When talking about a free and open-source content management system, it doesn’t get any much bigger than WordPress. But recently, the system software giant announced that WordPress management updates are about to be released this 24th of May. Version 6.0 will feature major accessibility improvements that will enable users to use WordPress more easily. Not only this, but the update will bring WordPress closer to WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
According to WordPress, with their core goal of maintaining accessibility and inclusiveness “as much as possible,” they want their users to be able to publish content and maintain websites regardless of devices and abilities.
Some of the WordPress management updates that come along with version 6.0 include:
The first of the many improvements is the alt text used on featured images. The post title will be the alt text used for it when featured images are linked to the post.
Second to the list is RichText. Reverse disableLineBreaks will determine the aria-multiline state. You can also expect the removal of role attributes on SVGs meant as decoration.
But what seems to be only a small change turned into an important improvement. What happened is the addition of a role=”img” tag but without needing aria-label to SVGs. Removing the role attribute consequently fixed the issue.
Aside from the two mentioned already, another one of the WordPress management updates we are all looking forward to is how media will be handled. They will preserve attachment properties for cropping custom logos, which only means that the caption, description, title, and alternative text of an image will move to the image immediately after cropping.
- Stop arrow keys in switching media if URL-focused
- Addition of a function that “Copy URL to clipboard” to the list table view
- Setting break-word on sample permalink to enable visibility of full permalink on mobile devices (comments, media, posts)
- Removing target blank attribute from media uploader edit links
- Changing the permalink structure by removing target=”_blank” from the link and changing link text to clarify the link purpose.
The fixes that come with the WordPress management updates will include improvements to the navigation block. Users on screen readers will now have a relatively easier understanding of situations involving multiple navigation menu blocks — second-level menu for categories and high-level site navigation menu. The user interface feedback will also be improved when creating a new menu. Too, additional improvements to other blocks (additional aria-label to the search button) are included in version 6.0.
As mentioned before, the WordPress management updates will be beneficial for publishers who use screen readers in navigating through blocks. Other improvements will include:
- Ability to announce search results in the block manager
- Reducing confusion by avoiding duplicate labels for “save draft” and “save as pending” buttons
- Adding button text labels to the site editor
- Ensuring that blocks with placeholder setup will have their descriptions read through VoiceOver to give context for the block and the controls
- Improvements in draft save notification by making it even more descriptive
In WordPress Version 6.0, tabbing into a block placeholder will be allowed. The fix will enable users focused on a block with placeholder like a column block or image and, while on Edit Mode, to be able to tab into placeholder controls. Consequently, the placeholder controls keyboard will become accessible when the “contain text cursor inside block” is enabled. Furthermore, it will also be possible to tab into a block containing a block inserter like an empty Group block.
WordPress List View
First off, the List View is a user interface for navigating content sections. It is available at the top of the page through an icon in the toolbar. Clicking on the icon through the toggle button will reveal a drop-down menu that stays open even when used.
According to WordPress, there are eight improvements awaiting users that center on enhancing announcements and keyboard controls, selecting specific blocks, and refining aria labels while navigating the list view.
Miscellaneous Improvements to WordPress Themes
Some of the accessibility improvements throughout the years:
- Back in 2019, override flex order in the comment form.
- In 2020, search became a dialog role and handling of aria-expanded to mobile and desktop buttons.
- Last 2021, the prefers-reduced-motion media query saw a reversal of logic.
- And now, using the pointer cursor while hovering over the theme details button will enable consistency with the theme card.
Aside from all of these, there are other important and additional WordPress management updates such as:
These improvements involve images, group blocks, quotes, and lists. Specifically, the DIV tag that surrounds every image is removed, making codes leaner and lesser. But this change is only applicable for themes supporting the theme.json file. HTML elements called ‘divs’ that are usually automatically added to blocks are also removed.
Global Styles Switcher
Among the WordPress management updates in WordPress 6.0 is the ability to include multiple style presets to change a page’s look instantly. The Global Styles Switcher will make it so that theme designers and WordPress users alike have an easy time changing the appearance of their sites. Users can now curate a more unique and personalized website for their visitors.
Complaints regarding the block system of WordPress have surfaced in the past. Many thought that it wasn’t ready. But with WordPress 6.0, one of the most notable improvements is the new and intuitive user interface that allows for easier content creation and website design. Still, such changes are dependent on theme designers, especially since they need to offer theme.json files, which provide an easy way to switch between page patterns and styles.
We can only expect WordPress to further the augmentation of its platform and move forward from this already significant milestone.
Page Creation Patterns
Last but not the least of the many wondrous WordPress management updates are the page creation patterns. This is a way for users to select from a selection of patterns to help them design their pages. The choices will range from the about us page and contact page to the article page itself (and many more). Not to mention, page patterns are also fully functional with non-Gutenberg themes and Gutenberg block themes.
And while we’re on the topic of WordPress Themes, the updated Astra Theme offers stronger performance than before. This popular WordPress theme is trusted by both NASA and Stanford University and is used by over 1.6 million sites. Such popularity is due to its easy use and light coding. Users can now expect more control over design elements and a simplified design flow (and yes, all for free).
WordPress Management Updates: Bottom Line
With all the improvements mentioned in this article, one would think that that’s everything. But wait up, users will also experience Bootstrap/Load and cache API improvements. And get this, a total of 97 enhancements and 131 bug fixes!
So truly, WordPress 6.0 is something short of a miracle for all the bloggers and content creators out there who have been using the platform since day one.
Now, the question is…
Is it just all of us here at SecurItPress, or are you excited to get a hold of version 6.0 as well?
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