WordPress 5.6 "Simone" update released

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CMS platform WordPress released version 5.6. The release was titled "Simone" after the American singer and songwriter Nina Simone. It is available for download at WordPress.org/Download. You can also update the current version to the latest from the admin panel.

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This is the last major WordPress update in 2020.

Major changes

Version 5.6 has received dozens of improvements and new features. Among them:

Updated plugin Enable jQuery Migrate

This change was intended to prevent the site crashes seen in August following the launch of WP 5.5. Then millions of resources were affected. It was assumed that similar problems could arise after the launch of 5.6, but the developers prevented them by updating the Enable jQuery Migrate plugin.

When the plugin is active and the publisher is authorized on the system, the plugin will detect outdated jQuery and register it, displaying an alert at the top of the page to report the problem.

After updating the plugin, the publisher can also clear the old log and resume checking to see if the plugin has found additional issues.

PHP 8 compatibility

This version of WordPress is also compatible with the newest PHP version, PHP 8, which was released in November. But this functionality is still implemented in beta mode and is being finalized.

Security concerns

The industry received the update largely positively. However, security researchers from Wordfence discovered vulnerabilities in the new version.

For example, WP 5.6 introduced REST API authentication using Application Passwords. This feature allows third-party applications to connect to the site and make changes to its functionality.

Wordfence believes that the launch of Application Passwords could threaten social engineering attacks.

All changes in WordPress 5.6 can be found here.