WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza,” which was released in March, was the first major WordPress release of 2021, and its features and changes offer a greater focus on content creation with an easier-to-use editor, new content block features, and fresh colors in the admin! 

5.7 is also now the current default version of WordPress for all new sites built on WP Engine’s managed WordPress platform. 

If you’re a current WP Engine customer and are unsure which version of WordPress you’re running, simply log into your User Portal and go to the site you want to review. 

Scroll down under “Environment stats,” and you’ll see a box on the right-hand side displaying your current WordPress version. If you need help, our Support team is always available 24/7

While the Gutenberg block editor was a major part of the WordPress 5.0 release in December 2018, the still relatively-new editing experience in WordPress continues to see enhancements with each subsequent release and 5.7 is no exception. Similar to the 5.6 release that occurred in late 2020, the bulk of the new elements found in 5.7 are related to the block editor. 

Here are some of the key features you’ll find in WordPress 5.7:

Easier-to-use Gutenberg editor

As noted above, the default, block-based editor experience in WordPress (often still referred to by its project name, Gutenberg) continues to see new features and functionality with each new WordPress release. In 5.7, those features include: 

  • Adding font-size adjustment options to the List and Code blocks. 
  • Enhancements to reusable blocks making them more stable and easier to use. Reusable blocks also now automatically save with the post when you click the Update button. 
  • Inserter drag-and-drop functionality allowing you to drag blocks and block patterns from the inserter right into your post.

New layout features and block options

In addition to the above, specific layout features and blocks were enhanced with added options in 5,.7, including: 

  • Full-height alignment: you can now make a block fill the entire window
  • Buttons block: now you can choose a vertical or a horizontal layout and you can set the width of a button to a preset percentage. 
  • Social Icons block: now you can change the size of the icons.

Streamlined default color palette 

This new streamlined color palette collapses all the colors that used to be in the WordPress source code down to seven core colors and a range of 56 shades that meet the WCAG 2.0 AA recommended contrast ratio against white or black. 

You can find the new palette in the default WordPress Dashboard color scheme, and use it when you’re building themes, plugins, or any other components. Check out the Color Palette dev note for all the details. 

Other notable updates  in 5.7

  • HTTP to HTTPS in a single click 

Starting now, switching a site from HTTP to HTTPS is a one-click move. WordPress will automatically update database URLs when you make the switch. No more hunting and guessing! 

  • New Robots API 

The new Robots API lets you include the filter directives in the robots meta tag, and the API includes the max-image-preview: large directive by default. That means search engines can show bigger image previews, which can boost your traffic (unless the site is marked not-public). 

  • Lazy-load your iFrames 

Now it’s simple to let iframes lazy-load. By default, WordPress will add a loading=”lazy” attribute to iframe tags when both width and height are specified. 

You can find out more about all of the new features included in WordPress 5.7 here. As mentioned above, new sites built on WP Engine’s platform, as well as sites that are migrated over, will now default to this version of WordPress. 

While 5.7 has been available since March, we always perform rigorous testing on all new WordPress versions and features to make sure they won’t have unintended impacts on our customers’ sites.

At the same time, we encourage our customers to run updated versions of WordPress, once that testing has concluded, so they can reap all of the benefits WordPress has to offer. 

Check out this article for more information about WordPress updates and releases, and if you have any questions or need further assistance, log in to your WP Engine account to reach our Support team. 

Find out more about WP Engine’s managed WordPress platform and how we help our customers win with WordPress every day.