Highlights of WordPress 6.6

Written by John in Technology

The target release date for WordPress 6.6 is July 16, 2024. We expect  that it will be everything it should be: stable, powerful, and intuitive. We asked  our Senior Developer John to check out the new  features. 

WordPress 6.6 introduces several significant updates aimed at improving user experience and efficiency. The enhancements to Data Views, the introduction of overrides in synced patterns, a new publish flow and the improved block inserter functionality are all promising steps forward. As always, some changes might take time to get used to, but they ultimately aim to streamline content management and reduce the complexity of site administration.

In fact, a total of 299 Core Track tickets are included in WordPress 6.6, along with 392 enhancements, 462 bug fixes, and 46 accessibility improvements for the Block Editor. Here we are just focussing on a few of the more noticable enhancements.

Data views

WordPress continues to refine its site editor dashboard and management screens with the latest focus on “Data Views”. Data Views is an improved UI for collections of templates, patterns, posts, media, and more. The overall aim with Data Views in WP 6.6 is continuing phase 3 of the development roadmap, with an emphasis on Collaboration. The new interface only exists in the Site editor, but it should extend to more admin sections with future releases.

By way of example, a side-by-side comparison of WP 6.5 (left) and version WP 6.6 (right) below showcases some of the main differences with Data Views between the 2 versions, focussing on managing “Pages.”

Pages Data Views – WP 6.6 incorporating a new central navigation column for easier and quicker access

Anything that reduces the number of clicks in the admin area is always welcome. The updates to “Data Views” are promising, making it more intuitive to understand what you’re looking at and quicker to get to the right section. Additional options to view as table or grid along with sort options and which fields to display are now immediately available in the new layouts.

Similarly, Data Views have been updated and consolidated when managing templates and patterns as highlighted below.

Template part management has been removed and integrated into the Patterns section, leaving the default templates layout immediately showing all templates – with additional bulk editing functionality

Overrides in synced patterns

Synced patterns have been a part of WordPress for some time, allowing reusable content to be applied across a site and edited in one place. However, the content of these patterns remained uniform across all instances.

WordPress 6.6 introduces “overrides,” enabling the same synced pattern to pull content from different sources meaning that, for example, you can change the content of the pattern on an individual instance without affecting other instances of the same pattern on the site. This is a significant enhancement, as it offers greater flexibility in content management.

See all the blocks

A notable improvement in WordPress 6.6 is the enhanced block inserter functionality. When a block is selected and you click the block inserter, you now get two lists – 1. Blocks available within your currently selected block and 2. Blocks available elsewhere on your site.

This is a step up from version 6.5, where only the blocks available to the current block were displayed.

Some other notable updates

In conclusion, these updates reflect WordPress’s ongoing commitment to refining its platform and providing users with powerful, user-friendly tools for creating and managing content. As we continue to explore and adapt to these new features, the benefits will become increasingly apparent, solidifying WordPress’s position as a leading content management system.

The Author

John Hemsley

The 10 Degrees Team