WordPress 6.1. “Misha” officially came out of its womb on November 2, 2022, which was the third major release this year, and by now, we are certain that most of you have probably updated your Divi websites and got familiar with it.
The brand-new WordPress release provides excellent options to help you design your website, and apart from the new features, it brings even greater stability, performance, and security to our CMS.
Therefore, even though we’re somehow late to the version review party, we can’t help but feel excited to let Divi users know what they’ll get by updating their Divi websites and what they can expect with WordPress’s latest features. Let’s jump straight to it!
Table of Contents
- Twenty Twenty-Three: The New Default Theme
- Improved Blocks
- Better Block Locking
- Improved Templates
- Accessibility Improvements
- Performance Updates
- What WordPress 6.1 Means to Divi Users
- Wrapping Up
Twenty Twenty-Three: The New Default Theme
After releasing the Twenty Twenty-Two theme with the 5.9 version, 6.1 finally adds Twenty Twenty-Three, the new default block theme.
This theme includes eleven theme styles that enable you to change the theme’s font and colors through the global styles switching tool, which is an excellent way to kick-start when it comes to color schemes and fonts.
Now, you not only get more color scheme options, you also get more family fonts that are available in each of the eleven types, which allows for greater freedom when it comes to defining typography.
There are several improved blocks in the 6.1 update, including the support of borders styles for column blocks.
The Quote and List blocks can now have their own inner blocks, which allows you to include blocks for list items or quotes that you can easily move down the page instead of having to recreate the list all over again.
Furthermore, now users can change the vertical and horizontal spacing for blocks from the Styles UI.
Better Block Locking
Block locking is excellent if you want to secure content blocks that you don’t want to be accessed, moved, or deleted by another user.
WordPress 6.1 allows you to use block locking for each element within a group block.
The improved templates provide website builders with greater control over how they create their websites with WordPress.
Now, finding a custom WordPress template for posts and pages within the Editor is much easier, helping you churn out headers and footers quickly in the process.
Moreover, the search component in the template parts replacement modal allows you to locate the right pattern for each of the blocks.
Within the hundreds of bug fixes and enhancements, WordPress 6.1 also brought many accessibility improvements.
Most notably, 6.1 introduced the accessibility-ready mark for both Twenty Twenty-Two and Twenty Twenty-Three themes, making them the first default block themes to do so.
- Twenty Twenty-Three: Adding “Accessibility Ready” tag to theme.
- Twenty Twenty-Two: Adding “Accessibility Ready” tag to theme..
The WordPress admin screens also went under further accessibility fixes, with changes ranging from color contrast in plugin screen improvements in recovery mode, to switching from a text input to a text area field in the Media Library.
There are plenty of performance improvements to the CMS that arrived with the WordPress 6.1 version, most notably, improvements with the WP_Query and REST API.
Regarding the WP_Query improvements, if you’re using persistent object caching, the database query won’t run again until the caches are invalidated, leading to fewer queries.
The significant improvements to the REST API decrease the number of database queries that run on REST API requests, making pages load faster as a result.
WordPress 6.1 also introduces two Site Health checks for Persistent Object Cache and Page Cache that you can run on production environments, with the tests results viewable in a Status tab of the Site Health screen:
- Persistent Object Cache: A check that allows you to see if the website uses persistent object caching or not and recommends it if it’s applicable for your website.
- Full Page Cache: Determining if your website is using the full cache feature, and how acceptable the response time is.
What WordPress 6.1 Means to Divi Users
At Divimode, we’re trying to make the transition to each major WordPress release as smooth as possible. This is why we thoroughly continue to test our plugins and web projects for compatibility.
For now, we haven’t encountered any major issues regarding WordPress 6.1 and Divi, which means that it’s safe to upgrade your Divi website to 6.1. However, there were couple of confirmed bugs by the community that you need to pay attention to.
One of them is Divi’s problems with processing a huge volume of ‘global presets history’ that it stores in the database after upgrading to 6.1, which can cause the CPU to max out for extended periods of time, making the backend appear slow.
However, the mighty Elegant Themes team has already found the source of the issue, and a quick fix is almost ready for the users that have experienced this issue.
The other bug that we’ve located when researching for this article revolves around third-party Divi modules, more specifically, any <img> elements that have been by a user into a text, textarea, tiny_mce, or codemirror field-type are being removed on the front end.
However, we’re certain that the Elegant Themes team is already actively fixing this, but testing is how you can confirm if the issue still remains.
Furthermore, regarding some of the well-known plugins that are used across all websites such as WPMP for example, users that utilize the WPML plugin must upgrade to the latest version.
There are also reports of some custom plugins that broke after upgrading due to code optimizations, and if you have a custom-coded system, it is recommended to upgrade on a locally copy or staging website first before going live with the new version.
Bottom line, 90% of the changes are related to the block editor, without any touching points with Divi (yet). In addition, there are nearly 60 accessibility improvements with WordPress 6.1, and over 25 performance-related improvements.
All in all, WordPress 6.1 “Misha” seems like a solid improvement of the existing platform without adding new features for Divi websites. For further reading, please visit the following resources:
You can depend on Divimode & Everklick to keep your Divi website up-to-date regarding any new WordPress version and feature that you need implemented as soon as they become available.
You can update your Divi site to WordPress 6.1 if you haven’t done so already. Stay in the loop and start benefiting from the new features, performance, UI, and safety improvements.
Please keep in mind to back up your website and use a staging site if you depend on custom-made code and plugins. Ensure everything works great before deploying the staging site to live!