What’s New in WordPress 5.1
The official release of WordPress 5.1 “Betty” on February 21, 2019 came as the first major one since the launch of Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0. Like any other version release, this one too brings some innovations on the plate. Whether you have a new WordPress Development project in mind or want an upgrade of an existing website, here are some facts that you need to know about this release.
New Tools For Checking Site Health:- WordPress is by default a user-friendly CMS, but it has several complicated things operating behind the scenes all the times. This is the reason that the health of your WordPress website deserves a fair amount of attention. As WordPress is based on PHP, there is need to update the language’s version whenever a new one comes out. Not doing so spells trouble for your site’s health. WordPress 5.1 now comes with a specialized plugin called Site Health, which gives alerts on detecting the use of an outdated PHP version. Further, it ensures that you do not install a new plugin if it detects that it is incompatible with the PHP version running currently.
New Dashboard Notice For PHP Version:- Using the latest PHP versions is always considered the best from the performance and security perspective. With the release of Betty, the WordPress Developer is empowered to ensure the latest versions of PHP with some new tools and notices. Firstly, an outdated version on your server will be indicated by a new dashboard widget that prompts you to upgrade.
Version Compatibility Checks For Themes and Plugins:- In addition to the dashboard prompt, the new version adds forced PHP compatibility checks at the time of installation of new theme or plugin. If in case, an attempt is made to install one which has a minimum PHP version that is higher than the one on your server, a message will appear to warn that the plugin does not work with your PHP version.
Improved Block Editor Performance:- The Gutenberg editor introduced with WordPress 5.0 offered an innovative editing experience with blocks. With Betty, the block editor has been made even better from the performance perspective. It shows up more quickly now and the actual editing feels smoother now. More performance improvements are expected in the future and things are only going to get better with the new version.
White Screen of Death Protection:- A feature that WordPress 5.1 was scheduled to bring was “fatal error protection” which would offer protection from the white screen of death during PHP update. However, it was pulled from the release at the last moment. Once the feature is reinstated, it will enable the recognition of a fatal error and pause the responsible plugin or theme in the admin dashboard so that the user can still to log into the site’s backend and resolve the issue.
Updating to WordPress 5.1:- Every website is different and so will be the challenges related to its upgrade. One thing that would be common would be the need for the process to be headed by professional WordPress Developers. It is recommended that an upgrade should be performed only in a staging environment to prevent any risk. Also, you should have a manual backup for the site to be on the safe side.
To update the WordPress site to 5.1 version, just click on the updates icon in the admin dashboard. Next, click the ‘Update Now’ button. Remember that the site will be in maintenance mode while the update is in progress. Once done, it will return to normal. There might be some issues that you may experience while updating, which again can be handled by experts.
Conclusion:- Considering the complexities of a typical WordPress upgrade to the latest version, you should onboard a professional developer or team to assist you with one. Unless there is an expert to handle the process, you may come across certain glitches and even put your site at risk. WordPress India is a leading name in this domain, with years of experience and a successful track record to its credit. You can connect with us to Hire WordPress Developer in India, though we serve clients in India as well as overseas. From development to migration, upgrade, maintenance and support, we cater end-to-end services that businesses need to create and run websites on this popular CMS.