What’s New In WordPress 6.5?

WordPress 6.5 on stage
WordPress Hartford CT Meetup
March 19, 2024
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Watch Recording

Click below to watch our March 2024 meetup on YouTube, or visit

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  • Speaker Introductions
  • Enhancements to the Block Editor User Experience (Peter)
  • More Design Control for Blocks (Peter)
  • Site Editor Improvements (Ray)
  • Other Improvements in WP6.5 (Ray)
  • Wrap-Up
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Ray Michno

Cute Yellow Wapuu WordPress Mascot
  • Hartford WordPress Co-Organizer
  • 25+ years in IT
  • Developer/Software Architect
  • Pratt & Whitney, Aetna, UnitedHealthGroup
  • 7+ years using WordPress
  • Self-employed – CTWebGeek
  • Married, No Kids, Lives in Newington, CT
  • Geek
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Peter Ingersoll

  • Hartford WordPress Co-Organizer
  • 25+ working on the Web
  • Marketing, communications, design, tech guy
  • Hartford Courant, logistics, agency
  • 10 years using WordPress
  • Self-employed – Ingersoll Interactive
  • Married, two adult kids, lives in South Windsor, CT
  • WordPress Admin and DIY Advocate – IngersollWP.com
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What’s New In WordPress 6.5?

WordPress 6.5 on stage
Block Editor Improvements
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Discovering New Releases

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6.5 Overall Quality of Life Improvements

  • Too many to list all
  • Drag and drop improvements
  • Improved performance in the editor
  • Improvements to the Preferences panel
  • Scrolling top toolbar on smaller screens
  • Appearance tools for Classic Themes, e.g. Patterns
  • Set site icon in General settings
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Drag & Drop Improvements

  • D&D to the beginning or end of content (hooray!)
  • Improve D&D between adjacent group or cover blocks
  • Indicate when block D&D is allowed or not
  • Use D&D to create rows and galleries, e.g. place an image next to another to automatically create a gallery
  • In the List View…
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List View Improvements

  • Drag cursor shown for draggable blocks
  • D&D items will show the block in place vs. blue line
  • D&D in a collapsed block will expand it
  • Right click, click 3-dots or keyboard shortcuts for block options
  • Rename any block for clarity
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Live Demo

Wapuu Dev
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New Style Option: Drop Shadows

  • Available in group, column, buttons, and image blocks
  • Option found in style, border & shadow, enable drop shadow
  • Initially set style choices with no options
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Cover Block Changes

  • Overlay color & opacity (under block style)
  • Automatically selected based on image, can be edited
  • Set a fixed aspect ratio
  • Keeps ratio for different screen sizes
  • Found in over block, style, aspect ratio
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Group Block Changes

  • Can add background image to group block
  • Group, style, background image
  • Positioning and size options
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Gallery Block & Images

  • Random order option for galleries
  • Image “Expand on Click” is now under link button
  • Long image captions can scroll
  • Drop shadows on images
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Live Demo

Wapuu Dev
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What’s New In WordPress 6.5?

WordPress 6.5 on stage
Site Editor Improvements
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The Font Library

  • Install, remove, and activate local and Google Fonts across your site.
  • Eliminates the need to create a child theme or install a fonts plugin.
  • The Font Library is under the Styles panel in the Site Editor.
  • By default, it will show you the currently installed fonts for your Theme.
  • To install fonts from Google you must give permission to connect directly to Google servers.
  • Currently all fonts are installed under wp-content/fonts directory.
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Live Demo

Wapuu Dev
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Data Views

  • View your Pages, Patterns, and Templates within the Site Editor in grid (with previews) vs. table layouts.
  • Filtering, Sorting and Searching supported.
  • This may be a preview of what to expect for an eventual “overhaul” of the entire WordPress Admin back-end?
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Style Revision Tracking

  • Previously, only the date, time, and author of each Style revision were visible.
  • Now Style revisions show you a more detailed description of changes made for each revision.
  • Clicking on a revision gives you a visual look at the changes.
  • You can click “Apply” to go back to a previous revision.
  • The maximum number of Style revisions you can view is no longer limited to 100. Pagination now supported.
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Live Demo

Wapuu Dev
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Other Changes

  • Preferences Panel has been better organized – sections for General, Appearance, Accessibility, Blocks settings.
  • Interactivity API – provides a framework for developers to create modern front-end interfaces that don’t require complete page reloads. Example: https://wpmovies.dev/
  • Plugin Dependencies – plugin authors can define the plugins required to be installed and activated for their plugin to work. Limited only to plugins hosted on WordPress.org.
  • Binding Custom Fields to Blocks – display data stored in custom fields within core blocks, including buttons, headers, images, and paragraphs. No UI for this – have to use the Code Editor.
  • Performance Improvements – faster Site Editor navigation and overall back-end feels “snappier”
  • Synced Patterns with Overrides – Moved to WordPress 6.6 Release!
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The Standing WordPress Reminder

Rubiks Wapuu
Your WordPress experience is defined by your theme, plugins, and custom code. WordPress environments can vary greatly!
Understanding concepts is more helpful than specifics.

Block Themes & Classic Themes

  • Block themes use the site editor
  • Classic themes use the customizer
  • Examples of classic themes: Kadence, Astra, GeneratePress, OceanWP, Blocksy, etc.
  • Examples of block themes: Twenty Twenty-Four, Variance, Powder, Ollie, Spectra One
  • Theme authors control what specifics are enabled in their themes
  • Reviewing the 6.5 Welcome / About page
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Live Demo

Wapuu Dev
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Wrap Up & Q&A

Wapuu with laptop and cat
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