New WordPress 5.2 features
WordPress 5.1 introduced Site Health, a suite of features focused on security and speed. WordPress 5.2 builds on the suite with Site Health Check, which adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. Site Health Check also adds a space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.
Next is PHP Error Protection, an administrator-focused update that lets you safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time. PHP Error Protection features better handling of the so-called “white screen of death.” It also offers a way to enter recovery mode, which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.
Additionally, WordPress 5.2 brings accessibility updates to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies. There are also 13 new dashboard icons and plugin compatibility checks — WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. If the plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not let you activate it.
WordPress 5.2 also brings the following for developers:
- PHP Version Bump: The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2*, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and more!
- New Body Hook: 5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the element.
WordPress 5.2 was released some three months after its predecessor. The team did not mention WordPress 5.3, but it’s likely already in the works.