WordPress 5.6 Simone introduces a new risk to sites

WordPress 5.6 Simone is the latest WordPress version release. The plugin is named after the legendary performer Nina Simone, who is known for tunes like “Feeling Good”, “Young, Gifted and Black”, and “Four Women”. Fire up a playlist with her best work and read on to discover what we have in store for you.

What’s new with WordPress 5.6 Simone?

Here is what is coming up with this great WordPress update.

REST API authentication with Application Passwords

This is by far the biggest and riskiest improvement. WordPress 5.6 will now allow external applications or third-party apps to request permission seamlessly to connect to your website and generate a password specific to that application. This update means that once the application is granted access, it can perform certain specific actions on behalf of a user via the WordPress REST API.

The API’s new Application Passwords authorization feature also lets you see what apps are connecting to your site and control what they do.

RISK: Some creative hackers could perform social engineering on a target site tricking the administrator into granting application passwords to a malicious application. This would be through sending a clickable link that would then request an application password. They could name their malicious application whatever they wanted, therefore you should watch out.

Auto-updates

Previous versions of WordPress usually apply minor updates automatically, and as we have written in the past, such minor updates are typically safer than automatic plugin updates due to extensive testing.

However, WordPress 5.6, will enable all WordPress installations to receive major automatic updates. Therefore if you are installing a fresh WordPress website with WordPress 5.6, it will automatically be updated to WordPress 5.7 when the version is released.

This however has a higher threshold of causing site problems such as incompatible plugins, however since everybody is doing their best to keep up, we might have fewer screens of death.

PHP 8 Compatibility and support

WordPress 5.6 marks the official first steps towards making WordPress Core support for PHP 8. Now is thus a great time to start planning how your WordPress products, services, and sites can support the latest PHP version.

Read our blog on PHP 8 below:

What’s New? PHP 8 greatly improves WordPress but don’t upgrade yet!

For more information about what to expect next, you can also read the PHP 8 developer note.

Greater layout flexibility

Bring your stories to life with more tools that let you edit your layout with or without code. Single column blocks, designs using mixed widths and columns, full-width headers, and gradients in your cover block—make small changes or big statements with equal ease!

More block patterns

If you can recall, Blocks were introduced by default in WordPress using the Gutenberg Block Editor. This WP version brings in the power of patterns to help you streamline your workflow and save you clicks. Plus, share these features with clients, editors, and more.

Better video captioning

This version allows you to easily add subtitles or captions to your videos, you can now upload them within your post or page. This makes it easier to avail videos for anyone who needs or prefers to use subtitles.

Theme Twenty Twenty-One is here!

The Twenty Twenty-One WordPress theme gives you a blank canvas to imagine your ideas using the block editor. It comes packed with brand-new block patterns you can only get in the default themes. You can try different layouts in a matter of seconds, and let the theme’s eye-catching, yet timeless design make your work shine.

jQuery update

Updates to jQuery in WordPress take place across three releases 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7. As we reach the mid-point of this process, run the update test plugin to check your sites for errors ahead of time. If you find issues with the way your site looks ( e.g. a slider doesn’t work, a button is stuck — that sort of thing), install the jQuery Migrate plugin.

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