WordPress version 5.2 “Jaco” released with accessibility/privacy updates
Version 5.2 of WordPress was released today, bringing with it numerous updates focused on site maintenance, accessibility, and privacy.
In a blog post describing the release by Matt Mullenweg, one of WordPress's founding developers, he explains that it is named “Jaco” in honor of jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius. New features in this update make it easier than ever to fix your site if something goes wrong, alongside additional robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. These tools are designed for both hobbyist and professional site maintenance.
Here's a list of the additions and summaries for each category impacted:
• Site Health Check: Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.
• PHP Error Protection, which lets admins safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time, as well as providing a way to enter recovery mode, which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.
• Accessibility Updates: A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.
• Plugin Compatibility Checks: WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. WordPress will not allow you to activate a plugin if it needs a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses in order to prevent potential compatibility errors.
• PHP Version Bump: The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and other features due to this raised minimum version requirement. If you are running an old version of PHP (anything older than 5.6.20), make sure to update your PHP before installing 5.2.