WordPress 6.6 Beta 1

WordPress 6.6 Beta 1

WordPress 6.6 Beta 1 is here! Please download and test it.

This beta version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites—you risk unexpected results if you do.

Instead, install Beta 1 on local sites and testing environments in any of these four ways:

Plugin Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
Direct Download Download the Beta 1 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.
Command Line Use this WP-CLI command:
wp core update --version=6.6-beta1
WordPress Playground Use a 6.6 Beta 1 WordPress Playground instance to test the software directly in your browser. This might be the easiest way ever—no separate sites, no setup. Just click and go! 

The scheduled final release date for WordPress 6.6 is July 16, 2024. Your help testing Beta and RC versions over the next six weeks is vital to making sure the final release is everything it should be: stable, powerful, and intuitive.

How important is your testing?

Features in this Beta release may be changed or removed between now and the final release. Early attention from testers like you is critical to finding and reporting potential bugs, usability issues, or compatibility problems to make sure developers can address them before the final release. You don’t need any contribution experience, and this is a fantastic way to begin your WordPress contributor story!

If you find an issue

If you run into an issue, please share it in the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums. If you are comfortable submitting a reproducible bug report, you can do so via WordPress Trac. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Want to know more about testing in general, and how to get started? Follow the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel on Making WordPress Slack.

Like every version since 5.0 in 2018, WordPress 6.6 will integrate a host of new features from the last several releases of the Gutenberg plugin. Learn more about Gutenberg updates since WordPress 6.5 in the What’s New in Gutenberg posts for versions 17.8, 17.9, 18.0, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, and 18.4. The final version will also include Gutenberg 18.5; the Beta 2 post will link to that.

WordPress 6.6 Beta 1 contains 97 enhancements and 101 fixes for the editor, in a total of about 206 tickets for WordPress 6.6 Core.

The vulnerability bounty doubles in the beta period

The WordPress community sponsors a monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities. That reward doubles during the period between Beta 1 on June 4 and the final Release Candidate (RC) that will happen June 25. Please follow the project’s responsible-disclosure practices detailed on this HackerOne page and in this security white paper.

What’s coming to WordPress 6.6?

This year’s second major release is about polish and finesse. Features that landed in the last few releases have new flexibility and smoother flows—and a few new tricks. And of course there are a few brand-new features.

Data Views updates

Part of the groundwork for phase 3, Data Views get new and improved experience of working with information in the Site Editor. A new layout consolidates patterns and template parts, gets you to general management views in fewer clicks, and packs in a wide range of refinements.

Overrides in synced patterns

What if you could keep a synced pattern‘s look and feel everywhere it appears—keeping it on brand—but have different content everywhere it appears?

For instance, maybe you‘re building a pattern for recipes. Ideally, you want to keep the overall design of the recipe card consistent on every post that will have a recipe. But the recipe itself—the ingredients, the steps, special notes on technique—will be different every time.

And perhaps, in the future, other people might need to change the design of the recipe pattern. It would be nice to know they can do that, and that the content in existing recipes will stay right where it is.

In version 6.6, you can make all that happen, and overrides in synced patterns are the way you do it.

See all the blocks

Up to now, when you had a block selected and then opened the block Inserter, you only saw the blocks you were allowed to add to your selected block. Where were all the others?

In 6.6, when you have a block selected, you get two lists. First, there’s the list of blocks you can insert at your selected block. Then you get a list with all the other blocks. So you can get an idea of what you can use in your selected block, and what other blocks you could use in another area. In fact, if you select a block from that second list, WordPress 6.6 will add it below your block, to use in whatever you build next.

A new publish flow

Version 6.6 brings the post and site editors closer together than ever. So whether you’re writing for a post in the post editor or a page in the Site Editor, your experience will be about the same.

Style variations

If a block theme comes with style variations, 6.6 vastly expands your design options right out of the box, without installing or configuring a single thing. Because in 6.6, your theme pulls the color palettes and typography style sets out of its installed variations to let you mix and match for a whole world of expanded creative expression.

Section styles

Do you build themes? Now you can define style options for separate sections of multiple blocks, including inner blocks.

Then your users can apply those block style variations to entire groups of blocks, effectively creating branded sections they can curate across a site.

A note about CSS specificity

To make it easier for your variations to override the global styles CSS, those styles now come wrapped in `:root`. That limits their specificity. For details, read the full discussion on GitHub.

A native Grid layout

Grid is a new variation for the Group block that lets you arrange the blocks inside it as a grid. If you’ve been using a plugin for this, now you can make your grids natively.

Better pattern management in Classic themes

You heard right: You can do everything with patterns in Classic themes that you can in a block theme. You can see all the patterns available to you in a single view and insert a pattern on the fly.

Negative. Margins.

They’re here: negative margin values, so you can make objects overlap in your design. As a guardrail, you can only set a negative margin by typing an actual negative number, not by using the slider. That’s to keep people from adding negative values they didn’t intend.

Rollback auto-updates

Now you can have the convenience of setting all your plugins to auto-update and the inner peace you get from knowing that if anything goes wrong, 6.6 will do a rollback. Automatically.

This post reflects the latest changes as of June 4, 2024.

Again, the features in this first beta may change, based on what testers like you find.

Get an overview of the 6.6 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.6-related posts in the next few weeks for further details.

Just for you: a Beta 1 haiku

Negative margins
Embellish all the new ways
To design and build

Thanks very much to @meher, @audrasjb, @fabiankaegy, @colorful-tones, @davidbaumwald, @dansoschin, @desrosj, @atachibana, @ehtis, @adamsilverstein, @joedolson, and @webcommsat for reviewing and collaborating on this post!

Source: https://wordpress.org/news/2024/06/wordpress-6-6-beta-1/

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