WordPress Updates

WordPress releases major updates every 4-6 months, bringing forth enhancements and introducing new features. These updates are identified by version numbers like 6.1 or 6.2.

Some of these major updates may lead to changes that affect your theme’s styling or features. We thoroughly test all major releases to determine if it is safe for you or your technical support partner to update.

In some cases, we will recommend opting for a white-glove WordPress update. This approach ensures that we can personally test and modify your theme to guarantee a smooth update.

Cultivate Care customers receive white-glove WordPress updates for every major release at no additional cost, as well as all our recommended improvements.

This page will summarize recent WordPress releases and our recommended approach to the update.

WordPress 6.4 – November 7, 2023

Recommendation: Safe to update yourself

WordPress 6.4 brings some nice improvements to the block editor. Inside “List View” you can now rename groups, and images now include a thumbnail preview.

You can also enable a Lightbox feature on images. When you have an Image block selected, you can enable the “Expand on click” option. On the technical side, we can now defer scripts directly in the theme.

The initial 6.4 release had a big issue which broke sites and prevented those sites from receiving the update that fixed it. Luckily this was resolved within a few days with WP 6.4.1. This is a great reminder why we always wait a few weeks after a major WordPress release to update.

WordPress 6.3 – August 8, 2023

Recommendation: White Glove WordPress Update

WordPress 6.3 primarily centered on enhancing the Site Editor. As CultivateWP themes do not utilize the Full Site Editor, these changes will have minimal impact on your theme.

The new Footnotes block and Details block are useful additions to the block editor.

Chris Brailsford described 4 exciting WordPress 6.3 updates for developers.

We recommend a white glove update due to the issues described below. If you’re a CultivateWP customer, please reach out to our support team to assist in a WordPress update.

The render_block_core_search() function was modified in WP 6.3 to require two additional parameters, $content and $block. If your theme uses this function, your site will not load after running the WordPress 6.3 update.

Required Fix:
Add this function to your theme’s helper-functions.php file:

 * Render Search
function cwp_render_search() {
	return render_block( [ 'blockName' => 'core/search', 'attrs' => [ 'label' => 'Search', 'showLabel' => false, 'placeholder' => 'Search the site', 'buttonText' => 'Search', 'buttonPosition' => 'button-inside', 'buttonUseIcon' => true ] ] );
}Code language: PHP (php)

Then, replace every instance of render_block_core_search() with cwp_render_search(). This will most likely be found in site-header.php, navigation.php, site-footer.php, and searchform.php.

WP 6.3: Heading Margin

The block editor’s style updates for headings can cause the space between headings and paragraphs to be too small. This only affects headings in the editor – the frontend display that users see is unaffected.

Required Fix:
Update the heading styles in _blocks-core.scss:

h6 {
	margin-block-end: var(--wp--style--block-gap);

	&:first-child {
		margin-block-start: 0;
}Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

WordPress 6.2 – March 29, 2023

Recommendation: Safe to update yourself

The most noticeable change in this release is the separation of “Settings” and “Style” in the block settings sidebar. To change the text or background color on a block, you now need to click the “Style” icon which is a half-filled circle.

WordPress 6.1 – November 1, 2022

Recommendation: White Glove WordPress Update

This update may change how your buttons look on the frontend, and how wide/full width groups appear on the backend. We recommend having our team make the following technical changes.

WP 6.1: Buttons

The core/button styles generated by theme.json target .wp-block-button .wp-block-button__link and not the more generic .wp-block-button__link. If you used that class to style things like buttons (like we do with WPForms submit button), they’ll lose their styling with 6.1.

The fix is to move the theme.json styles from styles > blocks > core/button to styles > elements > button. That will output the CSS using .wp-element-button, .wp-block-button__link. You can use .wp-element-button going forward for styling things to be button-like.

The increased specificity also affects the padding / border width on outline buttons. WP 6.0 (screenshot) vs WP 6.1 (screenshot).

WP 6.1: Max-width of elements inside group

WP 6.1 changes how the Layout function on groups works. Now “Content Width” is selected by default, which is the reverse of the previous user experience.

When “Content Width” is selected, WP adds .is-layout-constrained which overrides our styling of the max-width (screenshot). In our themes, this override only applies on the frontend, so the backend group content still looks grid width.

Required fix: in _gutenberg.scss, change .wp-block-group > * to .wp-block-group:not(.is-layout-constrained) > *

WP 6.1: Full-width alignment for editor/frontend

Beginning in WP 6.1, the .editor-styles-wrapper has additional styles included which supersede our left/right padding in the editor. To combat this, in theme.json add "useRootPaddingAwareAlignments": true, under the top level settings, and styles for left/right padding under styles > spacing > padding. Example: "left": "var(--wp--custom--layout--padding)". The useRootPaddingAwareAlignments item is to insure the left/right padding does not affect the frontend.