WordPress 5.5 and your Website

Here it is! Named “Eckstine” in honor of Billy Eckstine, this latest and greatest version of WordPress has been upgraded On Your Website. 

WordPress 5.5 The biggest update this year!

Images give your story a lot of impact, but they can sometimes make your site seem slow.

  • In WordPress 5.5, images wait to load until they’re just about to scroll into view. The technical term is ‘lazy loading.’

WordPress sites work well with search engines.

  • Now, by default, WordPress 5.5 includes an XML sitemap that helps search engines discover your most important pages from the very minute you go live.

This install also included:

    • A back up of your site in case of problems
    • The installation of the WordPress Update
    • Updates to all the Plugins that make up your site 
    • Any necessary adjustments to pages 
    • A Performance Test and Site Scan for stability

More about WordPress 5.5 – Developer Updates

  • Auto-updates for Plugins and Themes. I tend to stick with manual updating because some plugin updates have been known to cause site problems and even crash the website, so it’s best to know when it happens.
  • Block Editor updates. Not useful when you use an outside developer plugin/theme builder as I do.
  • 5.5 also brings a big box of changes just for developers.

Technical Info.

  • Server-side registered blocks in the REST API

    The addition of block types endpoints means that JavaScript apps (like the block editor) can retrieve definitions for any blocks registered on the server.

    Defining environments

    WordPress now has a standardized way to define a site’s environment type (staging, production, etc). Retrieve that type with wp_get_environment_type() and execute only the appropriate code.


    The Dashicons library has received its final update in 5.5. It adds 39 block editor icons along with 26 others.

    Passing data to template files

    The template loading functions (get_header()get_template_part(), etc.) have a new $args argument. So now you can pass an entire array’s worth of data to those templates.

    More changes for developers

    • The PHPMailer library just got a major update, going from version 5.2.27 to 6.1.6.
    • Now get more fine-grained control of redirect_guess_404_permalink().
    • Sites that use PHP’s OPcache will see more reliable cache invalidation, thanks to the new wp_opcache_invalidate() function during updates (including to plugins and themes).
    • Custom post types associated with the category taxonomy can now opt-in to supporting the default term.
    • Default terms can now be specified for custom taxonomies in register_taxonomy().
    • The REST API now officially supports specifying default metadata values through register_meta().
    • You will find updated versions of these bundled libraries: SimplePie, Twemoji, Masonry, imagesLoaded, getID3, Moment.js, and clipboard.js.