What's New in WordPress 5.2

What’s New in WordPress 5.2

News, WordPress

Let’s discuss all the features that are coming up in the new WordPress 5.2 and what you can expect to see from the release.

First of all, WordPress 5.2 will be the second major release in 2019, with plans to include Block Editor Updates, Site Health and WSOD protection, Fatal Error Recovery, PHP error protection, brand new block directories and update package signatures and more.

Let’s look on the main features WordPress 5.2 will introduce.

WSOD Protection and Site Health

WSOD known as the White Screen of Death protection feature which supposed to be introduced in 5.1 version. Now it has been promoted to 5.2.

Although it missed in 5.1 version of WordPress, the PHP team has redesigned PHP error protection and the goal is to release it in 5.2 version.

Site Health Checker plugin is another highly demanded feature, which being proposed into the core of version 5.2.

Updates in Block Editor

With the release of WordPress 5.0 the Block Editor feature that is also known as Gutenberg was introduced to the WordPress ecosystem. Since then, the block editor has evolved and received new features and functionality.

Now, WordPress 5.2 introduces even more new features and enhancements the Block Editor. Let’s get over them.

Performance Improvements

The block editor feature in WordPress 5.2 will be much faster than the previous editor in 5.1 version.

In earlier version, editing a long blog post with many blocks could make the experience slower. But now, with 5.2, the load time of many posts could be reduced by up to 35%.

WordPress 5.2 also cuts the keypress or typing time by half, which makes the typing feel much more faster and snappier.

New Blocks in WordPress 5.2!

A several new block will be introduced in WordPress 5.2:

  • Calendar block to display posts in their respective days of publishing.
  • RSS block that will help you to display any RSS feed that you like in your site.
  • Tag cloud block which will show all the tags you have.
  • Amazon Kindle block for inserting content from your favorite book reader.

Accessibility Improvements

The main WordPress goal is to allow everyone to express himself on the web and democratize the online presence world. With 5.2 release WordPress are improving several accessibility issues in the block editor:

  • The post URL slug will be easier to find due to the updated tags and help text.
  • Updated keyboard navigating by using landmarks will allow a more clearer styling focus.
  • Screen reader improved with new voice/speak messages in WordPress 5.2. The existing voice messages have also been upgraded and improved.
  • Gutenberg will work with reduced motion setting in your browser configuration.

Fatal Error Recovery Mode in 5.2

WordPress 5.2 will allow administrators to fix or mitigate fatal errors on their websites that were previously unresolved without developer intervention and modification of the code base.

Now, even if a fatal error will make the backend completely inaccessible, the administrator will still be able to log in and take action on the issue.

Infected websites platform distribution for 2018

WordPress accounted for 90 percent of hacked CMS sites in 2018

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90% of hacked CMS sites in 2018 are WordPress sites

According to a report by Sucuri, 90% of the hacked content management systems (CMSs) they had investigated and helped fix in 2018 were WordPress sites. Magento, Joomla and Drupal came a distant second, third and fourth at a little more than 4% each.

They attributed it to weak plugins and themes, outdated plugins, themes and CMS, and disorganization. In fact, only 56%of the sites they had to remediate hacks from had an updated CMS.

Also, it’s important to mention that most of the hacked sites had backdoors or SEO spam and websites that were infected by SEO attacks got injections of different content placeholders from industries such as pharmaceutical, fashion, different financial loans and etc.

Infected websites platform distribution for 2018
Infected websites platform distribution for 2018

Ecommerce sites not updated for latest vulnerabilities

While only 36% of the hacked WordPress sites were up to date, the other ecommerce CMSs like OpenCart, Joomla and Magento were not updated. According to Sucuri, it’s because ecommerce sites far that an update would interrupt their functionality and working.

Sucuri however advises ecommerce website owners to update their software with the latest safety features. It’s because attackers prefer hacking ecommerce websites because of the valuable data like credit card information available here.

Sucuri also states that along with outdated CMS versions, weak components were another important reason for increased hacking.

Even more SEO spam

Sucuri also said that hackers used mostly backdoors and stored malware for other operations in 56% of hacked sites. They even released SEO spam pages on about 51% of the hacked sites, 7% more than last year.

According to Sucuri, SEO spam is growing quickly, is difficult to detect and is backed by impression-based affiliate marketing. SEO spams generally occur through PHP, .htaccess redirects or database injections where attackers use blackhat tactics like abusing site rankings to monetize on affiliate marketing.

The attacked websites either contain spam or injected content for other industries like fashion or entertainment like pornography and online gambling. Some sites even redirect visitors to spam pages with unnecessary content like pharmaceutical ad placements.

Annual trends for top 3 malware signatures for 2018
Annual trends for top 3 malware signatures for 2018