WordPress 6.5: The features you want to know about

It’s almost time for a new WordPress release! On the 26th of March, WordPress 6.5 will be released. Once again, the WordPress team, consisting of people from all over the world, has lots of new improvements in store for us. To get you excited, we already had a quick look at what features it will bring. So let’s see what we can expect and how you can use these changes to improve your own WordPress website when the release is out.

Introducing the Font Library

The upcoming release includes a new Font Library for the block editor. This library gives you more control over the typography you use throughout your pages. What’s cool about it is that it allows you to install and activate local fonts and Google Fonts on your website. By allowing us to add the fonts of our choice, regardless of the chosen theme, this library gives you more freedom when it comes to design. So make sure to give it a try now that you can manage your used fonts.

screenshot of Font Library in WordPress 6.5
Use the Font Library to view your current fonts and upload new ones

New features in the block editor

There are loads of tweaks made to the block editor, so we’ll highlight a few cool ones here. First of all, WordPress 6.5 will make it possible to rename your blocks in the list view. Right now, this is already possible for your group blocks but the new release will allow you to rename individual blocks as well. Especially with longer pages or pages that consist of lots of different types of blocks, this can be very helpful in keeping an overview while you’re working on that page.

Image blocks with drop shadow effect in WordPress 6.5
Example of different drop shadow effects on two images

The upcoming release also brings us a few new design options. The drop shadow effect will be available for more blocks, such as the image block and columns. This helps you give a little bit more depth to your pages, make elements stand out and play with the design of your pages. Another design feature that’s coming our way is getting more control over the look of your cover blocks. You will be able to set aspect ratios and add color overlays that are based on colors in your chosen image. Which helps you really customize these cover blocks to fit into the overall look and feel of your website.

Renewed overview of style revisions

Screenshot of Style revisions in WordPress 6.5
The style revisions overview

WordPress 6.5 comes with an improved style revision that shows you more information about the changes made during each revision. Go to the editor and click Styles, where you’ll see an option to view past revisions. These are also accessible while you’re working on the design of your templates. The fun thing about this overview of revisions is that it’s a lot more visual than the revision overview you get when editing a page or post.

This overview is shown next to the page and it allows you to view past designs and even apply them again. Overall it feels easier to use and more efficient as it shows you the effect on the page right away. It’s good to know that this is only available for themes that use the block editor.

The Interactivity API

This release also comes with something called the Interactivity API. This feature provides developers with a framework to build interactive front-end experiences while using blocks. The idea is that interacting with these elements doesn’t come with a new page load, making them more interactive than regular pages. This framework is intended to simplify the process without having to use external tools. To give you an idea of what the Interactivity API can be used for, the WordPress team created a WP Movies demo website you can visit.

Improvements in performance and accessibility

The upcoming WordPress 6.5 includes loads of performance updates. One of the main things that comes out of this is a huge improvement in speed when using the Block Editor and Site Editor. In addition, translated websites will see a much quicker load time due to a new, lightweight library.

This new version of WordPress also comes with a bunch of accessibility improvements (more than 65 to be exact). To name a few changes, there have been fixes to contrast settings, positioning of elements and cursor focus. Staying true to the WordPress promise of working towards a platform that is accessible for everyone. If you want to dive into the features of WordPress 6.5 a bit more, I would recommend going through their Field Guide to read up on all the changes in this release.

Read more: WordPress 6.4: A more intuitive building experience »

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