WordPress 6.6: Top 5 Amazing Updates

WordPress 6.6

WordPress 6.6 is coming out in a few weeks, and here are my top 5 updates heading your way.

Pattern Overrides

One of the biggest updates that WordPress has had in years is pattern overrides. They’re a little bit hard to explain, but essentially, you can create a pattern centrally, have that pattern display on multiple pages on your site (a thousand pages if you like), make changes on those patterns on each individual page, and then change the design centrally to have that new design filter down.

Example:

Here’s a pattern that I’ve created. It’s a very simple card layout and is currently being used on two of my pages but could be used on a thousand pages. For instance, the pattern named “Summer Holiday” and “Winter Holiday” use the same central pattern but have different column layouts and text content. The profound update is that you can change the design centrally and have it filter down to each instance where that pattern has been used within your site.

You can change background colors, button colors, heading colors, heading sizes, and more. Additionally, you can add new blocks to the central pattern design and have those changes reflected across all instances where the pattern is used.

New Grid Block

Another missing piece we’ve had in WordPress has been a really good layout block, but now in WordPress 6.6, we have the brand new grid block.

How to Use the Grid Block:

To add the new grid block, type forward slash grid as your shortcut, which starts you off with the grid container. You can then add blocks within the grid container and customize the width, duplicate blocks, and adjust settings using the CSS grid specifications.

The grid block offers two types of layout: auto and manual. Auto will resize columns based on the minimum column width you set, while manual allows you to select the number of columns. This block is excellent for responsive designs, as it adapts well to different devices, maintaining column widths across desktop, tablet, and mobile views.

You can also span rows and columns by selecting a block within the grid and adjusting the column span and row span settings.

Zoomed Out View

A brand new zoomed-out view is coming, which allows you to zoom out and move patterns up and down easily, making it a great tool for constructing pages. Although still in development, it is a feature I hope makes it into the final release of WordPress 6.6.

Negative Margins

Finally, WordPress is introducing negative margins, which allow you to create unique designs by adjusting the spacing of blocks. For example, you can use negative margins on the columns block to push content to the desired position, creating visually appealing layouts.

Style Options for Theme Authors

WordPress 6.6 will also allow theme authors to define style options for sections of multiple blocks, including inner blocks. Users of block themes with this feature can quickly change the styles of a page section to predefined options with just a few clicks.

User Interface and Performance Improvements

In addition to these major updates, WordPress 6.6 will include numerous user interface improvements and significant performance enhancements.

Conclusion

WordPress 6.6 is due to come out on July 16th. If you want to play with it, I’ve put a link down in the description to a one-click website with the beta installed so you can explore all the latest and greatest improvements.

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