WordPress.org today launched WordPress 5.2, which focuses on helping you fix your site in the blog management tool. Version 5.2, which was developed by 327 volunteer contributors, can help you identify and fix configuration issues and fatal errors, whether you are building a site for personal use or managing multiple sites for clients. You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers over 30% of the web. The latest version is dubbed “Jaco,” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius.

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 “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.

Developer features

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.
  • Privacy Updates: A new theme page template, a conditional function, and two CSS classes make designing and customizing the Privacy Policy page easier.
  • New Body Hook: 5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the element.
  • Building JavaScript: With the addition of webpack and Babel configurations in the wordpress/scripts package, developers won’t have to worry about setting up complex build tools to write modern JavaScript.

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.