Dubbed the “Eckstine” of WordPress updates, WordPress 5.5 was released this week, making it the ‘latest and greatest’ version available for download or update. The update revolves around three major areas, Speed, Search & Security.
Speed – Lazy Loading
With most online content now revolving around imagery, sites are having to adapt to accommodate this. The 5.5 update brings with it ‘lazy loading’; a term that means images will wait to load until the user is just about to scroll to the area of the page where the image is sat on.
Not only will this reduce the page load time, but it will prevent browsers on mobile from loading files meant for other devices, saving users’ data usage, and battery life.
Search – XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps act as a website roadmap for Google to get to all the important pages. These are particularly good for SEO as they allow Google to find essential website pages more quickly.
WordPress have now decided that all sites using their platform should benefit from this, as the 5.5 update now includes XML sitemaps by default. This will allow users to find your site sooner, providing more time to engage, retain and create conversions.
Security – Easier Updates
Perhaps the highlight of the update, plugins and themes can now be updated automatically, or by zip file. Within the WordPress admin, there’s now the option to turn auto-updates on or off for each plugin or theme you have installed, or manually update them with Zip files – hoorah!
So, now we can rest safe in the knowledge that WordPress sites are always running the latest code available.
As well as these, WordPress 5.5 brings with it a load of updates to the block editor, such as block patterns, a new block directory, incline image editing etc., as well as a “big box of changes” just for developers. Take a look at them all here.
Want to know more? Get in touch :)