WordPress.com users are getting early access to some of the major new features that are shipping with the upcoming WordPress 6.2 release. The platform rolled out Browse Mode today, describing it as “an easier way to navigate the Site Editor.” This is one of the most impactful changes coming to customization, as it unifies the design and makes it less confusing to navigate than previous iterations.
The Gutenberg plugin shipped Browse Mode in version 14.8, released in December 2022, and the feature is on deck to be rolled into the upcoming WordPress release.
WordPress.com also introduced users to split block settings, along with the ability to preview style options with the Style Book and apply design changes sitewide with the “Apply Globally” feature. One thing the platform did well in this announcement was to answer the user question, “Why would I need this?” for each new feature:
When to use this feature: You’re curious about switching up the colors or typography on your site, but you want to know what it’ll look like, especially within specific blocks, before committing.
WordPress.com launching these features to millions of users demonstrates high confidence in their readiness for use in production on the platform.
Self-hosted WordPress users will get this update in a couple months. Beta 1 is expected on February 7, with RC1 planned for a month later, and the official release scheduled for March 28, 2023. Those who want these features now can get them today by installing the Gutenberg plugin, where they have been tested for months by more than 300,000 users.
I love Style Book. It makes me wonder… Will we see Site Editor all-in-one themes comparable to Astra or Kadence? Will child themes with specific theme.json overrides be popular like Genesis?