WordPress 6.1 was released on November 1st. The release name is “Misha”, named after Mikhail Alperin – a Soviet-Norwegian jazz pianist who introduced the work of jazz ensembles in the USSR and globally.
A new theme – Twenty Twenty-Three – is bundled with this release. This theme is interesting as it comes with 10 different styles and is accessibility ready. This theme claims to allow users apply completely different look and feels to their site with the click of a button.
Templates were introduced into WordPress earlier this year and version 6.1 brings in new templates which will make page creation easier and more intuitive.
Other headline features include improvements to the menu system, various improvements to the block editor, streamlined style systems and enhanced accessibility options.
As with all WordPress releases however, there are critical security & performance patches so we always recommend staying current with releases even if there are no obvious functional benefits.
Click here for full release details from WordPress.
What do I need to do to install this release?
If you’re a ClearSoft client, you don’t need to do anything. Our WordPress hosting environment is configured to automatically install major and minor releases and check compatibility with all other plugins. If you’re one of our clients, the likelihood is that you’re site will have been updated already so all the new features and benefits will be available to you already!
Why is it important to stay current with WordPress releases?
There are a number of reasons why you should stay current with WordPress.
Running older versions of WordPress is a security liability. WordPress is the largest Content Management Solution on the planet and the code is freely downloadable and viewable giving the bad guys means and motive to identify and expose vulnerabilities.
Speed is quickly (excuse the pun!) becoming one of the most important characteristics of your website in relation to Search Engine Optimisation. Google and other search engines look more favorably on a quick website and with each new release of WordPress, the developers improve performance.
WordPress sites are comprised of a core WordPress base and plugins which are extensions of functionality. Running your website on an old release of WordPress running old releases of the plugins exposes a huge security vulnerability. Running up to date WordPress with old plugins or vice versa can cause major headaches around compatibility. e.g. something that worked great on day 1 may stop working down the line when you update a plugin 2 years later as it is no longer compatible with that version of WordPress.
Newer isn’t always better but when it comes to technology it’s almost always the case. Technology moves on, website standards evolve, mobile device capability gets enhanced. Web is one of the fastest moving technologies around. What was considered cutting edge 2 years ago is now yesterdays news. The developers of WordPress realise this and incorporate new functionality into the core of WordPress with every release.
Falling behind in WordPress releases is a risky game and we’ve seen some horror stories over the years where somebody will ask us to look at their problem site (not developed by us!). Sites getting hacked, sites becoming slow, functionality stops working all of a sudden. In almost all cases there is nothing we can do except suggest a rebuild from scratch.
For this reason, all of our WordPress client sites are configured to update automatically as soon as a new release comes out. The same applies to all plugins on those sites and we have compatibility logic built into our hosting platform that identifies issues.