WordPress 5.7 is available: Changelog explained

Blair2004 WordPress Tutorials Mar 10, 2021

WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” was released 2 days ago, and that version is named Esperanza Spalding, which is an American jazz bassist who became an accomplished singer, songwriter, and composer in her early 20’s.

The versions 9.3 – 9.9 of the Gutenberg plugin are included in this update, bringing hundreds of enhancements and bug fixes that make working in the block editor more efficient and enjoyable.

Drag-and-Drop for Blocks and Patterns

One thing that we need to highlight is the new capabilities for the block inserter which can now be dragged and dropped. Users can now drag blocks and block patterns directly into the post content area, easing furthermore the page building with Gutenberg.

That's not all the changes that are made to improve the user experience. We can also consider the following modifications that give more control with existing blocks :

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  • Buttons block: The Buttons block now supports vertical alignments, and you can set the width of a button to a preset percentage.
  • Full height alignment: Blocks such as the Cover block now can have an option to be expanded so that it fills the entire viewport.
  • Font size in more places: You can now change the font size in the List and Code blocks
  • Social Icons block: You can now change the size of the icons in the Social Icons block.

Also the block variations UI is improved with a new icon and description within the block inspector along with a dropdown that eases switching between variations. Reusable blocks have been updated to be saved at the same time the post is saved.

Some more improvements have been added in version 1.0.1 of the Gutenberg plugin, and these aren't yet merged to the core. If you use Reusable blocks frequently, you may want to install the plugin to take advantage of the expanded UI.

Streamlined Admin Color Palette

In addition to all the editor improvements, WordPress 5.7 introduces a streamlined color palette for the admin. It standardizes the palette to seven core colors and a range of 56 shades. One of the benefits is that all the shades meet the requirements for WCAG 2.0 AA recommended contrast ratio against white or black.

New Admin Color Scheme

Theme and plugin developers who want to have a better match with the admin color scheme can easily reference the new standardized shades to make their creation seamlessly merged to the dashboard. WordPress’s existing core classes have also been updated with the new color palette so plugin authors can use them to work within the new standardized palette.

Migration From HTTP to HTTPS

One of the most exciting technical enhancements in 5.7 is a new one-click migration from HTTP to HTTPS. WordPress can now detect if the user’s hosting environment has support for HTTPS and update with the click of a button, handling mixed content rewrites where possible. This feature is available on the Site Health recommendations screen.

WordPress 5.7 continues the ongoing cleanup after the update to jQuery 3.5.1, which will eventually result in the removal of the jQuery Migrate plugin. It fixes numerous jQuery deprecations in external libraries, cleaning up many JQMIGRATE warnings.

Other Changes

Version 5.7 also includes native support for lazy loading iframes, a follow-up to WordPress’s support for lazy loading for images that came in 5.5. This should improve loading for pages that include embeds and other types of iframes.

Check out the WordPress 5.7 field guide for technical details on everything new in this release. This update is the result of work from 481 volunteer contributors who collaborated on 250 tickets on Trac and more than 950 pull requests on GitHub.