In a blogpost, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, executive director of the WordPress project, unveiled the release schedule for the last major version of WordPress in 2021 and its various stages, namely:

  • Go / no date: October 12, 2021
  • Feature freeze and bug fixes: November 9, 2021
  • Beta 1: November 16, 2021
  • Release Candidate 1: November 30, 2021
  • WordPress 5.9 official release: December 14, 2021

An update focused on the complete edition of the site (FSE)

With WordPress 5.9, the CMS, which now largely dominates the market with 44% of the market share, wants to move up a gear by launching Full Site Editing (FSE) more widely, the new management experience native to its interface. “The main goal for 2021 is to get the full edition of the site for all users,” confirms Josepha Haden Chomphosy. As a reminder, FSE must allow administrators and developers of WordPress sites a better mastery of editorial architecture, through a unified experience based on the principle of editorial blocks, developed through the Gutenberg project.

The list of expected features for WordPress 5.9

Among the new features that could be included in this next version of the CMS, we find:

  • Blocks + Intrinsic Web Design: to bring new responsive tools for creating models and themes by applying the principles of Intrinsic Design,
  • Navigation menus: to improve the user experience by reducing the complexity of their management and test these changes on as many themes as possible,
  • Interface for theme.json: to allow users to manage global style properties (CSS) in order to take advantage of the scope of these rules in all compatible blocks,
  • Refine edit workflows for block themes: to start defining the transition procedure between the current widget areas and the new areas based on the block system, and to study how to handle the theme change (keeping the widget areas defined in the previous theme).
  • Additional design tools: to provide more consistent tools, which integrate with both the block API and theme.json, but also to provide improvements to existing design tools (colors, typography, spacing, layout on page),
  • And a new default theme.

Also note that other changes are in the roadmap, but the team in charge of this new version of the CMS warns that they may not be available with the release of WordPress 5.9:

  • Adding and updating unit tests (PHPUnit),
  • Improved compatibility with PHP 8.0 and 8.1.

If you would like to participate in the development of WordPress, go to the Trac tool and choose a WordPress 5.9 ticket to contribute. You can also participate in the weekly WordPress meetings on Slack: the next one will take place on Tuesday, September 15 at 10 p.m.


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