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WordPress 6.1 changes that will improve enterprise sites

WordPress 6.1, Misha, jazz saxophone

WordPress 6.1 was released earlier this month with some big improvements for both users and developers, some of which we’re excited to share! After the major release of 6.0, 6.1 brings a number of more granular changes, along with numerous developer-focused updates.

We’re proud to stay in great company as one of the largest contributors to the WordPress project.

wordpress contributors list

Given WordPress’ market presence, it’s fair to say that the recent improvements raise the standard of the entire web. When WordPress’ performance is improved at its core, further work by enterprise engineers amplifies what’s now possible.

At Human Made, we’re particularly excited about a few changes that will bring a lot of immediate value.  

Database performance improvements

WP_Query caching

WP_Query now caches results from database queries. This is particularly important as every single page load is running multiple WP_Queries, so this will reduce database strain while lifting performance for default configured websites.

“For those using persistent object caching, this will mean that the database query will not run again until caches are invalidated, resulting in far fewer queries to the database.” shares prolific core contributor Jonny Harris. From his post on make.wordpress.org:

code cacheing

REST API improvements

Some of the performance enhancements come from REST API improvements. The prepare_links method will now only be called when required, while the Posts controller has been updated to prime all required caches in one database query (rather than up to three). There are new helper functions that enable this:

  • update_post_author_caches (takes an array of posts and primes users caches in a single query) 
  • update_post_parent_caches (takes an array of posts and primes post parents in a single query) 
  • update_menu_item_cache (takes an array of posts and primes post / terms link to menu items single query) 

For more details, take a look at the official performance field guide.

“By making this more performant means your database will be taxed less and can focus its availability on more important tasks.”

Joe Bailey-Roberts, Web Engineer, Human Made

Publishing experience

WordPress is already one of the most powerful tools for web publication for enterprise. There are some cool additions to the publishing experience in WordPress 6.1 that make content production even easier for content teams, like:

  • Fluid typography – this lets theme makers configure text to automatically scale based on the screen it’s viewed on.
  • Inner block editing – it’s now easier to edit content within Quote and List blocks, for example, shuffling points around in a list
  • Spacing visualisation – a real-time visualisation of padding and margin attributes now makes applying spacing much easier.
  • More advanced Comments block – improvements to the Comments block gives users more advanced editing controls
  • Heading block font family support – more options are now available for heading type in your content.
wordpress publishing experience screengrab

Developer and agency enablement through documentation

This release brings us some of the richest documentation we’ve seen for WordPress in a while. This should enable agencies, freelancers, developers and more to extract even more value from new and old features and build more interesting, functional, and performative sites for enterprise clients.

Dive into the documentation for WordPress 6.1 here.

Want to find out how you can get even more out of WordPress for your enterprise website with the new updates? We’d love to chat: