May 2022 Newsletter

WordPress 5.9

This release was launched back in January, and was covered in that month’s newsletter.

There have since been three maintenance releases:

  • 5.9.1 – February 22nd, 2022
  • 5.9.2 – March 11th. 2022
  • 5.9.3 – April 5th, 2022.

Release information can be found here if you want further details on any of them.

WordPress 6.0

WordPress 6.0 was launched on May 24th, 2022. See the WordPress 6.0 release post which includes a short video, while more technical information can be found in the WordPress 6.0 Field Guide.

The wide range of features which have been implemented makes it difficult to label this release, other than to say that they generally progress the implementation of full site editing, the Holy Grail of Phase 2 of the Gutenberg project. Read the WordPress 6.0 release post for details

In addition, there are performance improvements and enhanced accessibility features.

WordPress.com Pricing

Automattic have recently been making a right mess of revising its pricing plans for WordPress.com, and effortlessly upsetting many users in the process, not least by failing to officially announce any changes initially. This story continues to run, and so I will summarise it thus far:

  • in the beginning, there was going to be a much reduced free plan and a single Pro plan (£15 per month) which would replace the existing Personal, Premium, Business and E-Commerce plans
  • quick change when the you know what hit the fan. The free plan was not quite so reduced (1GB of storage). Oh, and did we not tell you that you can always stay on your existing plan? The changes only apply to new sites
  • we have now introduced a Starter plan (£5 per month). This appears to be similar(ish) to the Personal Plan. An article in WP Tavern reckons that users of this plan will have to suffer adverts, but I do not see it mentioned by Automattic. It is seemingly difficult at the moment on the WordPress.com site to see what you get (or more interestingly) do not get with the free plan
  • What now? There is talk of introducing add-ons to the Starter Plan. No mention as to whether they will be chargeable or not!
  • Watch this space for whatever pricing changes come next …

What Next

WordPress 6.1 (slated for mid-October) is the only further release which is currently planned for 2022. A roadmap for WordPress 6.1 was published on June 4th, 2022. As expected, the principal focus will be on refining full site editing.

Collaboration (phase 3 of the Gutenburg project) is slated for 2023, and it will be followed by Multilingual Features (phase 4).