Current WordPress Version and Predecessors That You Should Know About!
WordPress is one of the most commonly used open-source Content Management Systems(CMS). WordPress is powering more than 35% of the web, with its dynamic deployment that works for blogs, small business websites, and fortune 500 companies. Top brands that are using WordPress today include Microsoft’s News Center, Facebook Newsroom, and Quartz.
In 2019, 70 developers contributed a total of 4,969 commits WordPress’ core by 70 developers. As such, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that there is a new WordPress update that is released approximately every month.
It’s important to know that not all WordPress updates are the same. Some updates and releases are new versions or security updates. For these updates, one should update their website as quickly as possible.
Other minor updates and fixes require much less urgent web update, and in some cases, such as beta releases, can often be considered optional.
The problem is, not all website owners understand these little things about WordPress, which is why they have a hard time to update and maintain their WordPress Website.
How to Update WordPress CMS for Your Website
For users who use a managed WordPress host, your website probably automatically updates itself. At WPPals, we update our monthly subscribed client websites two weeks after a new release or security update. Although you can do this yourself, you need extensive knowledge of the current WordPress version that your site is on, and the latest WordPress version that has been released.
If you’re not leveraging a managed provider for your sites, you’ll have to manually update your website to the latest version of WordPress using the WordPress Admin Panel.
This is a relatively easy job to do but can be time-consuming for people who are not familiar with WordPress Updates, and the WordPress CMS.
If your website hosting provider manages your WordPress updates, it is still important for you to know the ins and outs of the WordPress versions. This will allow you to leverage new features that come with the latest WordPress update, such as the Gutenberg Editor.
In order to keep you up to date on the current WordPress version, old versions of WordPress, and the details of the major versions of WordPress, we’ve come up with a list that can help you keep track.
So be it security updates, WordPress maintenance updates, or the details of the latest WordPress update, this is your list to go.
Current Latest Version Of WordPress And Its Predecessors
The current latest and the greatest release from WordPress is the WordPress version 5.8 “Tatum”. Although the beta version was released on June 9, 2021, it is now fully stable with the full update that rolled out on July 20, 2021. As the name ‘Tatum’ suggests, the update is highly focused on customization. Here are some of the highlights from the latest version of WordPress.
- Blocks can now be used with both block widgets and customizers.
- New possibilities to create content with no-coding mini layouts.
- Suggestions would be given related to the block patterns.
- Cover blocks and images can now be colorized using duo-tone filters.
- Additional support WebP images to ensure the faster performance of sites with compressed media.
- Support for Internet Explorer 11 has been dropped in the latest version of WordPress.
Here’s a list of predecessors of WordPress 5.8.
- 8 Release Candidate 3 – Jul 2021
- 8 Release Candidate 2 – Jul 2021
- WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate – Jun 2021
- WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 – Jun 2021
- WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 – Jun 2021
- WordPress 5.8 Beta 2 – Jun 2021
- WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 – Jun 2021
- WordPress 5.7.2 Security Release – May 2021
- WordPress 5.7.1 Security and Maintenance Release – Apr 2021
- WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” – Mar 2021
- WordPress 5.7 Beta 3 – Feb 2021
- WordPress 5.7 Beta 2 – Feb 2021
- WordPress 5.6.1 Maintenance Release – Feb 2021
- WordPress 5.6 “Simone” – Feb 2021
- WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate 2 – Dec 2020
- WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate – Nov 2020
- WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 – Nov 2020
- WordPress 5.6 Beta 2 – Oct 2020
- WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 – Oct 2020
- WordPress 5.5.1 Maintenance Release – Sep 2020
- WordPress 5.5“Eckstine” – August 2020
- WordPress 5.4.2 Security and Maintenance update – June 2020
- WordPress 5.4.1 Security and Maintenance update – April 2020
- WordPress 5.4 Adderley – March 2020
- WordPress 5.3.2 Maintenance Release – December 2019
- WordPress 5.3.1 Security and Maintenance Release – December 2019
- WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” – November 2019
- WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release – October 2019
- WordPress 5.2.3 Security and Maintenance update – September 2019
- WordPress 5.2.2 Maintenance Release – June 2019
- WordPress 5.2.1 Maintenance Release – May 2019
WordPress 5.5.1 – Maintenance and Optimization Releases
WordPress 5.5.1 Beta Release Date – 7th July 2020.
WordPress 5.5.1 Latest WordPress Version Release Date – 11th August 2020.
Though still not live for use, WordPress users can test WordPress version 5.5.1 using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies” version), or you can download the WordPress 5.5.1 Beta Zip File.
WordPress 5.5.1 comes with 10 releases of the Gutenberg plugin and a list of incredible new features alongside it. We suggest that once the release goes live on 11th August 2020, you should update your WordPress website as soon as possible!
WordPress 5.5.1 Block Editor Updates highlights:
- Allowing in-line picture editing for cropping, rotating, and zooming into photos.
- Updated Block patterns to build complex pages on the website with several block patterns available as default.
- Allowing responsive testing for different screen sizes through Device previews.
- A new option for hird-party plugin integration through block directory.
- Improved and optimized editing experience through refined drag and drop, multi-select formatting, fix for block copying, and contextual focus highlighting amongst others.
WordPress 5.5.1 release highlights for developers:
- Additional tools in the design kit for themes.
- Additional functionality to add backgrounds and gradients to blocks, such as groups, columns, and media & text.
- XML sitemaps are enabled by default when using WordPress 5.5.1.
- Allowing native support for Lazy-Loading.
For more information on WordPress update 5.5.1, you can check out the official release post for the beta version.
WordPress 5.4.2 Security and Maintenance Release
WordPress 5.4.2 Release Date – 10th June 2020.
One of the biggest WordPress updates, WordPress 5.4.2, was released to fix 23 bugs and included 6 security patches. If you haven’t updated your WordPress version, we recommend you do it at the earliest possible.
The WordPress 5.4.2 security update includes:
- Fixed an issue of open redirect in wp_validate_redirect().
- Authenticated XSS issue through theme uploads was fixed.
- Fixed an issue that allowed the misuse of plugins which allowed for privilege escalation through set-screen-option
- Resolved a problem that allowed comments from password-protected posts and pages to be displayed under specific circumstances.
WordPress 5.4.1 Security and Maintenance Release
WordPress 5.4.1 Release Date – 29th April 2020.
WordPress 5.4.1 comes with a staggering 17 bug fixes and 7 security patches. For a site owner, an update of this nature calls for an immediate update, so if you haven’t updated your WordPress version, we recommend you to do it.
Most Important WordPress 5.4.1 security updates include:
- Fix for password reset tokens that were not being invalidated.
- Allowing private posts to be unauthenticated, which was previously not working.
- Fixing XSS problems in the WordPress Customizer, wp-object-cache, search block, and file uploading.
WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”
WordPress 5.4 Adderley Release Date – 31st March 2020.
This major release was named Adderley after the American jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley. The WordPress 5.4 update is about allowing users to make their web pages a lot more engaging, and functional, without hurting your site speed or page load time
These are the block updates that you should know in the version 5.4 Adderley of WordPress.
WordPress focused majorly on enhancing the Gutenberg Editor in this release. These are some of the new features that were a part of the latest version of WordPress, back in March:
The most important updates from WordPress 5.4 “Adderley” include:
- The addition of two new blocks, i.e., “Social Icons” and “Buttons.” This helped increase engagement on your page.
- Addition of color options on buttons and covers, as well as gradient color options for groups and columns blocks.
- Streamlines the media replacement procedure for ease of use.
- The ability to link media and text blocks to something.
- The WordPress update 5.4 also introduces a cleaner User Interface and optimized navigation.
Other than the block updates, WordPress 5.4 brings cleaner UI and easier navigation. You can find block breadcrumbs, improved tabbing, and focus while navigating WordPress with a keyboard, and an improved editor load time, with a 51% increase in typing time.
Not just that, this WordPress version also comes with a bunch of privacy fixes, like progress monitoring for processing export and erasure requests, as well as enhancements for developers.
WordPress 5.4 Developer Releases and Fixes
- Developers can add custom fields to the menu natively.
- Blocks styling is easier, with no negative margin and default padding.
- Introduces two new APIs for gradients and block variety.
- Embed support for TikTok in the block editor.
WordPress 5.3.2 – Maintenance Update
WordPress 5.3.2 Release Date – 18th December 2019.
This latest WordPress update featured a total of 5 fixes and enhancements. After WordPress update 5.3.1 was released, a few high-severity tickets were opened, which prompted the WordPress team to push a new release to resolve the issue.
Main Feature of the WordPress 5.3.2 updates include:
- Fixing get_feed_build_date()issue, to appropriately deal with a modified post object with an invalid date.
- Bug fixing a file name contradiction in wp_unique_filename()while uploading a file with an upper case extension on a non-case-sensitive file system.
- When the destination directory is not reading, the new update fixes the PHP warnings in wp_unique_filename().
- Fixing color problems across all color schemes for buttons using the .active
- Implementation of a delta comparison in checking the post date to set futureor publish status for reporting.
WordPress 5.3.1 Security and Maintenance Release
WordPress update 5.3.1 Release Date – 13th December 2019.
One of the biggest updates in WordPress history in December 2019, launched the latest WP version with 46 fixes and enhancements, which included a series of security improvements. This latest WP version required an immediate update on all sites. This WordPress update came on two fronts, with security updates as well as WordPress maintenance updates and fixes.
The security release in WordPress 5.3.1 included the following:
- A functional problem allowing an unprivileged user to make a post sticky using the REST API.
- Removing a loophole that allowed cross-site scripting(XSS) to be stored in well-crafted links.
- It hardened wp_kses_bad_protocol() to solidifty named colon attribute awareness.
- A security vulnerability in stored XSS using block editor content.
WordPress 5.3.1 also introduces a number of maintenance fixes, aside from its security patch, which includes:
- Removal of Thumbnail overwriting in case of other uploads with filename matches, and implementing PNG files from unintentional scaling post upload.
- Fixing administration email verification issue to ensure that verification happens through a user’s locale in place of the site locale.
WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”
WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” Release Date – 12th November 2019.
WordPress 5.3 was named after a jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. It brings a series of new improvements for the WordPress publishing experience. A change from the then current version of WordPress, this new WP version included a new default theme named Twenty Twenty, which allowed websites to take a modern look with a dynamic style, improved flexibility, and modern design.
This WordPress version, also included a new variable font, Inter by Rasmus Andersson, which provided an easier reading option for users, with improved browser loading. This introduced nearly 150 block editor updates and usability optimization.
Highlights of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” update:
- Image support optimization, especially for high-res photos from a camera or phone, which were not optimized.
- Improved accessibility in terms of UI and UX, by allowing navigation using a keyboard on the dashboard, helping them jump from block to block without tabbing.
- Introduction of preset layouts to make it easier for content creators to place content in advanced web designs.
- New web design and style options, such as text and background color modification, heading block color changes, and color changes to group blocks for additional color use on the web page.
- Automatic image rotation based on embedded orientation data.
The official release page of WordPress 5.3.0 Kirk will give you a lot more detailed insights on this version of WP since we couldn’t include all of the 150+ version updates that were a part of this version release.
WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release
WordPress 5.2.4 Release Date – 14th October 2019.
Before this release, the latest WordPress version in use was 5.2.3, which came with a few security lapses, which WordPress version 5.2.4 was supposed to fix. This version of WordPress was released to fix six security bugs in total.
This security release included the following fixes:
- Limiting Customizer options to disallow stored XSS addition via Customizer.
- Adding another method to view unauthenticated posts.
- Another method to poison the cache of JSON GET requests through the “Origin Header” Vary.
- Fixed a server-side request forgery for the process of URL validation.
- Fixed functional issues associated with referrer validation through admin options.
WordPress 5.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release
WordPress 5.2.3 Release Date – 5th September 2019.
The 5.2.3 security update fixes bugs that were found in the earlier WordPress versions, including 5.2.2 and beyond, alongside some additional feature enhancements. The nature of this update required sites to update their WordPress versions urgently!
This security release included these bug fixes:
- Fix issues with XSS vulnerabilities, which were found in post previous through shortcode previews, stored comments, and by contributors, especially on a blog.
- An open redirect and XSS attack vulnerability through URL validation and sanitization was fixed.
- Fixed the problem of a reflected XSS through new media uploads in the dashboard.
WordPress 5.2.2 Maintenance Release
WordPress 5.2.2 Release Date – 18th June 2019.
A technical fix release, this maintenance update solved 13 bugs and integrated improvements to the site health feature in WordPress 5.2.
Highlights of the WordPress 5.2.2 maintenance release includes :
- Ensuring clear focus states or tab order for the dashboard elements.
- Filter optimization to make site health page more accessible.
- Fixing the issue of Theme update links not working through the WordPress customizer.
WordPress 5.2.1 Maintenance Release
WordPress Release Date – 21st May 2019.
WordPress 5.2.1 was a maintenance release that fixed a total of 33 bugs and came with additional improvements to the block editor, site health feature, and the overall accessibility and internationalization of a WordPress website.
This was a major update by the WordPress team with incredible resources for WordPress users.
Key points to remember from the WordPress update 5.2.1.
- Fix for the right to left(RTL) typing glitch on the Gutenberg editor.
- Functional fix for functions in /wp-includes/sodium_compat/src/Core32 that were facing a time out issue on 32-bit servers.
- Adjusting the wp_targeted_link_rel filter to disallow its application on the “Custom HTML” widget
As you can see, WordPress is always changing and evolving based on the troubles that its users are facing, for which one should commend the team. At WPpals, we make sure that our clients don’t ever have to worry about the monthly updates and maintenance releases that WordPress launches. This helps our clients always leverage the best features of WordPress on their website.
For people interested in the history of WordPress updates, the current version of WordPress, and the latest WordPress updates and related news, you can bookmark the Release Archive of WordPress to keep yourself informed!