WordPress 6.1 “Misha”: What’s New in the New Major Release

Introduces new default themes and fluid typography, expands design tools and template options

WordPress 6.1 “Misha” was released today, named for Soviet-Norwegian jazz pianist Mikhail “Misha” Alperin, born in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukrainian SSR to a Jewish family. He was educated in KhmelnytskyiBălți and Chișinău. In 1980, he formed one of the first jazz ensembles in Moldavian SSR. He moved to Moscow in the 1980s and founded the Moscow Art Trio with Arkady Shilkloper and folk singer Sergey Nikolaevich Starostin.He has also worked with Huun Huur Tu. From 1993 to 2018 he lived in Oslo, Norway; he was professor of music at the Norwegian Academy of Music and he supervised pianist Helge Lien and Morten Qvenild among others. He released several works on ECM Records.

2022’s third major release of WordPress, version 6.1 ”Misha”, is finally here. It introduces over 400 core enhancements and bug fixes and various backport changes from Gutenberg to the core software.

As this version is still a part of the Gutenberg project phase two, it features many block editor improvements, including backports from over 10 Gutenberg releases after WordPress 6.0. On top of that, it comes with the new Twenty Twenty-Three default theme.

A new default theme powered by 10 distinct style variations

Building on the foundational elements in the 5.9 and 6.0 releases for block themes and style variations, the new default theme, Twenty Twenty-Three, includes 10 different styles and is “Accessibility Ready”.

A better creator experience with refined and additional templates

New templates include a custom template for posts and pages in the Site Editor. Search-and-replace tools speed up the design of template parts.

More consistency and control across design tools

Upgrades to the controls for design elements and blocks make the layout and site-building process more consistent, complete, and intuitive.

Menus just got easier to create and manage

New fallback options in the navigation block mean you can edit the menu that’s open; no searching needed. Plus, the controls for choosing and working on menus have their own place in the block settings. The mobile menu system also gets an upgrade with new features, including different icon options, to make the menu yours.

Improved layout and visualization of document settings

A cleaner, better-organized display helps you easily view and manage important post and page settings, especially the template picker and scheduler.

One-click lock settings for all inner blocks

When locking blocks, a new toggle lets you apply your lock settings to all the blocks in a containing block like the group, cover, and column blocks.

Improved block placeholders

Various blocks have improved placeholders that reflect customization options to help you design your site and its content. For example, the Image block placeholder displays custom borders and duotone filters even before selecting an image.

Compose richer lists and quotes with inner blocks

The List and Quote blocks now support inner blocks, allowing for more flexible and rich compositions like adding headings inside your Quote blocks.

More responsive text with fluid typography

Fluid typography lets you define font sizes that adapt for easy reading in any screen size.

Add starter patterns to any post type

In WordPress 6.0, when you created a new page, you would see suggested patterns so you did not have to start with a blank page. In 6.1, you will also see the starter patterns modal when you create a new instance of any post type.

Find block themes faster

The Themes Directory has a filter for block themes, and a pattern preview gives a better sense of what the theme might look like while exploring different themes and patterns.

Keep your Site Editor settings for later

Site Editor settings are now persistent for each user. This means your settings will now be consistent across browsers and devices.

A streamlined style system

The CSS rules for margin, padding, typography, colors, and borders within the styles engine are now all in one place, reducing time spent on layout-specific tasks and helps to generate semantic class names.

Improved admin and editor accessibility

More than 40 improvements in accessibility include resolving focus loss problems in the editor, improving form labels and audible messages, making alternative text easier to edit, and fixing the sub-menu overlap in the expanded admin side navigation at smaller screen sizes and higher zoom levels. Learn more about accessibility in WordPress.

Other notes of interest

6.1 includes a new time-to-read feature showing content authors the approximate time-to-read values for pages, posts, and custom post types.

The site tagline is empty by default in new sites but can be modified in General Settings.

A new modal design offers a background blur effect, making it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Updated interface options and features

Updates include styling elements like buttons, citations, and links globally; controlling hover, active, and focus states for links using theme.json (not available to control in the interface yet); and customizing outline support for blocks and elements, among other features.

Continued evolution of layout options

The default content dimensions provided by themes can now be overridden in the Styles Sidebar, giving site builders better control over full-width content. Developers have fine-grained control over these controls.

Block template parts in classic themes

Block template parts can now be defined in classic themes by adding the appropriate HTML files to the parts directory at the root of the theme.

Expanded support for Query Loop blocks

New filters let Query Block variations support custom queries for more powerful variations and advanced hierarchical post types filtering options.

Filters for all your styles

Leverage filters in the Styles sidebar to control settings at all four levels of your site—core, theme, user, or block, from less to more specific.

Spacing presets for faster, consistent design

Save time and help avoid hard-coding a values into a theme with preset margin and padding values for multiple blocks.

Performance highlights

WordPress 6.1 resolved more than 25 tickets dedicated to enhancing performance. From the REST API to multisiteWP_Query to core block registration, and new Site Health checks to the addition of the async attribute to images, there are performance improvements for every type of site. A full breakdown can be found in the Performance Field Guide.

Be among the first to get the latest improvements by adding the Performance Lab plugin to your WordPress test site or sandbox.

Content-only editing support for container blocks

Thanks to content-only editing settings, layouts can be locked within container blocks. In a content-only block, its children are invisible to the List View and entirely uneditable. So you control the layout while your writers can focus on the content.

Combine it with block locking options for even more advanced control over your blocks.

Menu management has also gotten a big update in 6.1, with menu controls relocated to their own place in the block settings. The navigation block now offers new fallback options in case the block isn’t pre-populated with inner blocks. If the navigation menu is empty, the fallback behavior is to display a list of available pages using the Page List block. If there are multiple block menus, the fallback is to display the most recently created block menu. This ensures that users aren’t stuck and can more easily understand where their menus will show up.

New Twenty Twenty-Three Default Theme

Following the Twenty Twenty-Two block theme released with WordPress 5.9, 6.1 introduces a new default block theme called Twenty Twenty-Three.

The Twenty Twenty-Three default WordPress theme, with the global styles panel and the theme style options visible

It comes with eleven theme styles from the get-go, allowing you to easily switch the color scheme and typography via the global styles switcher feature. Even if you don’t want to use pre-defined theme styles, the wide variety of options is a great starting point for customization.

You can see all thigns here => https://wordpress.org/news/2022/11/misha/

Download it here: https://wordpress.org/download/ As of the time of this release, WordPress powers 43% of websites worldwide, and WordPress 6.1 was created with the help of over 800 contributors. Site owners and administrators should upgrade today to take full advantage of the many stability, performance, and usability enhancements. Furthermore, WordPress content creators will enjoy a suite of new features geared toward improving the writing and designing experiences.

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