Heads Up! There Are Some Big Changes Coming with WP 5.5

WordPress 5.5 is a new, updated version of WordPress set to release in 2020. This software comes with several useful tools and updates including a navigation menus block, automatic updates for plugins and themes, a block directory, XML sitemaps, lazy loading, and more. While aspects of this update are beneficial, it’s important to understand how these updates can impact you and your company. Here are some big changes coming with WP 5.5.

WP 5.5 Will Generate Its Own .XML Sitemap

One of the big changes coming with WP 5.5 is the introduction of its own XML sitemap. This could potentially improve rankings for millions of sites. However, it’s important to understand how this new sitemap compares with others such as Yoast. WordPress’s sitemap is very basic. However, Yoast’s sitemap has several enhancements and improvements to performance. While WordPress could absolutely update their sitemap in the future, it is still probably best to use Yoast.

WP 5.5 Will Allow Auto-Updates of Themes and Plugins

Another big change coming with WP 5.5 is the ability to auto-update themes and plugins. At first, this seems like a great benefit. But it isn’t recommended. When a site auto-updates its themes and plugins, conflicts can occur and a site can go down. One of the best ways to avoid this is by utilizing an upkeep service. Effects Upkeep service manages updates and keeps everything running the way it should. Rarely should you leave anything to its own devices, especially when it comes to your website. 

Version 5.5 Has Website Accessibility Fixes and Enhancements

With WP 5.5 comes the attempt to improve accessibility and other enhancements. Accessibility ensures there aren’t any barriers that are keeping users from interacting with your website. WordPress lists out their enhancements to accessibility as such: 

  • List tables now come with extensive, alternate view modes
  • Link-list widgets can now be converted to HTML5 navigation blocks
  • Copying links in media screens and modal dialogs can now be done with a simple click of a button
  • Disabled buttons now actually look disabled
  • Meta boxes can now be moved with the keyboard
  • A custom logo on the front page no longer links to the front page
  • Assistive devices can now see status messages in the Image Editor
  • The shake animation indicating a login failure now respects the user’s choices in the prefers-reduced-motion media query
  • Redundant Error: prefixes have been removed from error notices

However, when it comes to accessibility there are a few other details that should be considered. Effect offers a service that addresses these other areas. 

  • Visual Impairments – This can include blindness, poor eyesight, and various forms of color blindness.
  • Motor Impairments – Difficulty using the hands, including both tremors and slowness due to such conditions as Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, or stroke.
  • Hearing Impairment – This includes deafness and partial hearing loss.
  • Cognitive Impairment – For those with developmental disabilities or learning disabilities that affect memory, attention, problem-solving, and logic.
  • Seizures – Epileptic seizures that are triggered by strobing or flashing effects.

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