WordPress 6.2 Release Candidate 1

WordPress 6.2’s first release candidate (RC1) is here and ready for testing.

Reaching this part of the release cycle is a key milestone. While we consider release candidates ready for final release, additional testing and use by the community can only make it better.

The official release of 6.2 is just three short weeks away on March 28. In open source, we say with many eyes, all bugs are shallow, so we ask everyone across the WordPress ecosystem—theme and plugin developers, educators, agencies, and creators—to jump in and help test.

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 6.2 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=6.2-RC1

First-time tester? Here’s a guide to getting started.

What’s in WordPress 6.2 RC1

This release includes over 900 enhancements and fixes and is the first major release of 2023. 

WordPress 6.2 comes packed with enhancements to make everything you do smoother, faster and a little more inspired:

  • A refreshed Site Editor for easier template browsing
  • A new sidebar experience in the Navigation block for simpler menu management
  • Reorganized block settings with separate tabs for Settings and Styles
  • New inserter design that lets you add Media—including Openverse and its more than 600-million-item catalog, plus your entire Media Library—and better categories
  • More header and footer patterns for block themes
  • A new Style Book that shows your entire site’s look and feel all in one place
  • New controls to let you copy and paste block styles for faster, simpler design across your whole site
  • Custom CSS you can add for those finishing touches, per block and globally
  • Sticky positioning to keep important blocks fixed when scrolling
  • Distraction Free mode for moments you want to focus on writing
  • New options that let you import certain widgets from classic to block themes
  • The removal of the Site Editor’s beta label—welcome to the next generation of WordPress

Want to see some of these featured highlights in action? Check out the WordPress 6.2 Demo recorded March 2, 2023.

Do you crave a deep dive into tech specs? These recent posts cover a few of the latest technical updates. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should get you started: 

These are also compiled into a comprehensive WordPress 6.2 Field Guide.  

Let’s go on a bug hunt!

Without your testing support, hitting important product milestones would be a much bigger challenge. It’s also a meaningful way to contribute to the project. If it’s your first time, or it’s been a while, this detailed guide is a great resource to lean on. 

From a global perspective, every time you test a pre-release version, you help secure the future of WordPress. How? By helping the community prove the software is stable, easy to use, and as bug-free as possible. 

Want to know more about testing releases in general? You can follow along with the testing initiatives that happen in Make Core. You can also join the #core-test channel on the Making WordPress Slack workspace.

If you think 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. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Interested in the details on the latest Gutenberg features? Find out what’s been included since WordPress 6.1 (the last major release of WordPress). You will find more details in these What’s new in Gutenberg posts for 15.1, 15.0, 14.9, 14.8, 14.7, 14.6, 14.5, 14.4, 14.3, and 14.2.

A special thanks to WordPress plugin and theme developers

Do you build plugins and themes? Your products play a special role in helping WordPress do more things for more people across the world. In turn, more people in the WordPress Community mean a bigger, more robust open web.

Chances are, you have already been testing your latest versions against the WordPress 6.2 betas. With RC1, you will want to finalize your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.2. 

If you find compatibility problems, please post detailed information to the support forums.

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Português? Русский? 日本? Help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages. This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 6.2 release cycle.

Hungry for even more?

Want to know more about what went into the making of WordPress 6.2? Please check out the 6.2 release cycle, the Make WordPress Core blog, or search for all things 6.2 related

Another haiku for 6.2—it’s tradition! 

Beta has left us
The code sings such happy songs
Six point two RC

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @laurlittle @cbringmann, @audrasjb, @jpantani. Haiku by @nomad-skateboarding-dev.

Leave a Comment