WordPress 6.6 Beta 1 Available Now

Give WordPress 6.6 a taste test ahead of its release next month.

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The latest edition of WordPress, version 6.6, is expected next month. Between now and then, WordPress 6.6. Beta is available for you to run and test.

New features and enhancements in WordPress 6.6 are designed to streamline your workflow, expand your creative opportunities, and ensure your website runs smoothly. The release of WordPress 6.6 is scheduled for July 16 2024, by which time Beta testers will be well acquainted with features like…

Enhanced Data Views for Efficient Site Editing

Data views in the site editor have been significantly improved. The new layout consolidates patterns and template parts, making general management views accessible with fewer clicks. This update includes a wide range of refinements aimed at making information handling more intuitive and efficient. 

Customisable Synced Patterns

Maintain the look and feel of synced patterns across different instances, while allowing for unique content. This means you can keep a consistent design for elements like recipe cards, while the specific content - ingredients, steps, and notes - can vary from one instance to another. This flexibility ensures that design changes can be applied globally without affecting the existing content. 

Comprehensive Block Selection

Previously, when selecting a block and opening the block inserter, users could only see the blocks that were compatible with the selected block. WordPress 6.6 changes this by providing two lists: one showing blocks that can be added to the selected block, and another with all available blocks. This gives users a better overview of potential building options and automatically adds selected blocks from the second list below the current block for future use. 

A New Publishing Experience

See closer integration between post and site editors, ensuring a consistent user experience whether you’re writing a post or editing a page. This unified approach simplifies the process and enhances usability. 

Style Variations

For block themes that come with style variations, WordPress 6.6 significantly expands design possibilities. You can mix and match colour palettes and typography styles from installed variations without needing additional configurations, offering more creative freedom right out of the box. 

Selection Styles for Theme Builders

Theme developers will appreciate the new ability to define style options for separate selections within multiple blocks, including inner blocks. Apply these style variations to entire block groups, enabling the creation of branded sections that can be consistently curated across a site. 

Native Grid Layout for Group Blocks

Introducing a new way to organise your content: the grid layout of the group block. This feature allows you to arrange blocks within a group in a grid format without needing an additional plugin. It is now easier than ever to create complex layouts natively within WordPress.

Enhanced Pattern Management

Great news for users of classic themes: you now have the same capabilities with patterns as those using block themes. This update provides a comprehensive view of all available patterns and allows you to insert them seamlessly, enhancing your site-building experience. 

Negative Margins for Overlapping Design

WordPress 6.6 introduces the ability to use negative margin values, enabling objects to overlap in your design. To prevent unintentional design issues, negative margins can only be set by manually entering a negative number, not by using the slider. This feature offers more design flexibility while maintaining control. 

Auto-Update Rollback

Enjoy the convenience of auto-updating all your plugins with the added security of automatic rollback. If an update causes any issues, WordPress 6.6 will automatically revert to the previous version, ensuring your site remains stable and functional. 

It All Sounds Good, But Explore WordPress 6.6 Beta with Caution

With WordPress 6.6 Beta now available, users have the opportunity to test out all the exciting new features and enhancements ahead of the official release. However, it’s important to remember that beta software is intended for real-world testing - not production websites or anything mission-critical. Like any beta, there’s no guarantee of full stability.

So, although the beta version offers a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the upcoming features, just be sure to use it in staging sites or test projects. And bear in mind that when WordPress 6.6 launches in July, it may or may not include all the features that debuted in the beta version.

If you’re keen to get a headstart on the official launch (scheduled for July 16 2024), head over to WordPress’s Beta announcement to see how to get started.

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