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

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WordPress 5.6 was released on December 8, 2020. Now you can update to WordPress 5.6, and here's what's changing in WordPress 5.6, as well as what's new and changed.

WordPress 5.6 Release Date

WordPress 5.6 was released on December 8, 2020.

The development cycle for WordPress 5.6 was scheduled as follows.

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 was code-named Simone, after the American jazz musician Nina Simone.

Nina Simone – YouTube

Server requirements for WordPress 5.6

The following requirements apply to run WordPress 5.6.

How to get WordPress 5.6

WordPress 5.6 available on the download page.

Please refer to the article below on how to download WordPress.

How to try WordPress 5.6 beta?

To try out the beta version of WordPress, install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

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. Please prepare a local environment.

How to update WordPress 5.6

To update to WordPress 5.6, click the Update Now button on the Update page of your dashboard.

Be sure to back up your files and database before a major update.

You will be in maintenance mode during the update.

New features and changes in WordPress 5.6

WordPress 5.6 has the following new features and changes.

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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