WordPress 5.7 beta is out for a while now, and it is scheduled to be released on March 9th, 2021. It will be the first major release of the year and comes with some new features and improvements.

We’ve been following the development closely and trying out the new features on our test sites.

In this article, we will show you what’s coming in WordPress 5.7 with features and screenshots.

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

WordPress 5.7 is under development and some features can still change and may not make it into the final release.

That being said, let’s take a look at what’s coming in WordPress 5.7.

Editor Improvements in WordPress 5.7

The WordPress editor is the area where website owners spend most of their time creating pages and writing content.

Each WordPress release brings new features and improvements to the editor. WordPress 5.7 will also ship with some exciting new features and enhancements to improve your editing experience.

Drag and Drop Blocks from Inserter

WordPress 5.7 will allow you to simply drag and drop a block from the ‘Add new block’ (+) inserter into your content area. This way you can choose where to place a block before you drop it on the post canvas.

Full-height Blocks Coming in WordPress 5.7

Do you like using the full-width blocks for cover, columns, and group blocks? This allows you to create visually stunning layouts. WordPress 5.7 will now allow you to create full-height blocks too.
These blocks will fill in the height of the user’s screen allowing you to create even more engaging layouts.

Block Variations Can Now Have Their Own Descriptions

WordPress 5.7 will now show descriptions for block variations. For instance, the social icons block has Facebook, Twitter, and other social icons. You can view them in the block inspector with a preview.

Social Icon Sizes

WordPress 5.7 will allow you to adjust the size of icons in the social media icons block.

Improved Buttons

WordPress 5.7 will introduce vertical alignment for buttons in the block editor. Users will also be able to choose from a preset percentage width for their buttons.

Adjust Font Size in More Blocks

Another improvement in the block editor is the ability to adjust the font size in more blocks including the list and code blocks.

Easier Migration from HTTP to HTTPS

Previously when you moved WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS you had to manually update URLs embedded in your content. Not doing so resulted in the mixed content issue.

WordPress 5.7 will make it easier to migrate your website to HTTPs. It will show the availability of HTTPS in the site health menu as a critical issue.

From here, users will be able to click on a button to update the WordPress URLs. This will switch your WordPress and Site URL settings, and update URLs in your content to use HTTPs.

Standardized WP-Admin Color Palette

WordPress 5.7 will also standardize the wp-admin color palette. Basically, WordPress uses Sass to generate CSS files on the fly.

WordPress came with a limited set of color schemes and introducing new color schemes was hard as developers had to deal with Sass variable-based system.

In the upcoming 5.7 release, WordPress will collapse all colors used in the CSS to one of the available shades of blue, green, red, yellow, grey, black, and white. This will provide developers a palette with a wider range of light and dark color schemes.

New Robots API

WordPress 5.7 will introduce a new Robots API. This API will allow developers to programmatically control and update the robots meta tag on a website.

Robots meta tag allows you to tell search engine bots how to crawl and index a website. This can be achieved by adding a robots.txt file to your site’s root folder or by using the robots meta tag.

A new function called wp_robots will be introduced in WordPress 5.7. Developers will be able to modify the robots meta tag by adding their own filters to the function. Here is an example of how it would work:

function wporg_wp_robots_add_follow( $robots ) {
$robots['follow'] = true;
return $robots;
add_filter( 'wp_robots', 'wporg_wp_robots_add_follow' );

WordPress 5.7 will also add a max-image-preview: large directive to the robots meta tag by default. This will allow search engines to use the large image for preview in search results.

Here is how it would look in your site’s source code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
        <meta name="robots" content="max-image-preview:large" />
WordPress will automatically hide this tag for websites that have search engine visibility turned off in the settings.

If you want to disable this and let search engines decide which image to use for the previews, then you can add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

remove_filter( 'wp_robots', 'wp_robots_max_image_preview_large' );

Lazy Loading iFrames

WordPress 5.7 will automatically add lazy load to iframe embeds. Lazy Loading is a technique used to improve website speed during a page load. It basically tells the user’s browser to load an item when it is viewed.

WordPress already uses lazy loading for images by default since WordPress 5.5.

This means all embeds that use iframes, such as YouTube videos, will use lazy loading to improve your page load speeds.

If you are using Smash Balloon’s YouTube Feed, then it already optimizes your video feed by better caching and delayed loading.

Under The Hood Changes

WordPress 5.7 will also bring many changes for developers to explore and use in their own themes, plugins, and projects.

Following are some of these under the hood changes.

WordPress 5.7 will introduce new functions is_post_status_viewable() and is_post_publicly_viewable() to check if a post is publicly viewable. (See details)

Render block function will now allow developers to filter the content of a single block. (#46187)

WordPress 5.7 will add a filter hook to manipulate $user_data variable during retrieve_password() function. This will enable developers to perform custom validation checks during password resets. (#51924)

Developers will be able to change the ‘Go to site’ link displayed in the login page footer by using a new login_site_html_link hook. (#35449)

Two new functions get_post_parent() and has_post_parent() will be available in WordPress 5.7 to determine if a post has a parent and to get the related parent post as an object. (#33045)

We hope this article gave you a good idea of what is coming in the upcoming WordPress 5.7. Let us know what features you find interesting and what you’d look to see in a future WordPress release.