What’s New About WordPress 6.2 in 2023
A few days ago WordPress 6.2 Beta Version arrived and the complete version is expected to be released on March 28th, 2023. It will be considered the second major release of WordPress in 2023 with significant new features and game-changing improvements.
It is highly recommended to test the WordPress 6.2 Beta before the release of the final version to get you aware of all the latest features and changes and ensure everything works as intended.
In this article, we have highlighted all the new features and improvements with the screenshots that WordPress 6.2 will have to enhance your sites and make them look more professional. We have also outlined the steps involved in installing WordPress 6.2, the newest version.
But before proceeding further, we recommend you create a complete WordPress backup before updating.
Why is it Good to Test the Beta Version:
It is possible to identify the bugs or compatibility issues by testing the WordPress beta version on the backup of your site before its final release. It will help you to make sure that the themes, custom post types on your site, and plugins will work as intended when the update arrives. You can also give a first glance at the new features of this release.
It is also a good idea to test the Beta Version of WordPress as it helps you track the bugs and issues and report them or give suggestions by posting on the Alpha/Beta forum or submitting a Trac ticket.
New Features in the Major Release of WordPress 6.2
There are 292 improvements and 354 bug fixes for the block editor in the newest version of WordPress. It also resolves 195 WordPress core tickets.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the new enhancements of WordPress 6.2.
1. Templates and Template Parts Preview:
A preview panel for templates and Template Parts will be featured by the new Site Editor. This feature is also called Browse Mode which has been under discussion since the development of WordPress 6.1 began.
The Site Editor sidebar which is usually used to switch the templates can also be accessed by the Browse Mode feature. To open the Browse Mode, navigate your site logo on the top-left corner of the Site Editor and click on it. You can also tap on WordPress to open the Browse Mode.
You can navigate through the template and template part options through the sidebar. To start the editing, click on any template which will appear on the main preview panel. A new template can also easily be added by clicking the plus (+) icon next to Templates.
The templates you have got can easily be accessed by this feature. If you want to work on your templates, there is still the old Manage all templates panel for you.
2. Full Site Editor:
There is a new full Site Editor feature in WordPress that will come out of the beta version with the final release of WordPress 6.2.
The most important part of the WordPress development roadmap will be completed through this feature. Additionally, the Site Editor feature is now more than enough to create block-based themes and the community can experiment with their own WordPress websites, plugins, or themes.
If you are using the older classic editor with a block-enabled theme, you can try the feature of the Full Site editor which is now available with block themes to support this feature.
3. Block Settings icon:
To your great surprise, the Settings icon has now changed in the newest release of WordPress 6.2. Now there has been introduced the Block Settings icon. This is intended to show the action, when you select the Block Settings, such as demonstrating a column panel will appear from the right containing block settings.
4. Color-Coded Labels:
The new update of Color-Coded Labels is beneficial in the sense that it makes it easy for you to navigate the Template Parts and Reusable Blocks in the List View, the Block toolbar, and even on the Canvas.
The labels are colored to make them easier to see when you are editing a Template Part, like a Header or Footer.
5. Block Styles and Styles:
Block Settings in WordPress 6.2 has been split into two tabs, Settings and Styles. Users can now adjust block settings without having to scroll through a long list of options.
In addition, Block Style changes can easily be applied by users which makes it easy to modify the style of blocks from a template and apply those changes to every instance of that block.
6. Distraction-Free Mode:
All panels on the screen can now easily be vanished by the new Distraction-Free Mode. You can now use this feature in the post and page editor through the Options menu located at the top-right corner of the screen.
You can now focus on writing and creating content through a clean interface. The block toolbar may block a portion of the page that can even be eliminated by enabling the Distraction-Free mode. But you can still use the block inserter to add a new block.
Hover over the screen’s top section to view the editor’s top bar. You can also disable the distraction-free mode through the same Options menu or by publishing the content.
7. Add Custom CSS to Your Theme or Specific Blocks:
Users were unable to add Custom CSS to their themes in the previous releases of WordPress because the site editor hid the “Theme Customizer” option.
But now users are able to switch the Styles panel and select Custom CSS from the menu in the new release of WordPress 6.2.
From here, Custom CSS will be easily saved by the user that applies to their entire theme.
WordPress 6.2 also allows you to add custom CSS for specific blocks. To do so, click on the Blocks menu from the Style panel as shown below:
You will see a list of blocks on the next screen. Simply click on the block where you want to apply your custom CSS.
Now click on the Additional CSS tab located under the block styles.
It is highly recommended to use the free WPCode plugin if you want to conditionally add CSS or keep your custom styles outside of theme-specific settings.
8. Apply Globally:
If you enhance the style of blocks that come from a template, it is possible that you might want to make those improvements to every block that uses that specific theme. To do so, you can use the Apply Globally option by simply just clicking it.
It will speed up your work even more as you don’t have to make changes to every block one by one. With just one click, you can make changes across the entire site.
9. Copy/Paste Block Styles:
In the previous releases of WordPress, there were no options for applying the same style settings elsewhere that you have applied to a specific block. But now in WordPress 6.2, it is possible to do so. In addition to the new Apply Globally option, it is now possible to copy styles from a single block and apply them to another block using the Copy and Paste Styles options.
10. Style Book:
The Style Book feature used in Site Editing is an advanced feature that enables its users to enhance the styles of example blocks while having a preview of how these improvements may impact multiple blocks. It lets you see how the style will look for every site element.
The elements are grouped into five tabs:
- Media: Includes the previews of embedded media like images, audio, and videos.
- Design: Contains various design block elements like buttons, columns, and groups.
- Text: Includes styles for text-based content, such as headings, paragraphs, quote, and tables.
- Widgets: Includes widgets like archives, calendars, page lists, and RSS and shows how they look on your site.
- Theme: Includes styles for navigation, site logo, and site title blocks.
The style Book option is located under the Styles tab.
11. New and Improved Navigation Menus:
It is a bit difficult for the users to add navigation menus in the full site editor. To eliminate this issue, WordPress 6.2 will be launched which will improve the way users can create and manage menus while using the site editor.
Instead of editing the menu items inline, you can now add, remove, and edit menu items in a subpanel under the Navigation block.
From here, click on the Block (+) button to add a new menu item. There is also an option of just drag-and-drop menu items to rearrange them.
It is also possible to create a new blank menu or reload an older one by simply just clicking on the three-dot menu and then choosing a menu you created earlier or creating a new one.
12. Importing Widgets:
If you created your site before Site Editor and now you want to switch to a Block theme, you have now the option of importing the widget settings that you configured previously.
We can already use the Block Inserter in Classic themes to manage the widgets. Here you will see the option of “Appearance” under the “Widgets” tab in 2021, the last default Classic theme.
Follow these steps to import these widgets into the Template Part of a Block theme:
- Go to the Appearance option under the Site Editor which is located under Template Parts
- Create a new Template Part.
- Add a new Template Part block; give it a name related to the footer, and select “Start Blank”.
- Go to the block settings and expand the “Advanced” section.
- Select the widgets section you would like to import under the “Import Widget Area” and click “Import”.
13. Sticky Positioned Block:
A block can now be stayed in the viewport and at the top of the page even when the rest of the page is scrolled by using the “Sticky” option of the Position block support.
Sometimes a status message or promotion must be visible no matter where the page scrolls and in such scenarios, this feature is helpful. A genuine WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) experience is provided by this feature in the block editor and front end.
The team in the latest version of WordPress 6.2 only focuses on the root level. This is to make the sticky positioning less complicated and avoid the UX problem of using sticky on a block that is not at the root level.
14. Block Pattern Inserter:
Content can now be layout quickly within a Post or Page using the Block Patterns. In the previous WordPress releases, there was a drop-down toggle between pattern categories but in WordPress 6.2, the Block Pattern Inserter has no longer any such toggling. Instead, the users can now see a preview of the pattern before inserting it into a post and the types of patterns are listed.
Openverse can be considered as the search engine that assists in finding media under public copyright. Users can use this feature in WordPress to find free content for their sites as it is part of the WordPress project.
On the block inserter panel in WordPress 6.2, the first integration of Openverse in WordPress core in the media tab can be seen. Go to the Openverse option and the panel will expand, showing image previews and a search bar for queries. Click on any image and the Site Editor will import it into the content.
How to Install WordPress 6.2 Beta Version:
Now that you are well aware of the surprising and exciting features of WordPress 6.2, it is also important for you to know how to install the new release.
There are two easy ways to install the beta version of WordPress 6.2.
- The first method involves manually downloading and installing the version from the official WordPress site. However, this method can be tricky as you might have to re-upload your website content after installing WordPress. There is also a huge risk of data loss.
- The second method is simpler and easy to follow which is using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. You will only need to install the extension if you have already got a copy of your WordPress site running in normal condition. If you want to update your site to the WordPress 6.2 beta from the WordPress dashboard’s update section, you will just need to select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream from the plugin settings.
There will be three Release Candidate versions before the release of the final version on March 28, 2023. These are the more stable pre-release versions, and the user can expect to see the final product during this phase. It is highly recommended to test all Beta and Release candidate versions which will introduce new improvements and bug fixes.
We hope that you found this blog super helpful as it provides you a comprehensive knowledge about the new release of WordPress 6.2 and how to install its beta version.