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WordPress Releases WordPress 5.5 that includes Sitemap

WordPress released WordPress 5.5 that includes major new components to the WordPress Core. Three major aspects of the release were speed, search, and security.

WordPress added sitemap.xml to the core, something more users had to install a plugin like Yoast or All in One SEO to include that feature. Sitemap.xml is one of the crucial parts for Google Search and being visible in Google. It helps Google index the site faster and prompts you up in the Google Search Pages. Will this hurt other sitemap.xml plugins, I’m sure it will, but user won’t have to worry about that one aspect when optimizing their sites for Google.

WordPress added lazy loading images feature to make your page load faster. Many websites load slow mainly due to images being too large in resolution. With this lazy loading feature implemented in the WordPress core, this will improve page load and give you extra points for Google search as well.

Finally, security, WordPress has given you the option to automatically update your plugins, themes and future WordPress releases so you always know your site is running the latest code available. Also most of these updates have a security part that will secure your site from any vulnerable hacks.

There was also updates in the Block Editor like new block patterns, inline image editing, and new block directory. For block patterns, you can create complex, beautiful layouts, using combinations of text and media that you can mix and match to fit your story. For the image block, you can crop, rotate, and zoom your photos right from the block.

The new block directory is built right into the block editor, so you can install new block types to your site without ever leaving the editor.

For Developers

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.

Sitemap.xml is probably the biggest addition to this WordPress core. Let us know what you think after you update to WordPress 5.5.

Podcast

We had Justin Ahinon on the podcast, part of the WordPress Core that updates the core every few months and he was part of this update.
https://wordpress.org/news/2020/08/eckstine/