Welcome to WordPress 5.5

In WordPress 5.5, your site gets new power in three major areas: Speed. Search. And Security.

And by installing this version of WordPress, you’ve already done the work.


Posts and pages feel wildly faster, thanks to lazy-loaded images.

We’ve all been there. That maddening, crazy-making time it takes for a page to load a piece of information we need RIGHT NOW … only, it wouldn’t load a single pixel until it’s loaded six images that go with sections farther down the screen …

Well, never again.

Because WordPress 5.5 makes those images wait until just before you scroll down to see them—and loads the text you want to read first.

The technical term is *lazy-loading.* It makes every page feel faster for you and your users, getting them the information they came for and keeping more of them on your site longer. Which, in turn, builds their engagement with your content and community. Boosts the odds they’ll join your community, bump your authority scores and buy your products.

And rank higher in search, because the engines love speed as much your users do.

XML sitemaps are here and on by default.

There’s more to search than speed.

One of the best things you can do is install an XML sitemap. Because that’s the most efficient way for search engines to crawl your site, and the benefits to your rankings are real.

So you decide one morning that it’s time to get serious about a sitemap. You look at plugins. You read articles. You ask for advice. And by lunchtime, you’re almost ready to make a decision … and life hauls you back to the real world. So long, sitemaps.

Until today.

Because when you upgraded to WordPress 5.5 a couple of minutes ago, you also installed an XML sitemap, and it’s turned on by default.

Should you finish your research into plugins and best practices? Absolutely! Just know that until then, WordPress has your back, and your most important pages and posts are ready for the search engines to index them exactly as every SEO expert in the community would advise. (And you didn’t have to lift a finger.)


You hear it twice a day: The absolute best thing you can do to keep your site secure is to keep your themes and plugins (and WordPress itself!) up to date.

Have you ever had a few days go by where you thought maybe that was your whole job?

If so, you’re not alone. And you’re finally done.

Because now you can update all your themes and plugins automatically in two clicks — one for themes and one for plugins. And if you choose, you never have to think about either one again.

Of course, life is rarely that simple. So if you have some plugins or themes you need to keep an eye on, you can enable or disable automatic updating for each one. It’s a few more clicks, but you still do it all from just two pages — one for plugins and one for themes.

Speed. Search. Security. The power of three big improvements, all packed into WordPress 5.5.

They’ve been a long time coming, and they represent a huge step forward for WordPress.

But that’s not the whole story of this release.

As we’ve all seen with every release i the last two years, WordPress 5.5 brings a basketful of improvements, refinements and a few things reimagined to the way more than 52 million people tell their stories every day.

Highlights from the block editor

Once again, WordPress 5.5 Core merges ten releases of the Gutenberg plugin, each packing a long list of exciting new features.

Check out these favorites of the Gutenberg squad, and see if you agree:

In all, WordPress 5.5 brings more than 1,500 useful improvements to the editor experience.

To see all of the features for each release in detail check out these release posts: 7.5 , 7.6 , 7.7 , 7.8 , 7.9 , 8.0 , 8.1 , 8.2 , 8.3 , and 8.4 .

Wait! There’s more!

Better accessibility

With every release, WordPress works hard to improve accessibility. Version 5.5 is no different and packs a parcel of accessibility fixes and enhancements.

Take a look:

For Developers

5.5 also brings a big box of changes just for developers.

Lazy-loading images

You saw the description. Now, here are the details: It works courtesy of a new loading attribute on image tags, which delays loading until the image scrolls into the user’s viewport.


Now that the minimum PHP version is 5.6.20, PHPMailer is newly updated to the 6.x library,

Note: that changes where the file lives and how you’ll call the class. The new setup maintains backward compatibility, but loading the files from the old location will generate a notice. Please read the full notice for more details .

Other changes for developers

For all the details, check out the WordPress 5.5 Field Guide, a compendium of all the dev notes you’ll need (and then some!) to keep your sites running smoothly and your clients and colleagues happy with all the great things packed into WordPress 5.5!

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