WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy” was released today, named in honor of American jazz alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and flautist Eric Allan Dolphy Jr. This is the first of three planned major releases in 2023. It includes more than 900 enhancements and bug fixes, with a strong focus on improving the site editing experience.
One of the major highlights of the 6.2 release is the completely revamped Site Editor interface. The browse mode style of navigation lets users quickly slide between editing and previews of templates and template parts, with a new unified design that makes it feel like it’s all part of the same application.
Color-coded labels have been added in 6.2, which give users more visual cues in finding their template parts and reusable blocks inside the List View, the Block toolbar, and on the Canvas.
With these and other updates, the Site Editor is now out of beta. Inside the admin, the About page includes beautifully designed screenshots of each feature with the vibrant blue color that has become part of WordPress’ identity in the new design that is slowly being rolled out across WordPress.org.
For those switching from a Classic theme to a Block theme, widgets that are imported will now automatically become Template Parts to make it an easier transition.
Improved Navigation Block Experience for Managing Menus
Managing Navigation menus just got easier with a new sidebar inside the Site Editor that allows users to quickly add, remove, and reorder menu items.
Updated Block Inserter with Media Tab and Openverse Integration
The Block Inserter is sporting a new design that better integrates media, making it faster to insert images, video, and audio, with a new tab alongside blocks and patterns. Users can select the new tab and select a media type to see the ten most recent items.
WordPress 6.2 also adds integration with Openverse to this new media tab. Users now have access to the Openverse library of more than 700 million free-to-use openly licensed and public domain works, directly inside the editor. Clicking on an Openverse image will instantly insert it as an Image block with the proper attribution and license automatically added to the caption, a much faster experience than downloading and uploading to the Media Library.
New Distraction-Free Writing Mode
WordPress 6.2 introduces a distraction-free writing mode that offers a more focused writing experience, hiding unnecessary interface elements from the editor. This video from the 6.2 testing guide shows how it can be enabled and disabled.
Other notable features and updates in 6.2 include the following:
- A new collection of header and footer patterns for block themes
- Scaled block settings with split controls to better organize Styles and Settings options
- A new Style Book that displays every block in the site’s library at a glance where they can be previewed and edited globally
- Copy and Paste styles between blocks
- Improved pattern insertion with patterns organized into more categories, like headers and footers
- Custom CSS support sitewide and for specific blocks
- Sticky positioning to keep top-level group blocks fixed to the top of a page as visitors scroll
- Improved privacy for default themes with locally hosted Google Fonts
WordPress 6.2 was made possible by more than 600 contributors across 50 countries, with 178 of those contributing for the first time. Update today to get access to all these new features and bug fixes. For the most comprehensive coverage of all the under-the-hood changes for developers and extenders, check out the WordPress 6.2 Field Guide.