WordPress 5.9 beta 1 is now available for testing. With just eight weeks remaining until the official release lands, the team is focusing on testing, an important part of the development process that will keep 5.9 on track.
Due to the great many interconnected parts of full-site editing (FSE) that will make their debut in 5.9, contributors are organizing a more coordinated testing effort and have prepared a detailed guide. It includes testing instructions for all the major features in the next release, including the template editor workflow, new theme blocks (focusing on the new Navigation Block), list view, expanded block design tools, the Gallery block refactor, Block Pattern explorer, and more general core updates.
If this is the first time you’re dipping your toes in the the new FSE features, you may be wondering what it’s supposed to look like. Anne McCarthy, who is co-leading testing for the release, has published several videos demonstrating the new features over the past few months. The video below is all about the new Navigation Block and another recent one explores block theme flows, styling, the patterns explorer, and more. Sometimes it’s easier to get started testing if you see it working in a video first.
Version 5.9 will also introduce WordPress’ first block-based default theme, Twenty Twenty-Two. Testing the theme is as easy as activating it from the Themes screen after installing 5.9 beta 1, as outlined in the testing guide:
You can test the theme by installing the Beta and activating Twenty Twenty-Two from Appearance > Themes. To report issues with the theme, you can do so here.
Just a handful of pending issues and blockers remain for 5.9, but the release already contains 580 enhancements and nearly 450 bug fixes. More beta releases are planned for December, followed by RC 1 on January 4, 2022. WordPress 5.9 is still on track to be released on January 25.
Thanks so much for doing this write up about all the ways one can help test this release (and for featuring the latest navigation block video). For anyone on the fence about whether to dive into the testing world, please remember that by finding bugs now, you are saving TONS of people from running across the same problem. It’s incredibly high impact and a wonderful way to give back to the WordPress community. Plus, sometimes you find some really fun and wacky ones :D If you’re feeling stuck in any way, I welcome pings in WordPress.org slack (@annezazu). Hope you’ll join me.