WordPress 5.9.1 is released – should you upgrade?

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Written by JVF Solutions

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February 23, 2022

WordPress has released its first maintenance update for Version 5.9. Version 5.9 brought on features such as full site editing and greatly increased the capabilities of the Gutenberg block editor. This update contains 85 bug fixes and updates, many that are related to the new block editing feature.

Should I upgrade?

Why save the punchline for the end? In general, we recommend updating WordPress to the latest version for the following reasons:

  • If there are security patches included in an update, you’ll want them applied ASAP.
  • Incremental updates are always easier to apply and less risky than compounded updates. This is one of the key benefits of Agile development.
  • WordPress is thoroughly tested by the community so it is rare for updates to cause major problems. The key thing to look out for are issues with older, unsupported plugins.
  • We do daily backups and backup sites before the upgrade, so it’s easy to restore in the event of an issue.

This particular update does not include any listed security fixes, so it’s not as critical as some of the other ones. However, if you use the block editor for your site, you should update WordPress as it will probably make your life easier and relieve you of some headaches. Also, if you are using a version of WordPress older than 5.9, you should strongly consider upgrading (be sure to take a backup beforehand). If you’re not sure what to do or how to upgrade, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

What’s Changed In WordPress 5.9.1:

This particular update fixes 33 issues with the WordPress Core (one related to the Twenty Twenty-One theme and five related to the new Twenty Twenty-Two theme) as well as 52 fixes for the block editor. You can get the full details on WordPress.org but we’ve included them below as well (and linked each update if you’d like more info).

WordPress 5.9.1 Core Updates:

We’ve put the ones related to themes in bold as they most likely won’t impact most people. We recommend for security and efficiency that you only keep one unused theme in your WordPress installation excluding any parent themes or themes you plan to switch back to.

  • #54250 – Twenty Twenty One: Editor Buttons margins incompatible with gap
  • #54782 – Default presets in use by default themes need to be updated
  • #54844 – Unnecessary database queries when a block theme isn’t in use
  • #54849 – Site transients cause DB errors when installing
  • #54862 – FSE Navigation Block Styling Submenu
  • #54886 – “Show hidden updates” button is invisible
  • #54889 – Cannot access ‘Manage menus’ in Navigation block toolbar when running a classic theme
  • #54896 – TT2: Blank screen displayed for custom post type
  • #54900 – PHP warning in `WP_REST_Global_Styles_Controller` if no `styles` exist in theme.json
  • #54902 – Media Library Overlay Drag-and-Drop To Reorder Images Does Not Work In WP 5.9
  • #54904 – Bounce hoverIntent.js version in script-loader to 10.1.2
  • #54906 – Check _get_cron_array type in upgrade_590 routine
  • #54908 – Standard post type UI is exposed for templates and template parts
  • #54911 – Twenty Twenty-Two: Theme Check Plugin issue for the image size
  • #54922 – Normalizing CSS also catches CSS IDs instead of only URLs
  • #54928 – Twenty Twenty-Two: 404 search label should be translated
  • #54929 Twenty Twenty-Two: Pricing Table pattern header levels should be consistent
  • #54944 – By applying a background color to a group block, it aligns to the left in the editor
  • #54955 – Custom fields issue
  • #54960 – Media Library Dragging Option Isn’t Reflected
  • #54977 – Dashboard welcome banner: fix bug when displayed in certain contexts
  • #55018 – Twenty Twenty-Two – Update theme URI link
  • #55072 – Widgets editor: Widget Group is missing .wp-widget-group__inner-blocks container
  • #55103 – Twenty Twenty-Two: Restore padding for Group blocks with a background color
  • #55109 – Plugins no longer download to tmp folder
  • #55148 – In block themes, styles should load in the head
  • #55151 – View scripts of blocks are loaded in editor
  • #55161 – Full Site Editing: PHP Warning with incomplete presets
  • #55177 – Normalizing relative CSS links should skip data URIs
  • #55178 – Allow fully extending WP_Theme_JSON and WP_Theme_JSON_Resolver classes
  • #55179 – Backport bugfixes from Gutenberg into Core for WP 5.9.1
  • #55188 – Block styles should load after global styles in the editor
  • #55190 – Global styles duotone not rendering in post editor.

WordPress 5.9.1 Block Editor Updates:

  • PR38857 – Fix for late static binding in the resolver
  • PR38780 – Block Editor: Add settings to enable/disable auto anchor generation
  • PR38750 – Load block support styles in the head for block themes
  • PR38745 – Fix global styles loading logic
  • PR38695 – Site Editor: Limit template part slugs to Latin chars
  • PR38671 – Allow extending the WP_Theme_JSON_Gutenberg class
  • PR38656 – Edit Site: Add template check to ‘setPage’ action
  • PR38655 – Add site editor initial redirect error handling
  • PR38649 – Fix search block html handling for label and button text
  • PR38642 – Gallery block: copy all attributes when transforming to Image blocks
  • PR38625 – Allow child classes to use the private methods and constants
  • PR38561 – Only apply the social links block migration if there’s a need for a migration
  • PR38516 – Block preview: fix resize listener
  • PR38442 – Duotone: Allow users to specify custom filters
  • PR38432 – Remove the aria-label from the site title block
  • PR38399 – Images: Try moving responsive rule to common.scss.
  • PR38362 – Cover block: Add back missing styles
  • PR38310 – Gallery block: fix bug with link destination default option not being set
  • PR38189 – Gallery: Ensure the last image takes up all available space
  • PR38070 – Post Editor: Fix template queries
  • PR37983 – Tree Grid: Fix keyboard navigation for expand/collapse table rows in Firefox
  • PR37954 – Fix duotone render in non-fse themes
  • PR37941 – Unset inherited backgrounds on Posts Lists
  • PR37895 – Site Editor: Fix broken ‘Redo’ by removing faulty logic for discarding unsaved Logo changes
  • PR37885 – Load the global styles before the theme styles in the editor
  • PR37853 – Block.json schema: update fontSize and lineHeight props
  • PR37840 – [History]: Fix redo after update/publish with transient edits
  • PR37778 – Update core/archive block schema to reflect no block-level settings support
  • PR37774 – Spacer: Fix unit settings filter
  • PR37762 – Schema: Fix appearanceTools in theme.json schema
  • PR37650 – Site Editor: Add keyboard shortcut help modal
  • PR37647 – Site Editor: Add the “Help” link to the tools menu
  • PR37644 – Fix: Coloring panel is unusable in RTL
  • PR37569 – Docs: Add automated theme.json reference documentation
  • PR37493 – Update: make color style labels simpler
  • PR37486 – Show UI warning if Pages cannot be retrieved in Page List block
  • PR37474 – Fix empty gray circle when site has no logo on template list page
  • PR37430 – Update: Allow color gradient popover to be above the color toggle
  • PR37425 – Border panel: Collapse color controls
  • PR37248 – Site editor – try redirecting to homepage before the react render
  • PR37165 – Remove versioning in theme schema descriptions
  • PR37067 – Update: PanelColorGradientSettings to use dropdowns
  • PR37034 – Block Editor: Handle the absence of href attrib in links
  • PR36917 – Update theme.json version
  • PR36746 – Update theme.json schema to allow for per-block management of settings
  • PR36540 – Post Featured Image: Move width and height controls into the Dimensions panel via SlotFill
  • PR36411 – Schemas: Allow custom blocks in theme.json styles
  • PR36343 – Add pattern to name key in block.json Schema
  • PR36295 – Schema: Allow block.json attribute type to be an array
  • PR36236 – Fix duotone theme cache
  • PR36186 – Spacer: add custom units for height and width
  • PR30873 – Focus save button when entities save states panel is opened

As you can see by the sheer number of block editor updates, it’s worthwhile for you to upgrade to WordPress 5.9.1 if you use this feature. Again, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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