WordPress 6.1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) Now Available

The first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 6.1 is now available!

This is an important milestone in the 6.1 release cycle. “Release Candidate” means that this version of WordPress is ready for release! Before the official release date, time is set aside for the community to perform final reviews and help test. Since the WordPress ecosystem includes thousands of plugins and themes, it is important that everyone checks to see if anything was missed along the way. That means the project would love your help.

WordPress 6.1 is planned for official release on November 1st, 2022, three weeks from today. 

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it is recommended that you test RC1 on a test server and site. 

You can test WordPress 6.1 RC1 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 RC1 version (zip).

Option 3: Use the following WP-CLI command:

wp core update --version=6.1-RC1

Additional information on the 6.1 release cycle is available here.

Check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.1-related developer notes in the coming weeks detailing all upcoming changes.

What’s in WordPress 6.1 RC1?

Since Beta 3, approximately 100 items have been addressed, bringing the total count to more than 2,000 updates since WordPress 6.0 in May of 2022. 

WordPress 6.1 is the third major release for 2022, following 5.9 and 6.0, released in January and May of this year, respectively.

WordPress 6.1 highlights for end-users

  • Default theme powered by 10 unique style variations (learn more)
  • More design tools in more blocks (learn more)
  • Expanded and refined template experience and template options
  • More intuitive document settings experience
  • Improved quote and list blocks with inner block support
  • More robust placeholders for various blocks
  • New modal interfaces and preferences improvements
  • Automatic navigation block selection with fallbacks and easier menu management
  • Apply locking settings to all inner blocks in one click
  • Improvements to the block theme discovery experience
  • Accessibility updates, with more than 60 resolved tickets
  • Performance updates, with more than 25 resolved tickets

WordPress 6.1 highlights for developers

  • Opt into appearance tools to make any theme more powerful
  • New iteration on the style system
  • Add starter patterns to any post type (learn more)
  • Evolution of layout options including a new constrained option and the ability to disable layout options
  • Content lock patterns for more curation options
  • Expanded support for query loop blocks
  • Allow the use of block-based template parts in classic themes (give feedback)
  • Filter theme.json data (learn more)
  • Fluid typography allows for more responsiveness (give feedback)
  • Ability to style elements inside blocks like buttons, headings, or captions in theme.json

Please note that all features listed in this post are subject to change before the final release.

Plugin and theme developers

All plugin and theme developers should test their respective extensions against WordPress 6.1 RC1 and update the “Tested up to” version in their readme file to 6.1. If you find compatibility problems, please post detailed information to the support forums, so these items can be investigated further prior to the final release date of November 1st.

Translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? Help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages. This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 6.1 release cycle.

Keep WordPress bug-free – help with testing

Testing for issues is critical for stabilizing a release throughout its development. Testing is also a great way to contribute. This detailed guide is an excellent start if you have never tested a beta release.

Testing helps ensure that this and future releases of WordPress are as stable and issue-free as possible. Anyone can take part in testing – regardless of prior experience.

Want to know more about testing releases like this one? Read about the testing initiatives that happen in Make Core. You can also join a core-test channel on the Making WordPress Slack workspace.

If you have run into an issue, please report it 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. This is also where you can find a list of known bugs.

To review features in the Gutenberg releases since WordPress 6.0 (the most recent major release of WordPress), access the What’s New In Gutenberg posts for 14.1, 14.0, 13.9, 13.8, 13.7, 13.6, 13.5, 13.4, 13.3, 13.2, and 13.1.

Haiku Fun for RC1

Languages abound
Test today, releases soon
Freedom to publish

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @webcommsat

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