WWW… Wednesday! WordPress 5.6

by Taylor Slattery | March 3, 2021


When it comes to building your website, there are a myriad of options to choose from. Depending on your needs, you might find more niche options like Shopify more appealing, but when it comes to flexibility, WordPress can’t be beat. With 39% of sites on the web built using WordPress, the world seems to agree. Whether you’re looking to start a blog about toads or build an e-commerce store to sell them, WordPress has the tools to make it happen. With a wide selection of templates and a flexible editor, WordPress is a platform that can adapt to your growing needs and whatever changes you throw at it. The best part of all is that it’s free to start.

WordPress 5.6 “Simone” is the platform’s latest release and as the last major update for 2020, it brings with it some fresh new features to kick off the new year right. The first and most noticeable change is the new default template, Twenty Twenty One. The template features a muted palette of pastels inspired by 19th-century painters like Berthe Morisot and Vincent Van Gogh. The theme’s colors are AAA standard-compliant in contrast, with dark mode selections available as well. The theme also automatically selects text colors with appropriate contrast should you decide to select your own background color. It’s a nice feature that pushes the web towards being more accessible. Twenty Twenty One also features system fonts, rather than 3rd party fonts, which helps to make the site faster and provide a smoother user experience.

The block editor also received some updates that boost its flexibility. In WordPress 5.5, the platform introduced patterns, which were blocks designed to fit common use cases like bodies of text, a space for links, and various types of image galleries. In WordPress 5.6, to make building even faster, the patterns selection was expanded to include varieties of columns and headers to place your content into, with optional gradients to help make them pop.

In another push to increase accessibility, video has received an update as well. Videos can now be uploaded directly within a post or page to make adding captions easier. Cover images for both stills and video can also be edited to select a focal point for click-through links.

You can learn more and try WordPress for yourself here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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