services ? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this. It’s good for you because : It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies ! When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your business operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale. Oh, and guess what ? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.
Local businesses can arguably connect with their unique communities with much greater authority than any global chain. A local retailer, hair mobilier or gardening company can sponsor a kid’s sports team and offer deep discounts for OAPs at the same time. Some cinemas feature special ‘sensory’ screenings where parents can bring kids with autism ( who would normally be overwhelmed by busy, noisy environments ) to enjoy a movie in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. This reflects well on them and also guarantees them a loyal customer niche. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering and journey to date.
Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers – just don’t forget what ‘social’ actually means ! Soul-less corporate shop-talk won’t work on Twitter. Try to give your brand some ‘personality’ when you write updates or posts. This can bring its own risks, oui. But if you get it right, the benefits can be très grande. Develop a tone of voice that aligns well with your brand identity. Seek to inform, help, entertain or amuse. And most importantly – given the dire PR consequences – don’t patronize, try too to be funny, or tweet after a few alcoholic drinks !
Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk : if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too : specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a single product or service. So what should you specialize in ? tera state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel. You could also pick something with rising or recession-proof demand which is resilient to technological change in which you possess a competitive advantage over your rivals or where there’s an obvious gap in your local market. Own it, whatever you do.
Don’t ever get too satisfied with your business. You can always improve – and improve you must ! Don’t get me wrong : without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point ? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time ! Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless hitherto thriving brands : complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market précurseurs that just got lazy. You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired model. So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other entrepreneurs, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.
There are lots of ways in which you can improve your business, and not all of them are complicated ! Try out the above business tips or integrate them with your existing strategies, and let me know how you go in the comments below. Guest Author : Faye Ferris is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Dynamis APAC Pty Ltd offices in Sydney. She develops the DYNAMIS durable of brands and their expansion into the Asia Pacific region as well as BusinessesForSale. com, FranchiseSales. com and PropertySales. com. If you have an interest in partnering up with Faye or advertising on any of these websites in the APAC territories, please do not hesitate to contact her on faye@businessesforsale. com.