What’s new in WordPress 5.6? New Features and Changes

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WordPress 5.6 will be released on December 8, 2020. You can try out WordPress 5.6 RC1 now, and here's what's changing in WordPress 5.6, as well as what's new and changed.

When will WordPress 5.6 be released?

WordPress 5.6 is scheduled for release on December 8, 2020.

The development cycle of WordPress 5.6 is as follows. It may change depending on the development status.

October 20, 2020Beta 1
October 27, 2020Beta 2
November 2, 2020Beta 3
November 12, 2020Beta 4
November 17, 2020Release Candidate (RC) 1
December 1, 2020Release Candidate (RC) 2
December 7, 2020Dry run for release
December 8, 2020Release

Check out the release status of the other versions in the following articles.

WordPress 5.6 Codename

The WordPress codename is named after a jazz musician.

WordPress 5.6 codename has not yet been announced. It will be announced at the time of release.

How to try WordPress 5.6 beta?

There are two ways to try out the WordPress beta

The Beta version may be subject to database structure updates during development. It is not always possible to downgrade.

Do not use it on the site you are operating.

New features and changes in WordPress 5.6

WordPress 5.6 has the following new features and changes. This information is current as of Beta 2. Please note that this information is subject to change.

Block Editor

Cover Block

It is now possible to adjust the position of the video in the cover block. Previously, only images were available.

Cover Block

Repeated background has been added to the media settings.

Repeated background


Tracks can be subtitles, captions, chapters, or descriptions. They help make your content more accessible to a wider range of users.


Drag block

Blocks are now easier to move by dragging.

Drag block

Convert to Columns blocks

Converts selected blocks into column blocks.

Convert to Columns blocks

Character count display

The number of characters is now displayed.

Character count display

Appearance Settings

Optional items have been added.

Appearance Settings

New Block Pattern

New block patterns have been added.

New Block Pattern

A block pattern for overlapping images is also available.

overlapping images

New default theme

TwentyTwenty-One has been added; it’s now the default theme for WordPress 5.6.


Here’s an example of a post page with the title, text and image.

post page

Automatic updating of major releases

Major WordPress releases can now be updated automatically.

Automatic updating of major releases

Support for PHP 8

PHP 8 will be released before WordPress 5.6 is released.

WordPress 5.6 has been developed to support PHP8. Make sure that your theme and plugins are compatible with PHP8 beforehand.

Application password for REST API authentication

WordPress 5.6 will introduce application passwords.

Application passwords are user-specific. You can grant or revoke access to a specific user.

Upgrade the jQuery version of WordPress included in the package.

WordPress 5.6 ships with “jQuery v3.5.1”; in WordPress 5.5 it was “jQuery v1.12.4”.

The upgrade of jQuery in WordPress 5.6 is described in the following article.

Improving accessibility

WordPress has improved its accessibility with each release. WordPress 5.6 has similar accessibility fixes and enhancements as well.

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