WordPress 5.2: All You Need To Know About The New Build

WordPress 5.2: All You Need To Know About The New Build

WordPress.org officially released WordPress 5.2 “Jaco” in May of 2019 and it is now available for download. The WordPress 5 new features include focusing on how to help you fix your site via the blog management tool. Now, the Site Health check tool allows you to pinpoint and resolve any configuration issues and fatal errors you might be experiencing when building a site for personal use or business.

Site Health Check

The Site Health Check builds on features that we first saw back in WordPress 5.1 when it was a set of features that focused on speed and security. Now, WordPress is adding on to those releases and has created a new tool that helps users to solve common problems caused by server and software configurations, PHP versions, and more.

WordPress 5.2 has added a percentage score grade to see how many tests your sites can pass. While it isn’t vital that your test scores 100%, it is still a helpful tool for users to be aware of more issues they might be facing. It can do a PHP health check and see if there are inactive plugins or themes. By doing this check, you can see where the possible security breaches are on your site.

The Site Health Check will also make it easier for developers to access what information they need to help users, which could result in fewer tickets for plugin and theme developers, as well as hosting providers.

Minimum WordPress PHP 5.2 Requirement

WordPress is used throughout the world by people who use different hosting companies and hosting environments. To accommodate a wider net of users, WordPress has always supported older PHP versions. What users might not realize, however, that if they were to update PHP WordPress, they would see a considerable improvement in the site performance.

Because of this, WordPress now requires its users to upgrade the PHP version. Now, the latest version of PHP for WordPress is 5.6, which is still an older version as the current PHP version is 7.3.2.  WordPress aims to increase the minimum PHP version in the subsequent releases gradually. If you have an older version of PHP, then WordPress will send you a message telling you it is time to upgrade.

PHP Error Protection

WordPress 5.1 was meant to include a new feature called “fatal error protection” which would have helped protect users from seeing that white screen of death when updating PHP. However, the feature had flaws, so the release was delayed, and we are just now getting access to it.

Most of the common errors that WordPress uses experience are fatal errors that block users from accessing the admin dashboard. When this error occurs, the user will have to either undo changes by using an FTP client or request that the hosting company help you.

Now, instead of seeing the white screen of death, you will see this message instead:

When you see this, it indiciates a PHP error meaning that a fatal error has occurred. But now, with this new recovery mode for site administrators, WordPress will email a link to the user if a fatal error occurs that allows you to log into the admin area, and you can undo any changes that caused the fatal error. It will serve as a PHP health check to keep your site running smoothly. This change will be especially welcome for new blog owners who had trouble fixing these errors.

General Updates

WordPress has also released several other features with the 5.2 version to help improve contextual awareness and improve the keyboard navigation flow if you are using a screen reader or assistive technology. WordPress 5.2 also debuts 13 new dashboard icons, including one for Instagram and several for BuddyPress.

WordPress also has released a new theme page template, two CSS classes, and a conditional function that will make it easier to create and design Privacy Policy pages. You can also find new body hook features which allow themes to support code that was added to the beginning of the body element. The CMS also released new tools to write modern JavaScript.

WordPress 5.1 vs 5.2

As WordPress is one of the most widely used CMS (content management systems) in the world, these additional security measures are a welcome addition from the prevision version. By keeping your site on 5.1, you might be opening yourself up to vulnerabilities and attacks from malicious hackers. WordPress 5.2 can help protect you from experiencing a fatal error on your website that can take down your site or even render it unusable. Therefore, you should also keep your website’s platform updated in order to enjoy the highest levels of security possible.

The new release can be downloaded at WordPress.org/Download.

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