WordPress 6.6 RC1

The first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 6.6 is ready for download and testing!

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, please evaluate RC1 on a test server or a local environment.

Reaching this phase of the release cycle is a worthy achievement. While release candidates are considered ready for release, testing is still vital to make sure everything in WordPress 6.6 is the best it can be.

You can test WordPress 6.6 RC1 in four ways:

PluginInstall and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).Direct DownloadDownload the RC1 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.Command LineUse the this WP-CLI command:
wp core update –version=6.6-RC1WordPress PlaygroundUse the 6.6 RC1 WordPress Playground instance (available within 35 minutes after the release is ready) to test the software directly in your browser without the need for a separate site or setup.Please test WordPress 6.6 RC1 in one or more of these four ways.

The current target for the WordPress 6.6 release is July 16, 2024. Get an overview of the 6.6 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.6-related posts in the next few weeks for further details.

Two notes about changes in the RC period

Hard string freeze: From now until July 16, there is a hard string freeze in place—no strings may change, and no new strings may be committed. That’s to give the Polyglots team time to translate WordPress 6.6 into as many languages as possible before final release.

Two-committer signoff: Commits in the RC period also require two Core committers to sign off on every merge. Since release candidates are supposed to be ready to go, only major fixes and blessed tasks should merge at this late date.

What’s in WordPress 6.6 RC1?

Thanks to your testing and many other contributors‘ up to now, this release includes more than 40 bug fixes for the Editor and more than 40 tickets for WordPress Core.

Get a recap of WordPress 6.6’s highlighted features in the Beta 1 announcement. For more technical information related to issues addressed since Beta 3, you can browse the following links:

GitHub commits for 6.6 since June 18

Closed Trac tickets since June 18

Want to look deeper into the details and technical notes for this release? These recent posts cover some of the latest updates:

WordPress 6.6 CSS Specificity

Site-wide background images in WordPress 6.6

Section Styles

Roster of design tools per block (WordPress 6.6 edition)

The WordPress 6.6 Field Guide

All 6.6-related developer notes

How you can contribute

WordPress is open source software made possible by a passionate community of people who collaborate on and contribute to to its development. The resources below outline a wide variety of ways you can help the world’s most popular open source web platform, whether or not you have any technical expertise.

Get involved in testing

Testing for issues is critical to making sure WordPress is speedy and stable. It’s also a vital way for anyone to contribute. This detailed guide will walk you through testing features in WordPress 6.6. If you’re new to testing, follow this general testing guide for more details on getting set up.

If you encounter an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can also report it on WordPress Trac. Before you do either, you may want to check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Curious about testing releases in general? Follow along with the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel on Making WordPress Slack.

Search for vulnerabilities

From now until the final release candidate of WordPress 6.6 (scheduled for July 16), the monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities doubles. Please follow responsible disclosure practices as detailed in the project’s security practices and policies outlined on the HackerOne page and in the security white paper.

Update your theme or plugin

If you build themes, plugins, blocks or patterns, your products play an integral role in extending the functionality and value of WordPress for all users. 

Thanks for continuing to test your themes and plugins with the WordPress 6.6 beta releases. With RC1, you’ll want to finish your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.6.

If you find compatibility issues, please post detailed information to the support forum.

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Русский? 日本語? हिन्दी? বাংলা? You can help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages.

Release the haiku

We’re here already?
RC1 means three weeks left.
Have some fun—come test!

Props to @meher, @audrasjb for collaborating on this post.

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