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What’s Coming in WordPress 5.2 (Features and Screenshots)

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WordPress 5.2 is expected to be released by the end of April 2019. We have been following the development and tested the first beta to try out new features that are on the way.

This release will bring improvements to the block editor, site health check, several bug fixes and minor enhancements.

In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 5.2 with features and screenshots.

What is coming in WordPress 5.2

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

WordPress 5.2 is still under development, which means some features may not make it to the final release.

That being said, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming features in WordPress 5.2.

Improved Fatal Error Protection in WordPress

The most common WordPress errors are usually fatal errors that stop users from accessing the admin dashboard.

Users are then required to undo changes using an FTP client or ask their hosting company for support.

WordPress 5.2 introduces a new recovery mode for site administrators. In case of a fatal error, you will see a message that ‘This site is experiencing technical difficulties’.

Technical difficulties error in WordPress 5.2

WordPress will then send an email to the admin email address with a special login link.

Using that link, you will be able to login to the WordPress admin area. After that, you can undo any changes that may have triggered the fatal error.

This feature will be a blessing for many beginners who find it quite difficult to fix such errors.

Block Editor Updates in WordPress 5.2

The WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) was introduced in WordPress 5.0. Since then there has been continuous development on the block editor to further improve it.

WordPress 5.2 will continue that with some new features and enhancements to the block editor.

Performance Improvements

The new WordPress block editor is much faster than the older classic editor. However, it could get slower when editing lengthier blog posts with tons of blocks.

WordPress 5.2 addressed that with significant performance improvements.

It will now shave 35% off the load time for massive posts. WordPress 5.2 will also cut the keypress time in half, which would make it feel way more responsive when you are typing.

Accessibility Improvements

The goal of WordPress is to democratize publishing and making the software accessible for all users. WordPress 5.2 will bring several accessibility improvements to the block editor.

  • The block editor will now support reduced motion settings in user’s browser.
  • The post URL slug will have better labeling and help text, which will make it easier to locate.
  • Block editor will have a clearer and consistent focus styling for keyboard navigating through landmarks.
  • WordPress 5.2 will also bring improved screen-reader experience with new speak messages. Existing speak messages are also improved to be clearer.

Introduction of New Blocks

WordPress 5.2 will also introduce the following new blocks in the default editor. Some of them were already available as Widgets, but now you can use them in posts and pages as well.

  • RSS block – It will allow you to easily fetch and display any RSS feed in your WordPress posts and pages.
  • Amazon Kindle embed block – Allows you to embed content from Amazon Kindle
  • Search block – Add the default WordPress search feature in your content.
  • Calendar block – Displays a calendar of your blog posts allowing users to click on a date to view posts published on that day.
  • Tag Cloud block – Displays the tag cloud in your content.

A New Block Manager Tool

By default, the block editor comes with several default blocks. You also have plugins and themes adding their own blocks as well.

However, the reality is that you’ll probably never use all those blocks. Most users usually stick to a handful of blocks for writing all their content.

WordPress 5.2 will introduce a new block management tool, which will allow you to hide blocks that you don’t want to use.

Launching the new block manager in WordPress 5.2

The block manager will list all the blocks that you have available on your site. You can simply uncheck the blocks that you don’t want to use.

The new block manager in WordPress

The Minimum PHP Version Requirement

WordPress is used by millions of people from all over the world, using different hosting companies, and hosting environments.

This is why WordPress still supports some older PHP versions, which is a bit problematic. Users may not even realize that they can improve the performance of their website by using a newer PHP version.

WordPress 5.2 will set the current minimum required PHP version to 5.6, which is still old (current stable PHP version is 7.3.2). The goal is to gradually increase the minimum required PHP version with future releases.

Users on the older versions of PHP will see a notification, that they are using an older PHP version and need to update it.

PHP version notice in WordPress 5.2 beta

Under The Hood Improvements in WordPress 5.2

These are the changes in WordPress 5.2 which will mostly affect developers.

Users will be able to provide a log file path when adding WP_DEBUG_LOG in wp-config.php file. #18391.

Plugins will be able to specify the minimum required PHP version. #40934

Dashicons, the default icon font used for the WordPress admin area will have 25 new icons to use. #41074

We hope this article gave you a glimpse of what’s coming in WordPress 5.2. Let us know which features you find interesting and what new features you would like to see in the future.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

36 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Alexis Marie says

    Hi, I am writing to introduce myself, my name is alexis marie. I am trying to download but it keeps saying application is not found. I am trying to switch over to But I do not know what going on. I try all my servers, all my browsers, not one of them is allowing me to download, can someone tell me what the problem. I need this down ASAP. Because I am switching. Please contact me back thanks.

  3. Razon Komar Pal says

    New Body Tag Hook!

    5.2 will introduce a new wp_body_open() function that is used to trigger a wp_body_open action. This action is intended to allow developers to inject code immediately following the opening tag.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Yes, the hook will be added, for most beginner users that is something that they likely won’t understand :)


  4. Grahame Martin says

    Thanks for the insights,

    I love blocks. The audio block is great, but I hope that soon you will get more control like being able to set an initial volume for instance. The more tweaks available through the audio block the better. Long live the audio block!
    Grahame Martin.

  5. Richard K. Schafer says

    I see warning that my serve is running PHP 5.538 but my server is actually running PHP 7.2…


    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to your hosting provider to ensure your site is on the correct php version.


  6. Bill Patterson says

    I am somewhat afraid to upgrade past 5.0 since several of my themes crashed when upgrading to 5.1 and I had to have the theme producer remotely go in and fix the code. Was a huge mess and having to change themes is not doable when the client loves the current theme.

  7. Danny Brown says

    People still use tag clouds? :)

    Thanks for the overview, hopefully the block speed improvement is as good as they promise, as currently it puts you off creating multi-block content.

  8. tarun says

    I was thinking to buy the ThemeForest subscription for the WordPress themes, plugins.

    The question is:
    If I cancel the subscription after a few months so can I use the existing themes on my blogs when I downloaded it under subscription period?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That would depend on the specific theme, if you reach out to the theme’s support they should be able to let you know their specifics


  9. Debbee M says

    Hi, do you have a tutorial, or can you explain how and where to update the PHP version? Do I do this via BlueHost? Is there a cost?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would update PHP using your host and each host has their own method. If you reach out to your hosting provider they should be able to let you know the options they have available :)


  10. Khaya says

    Very insightful and innovative piece, it’s really inspiring how far wordpress has come especially with all the improvements.

  11. Brian says

    I just got a error of block edditor block edditor has experience and unexpected error
    I disable all my plugins still didn’t work so i had to down load the classic editor plugin to edit my site and i am using the 2019 theme. I noticed there were 700,000 downloads of the classic editor i think wordpress stlll has a long was to go with the blocks

    • WPBeginner Support says

      While there are issues with it at the moment, it is still continuing to be improved to give those new to WordPress a good editing experience.


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