WordPress 5.9 RC 1

The first Release Candidate (RC1) for WordPress 5.9 is now available! 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to reach this important milestone in the community’s progress towards a WordPress 5.9 release.

“Release Candidate” means the new version of the software is ready for release. It helps the community check that nothing is missed, given the thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how millions of people use the software.

WordPress 5.9 is slated for release on January 25, 2022. This is just three weeks to go  – and there’s still time to help!

Testing the release

You can test the WordPress 5.9 release candidate in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: When using WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1, 2, 3 or 4 on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:

Command One:

wp core update --version=5.9-RC1

Command Two:

wp core update --version=5.9-RC1 --force

Your help to test the RC1 is vital: the more testing that happens, the more stable the release, and the better the experience for users and developers—and the entire WordPress community.

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is not just a critical part of polishing every release; it is also a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Help test WordPress 5.9 features – a guide to how you can take part.

What is in WordPress 5.9 release candidate?

This will be the first release of 2022 and continues the work towards 5.9 from last year. It features the latest advances of the block editor and is the first version of full site editing in Core.

WordPress 5.9 also brings more refinements to the developer experience. To keep up with the latest updates and discover more about how the community works to continually improve the software, please subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog. In particular, the developer notes tag will keep you up to date on changes that might affect your products or how you use the software.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.9 and update the Tested up to version  to 5.9 in your readme file. If you find compatibility problems, please post to the support forums, so volunteers and developers can help you figure them out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.9 Field Guide will be out very shortly. It will give you a deeper dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language that is not English? You can help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! Release Candidate 1 marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.9 release schedule. Thanks to every locale that is already involved with translations.

If you think you have found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums.  If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also check the issue against a list of known bugs.

Props to @webcommsat for the post and to @marybaum @hellofromtonya @audrasjb @davidbaumwald @estelaris @cbringmann for final review.

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