SEO News You Can Use: Here's the Lowdown on New WordPress 5.5 Update | SEOblog.com

SEO News You Can Use: Here’s the Lowdown on New WordPress 5.5 Update

Megan Sell
SEO News You Can Use

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The long-awaited WordPress update has landed. WordPress 5.5 has some stellar new features and many improvements have been made to the content management system (CMS). WordPress users welcome the changes and new features — version 5.5 is bound to make site owners and webmasters’ lives a bit easier.

One of the biggest changes in the WordPress 5.5 update is to the block editor (as was expected). The user interface (UI) has been tweaked and there’s the introduction of the block patterns and new block directory. Users can also edit images online, which means no more opening up the image library to get the image just right. You can place, crop, resize and so more on the page and have a real-time view of your images and see how it looks in your content. Also, images will now be lazy-loaded by default, which will help quicken page load times, automatically boosting your user experience (UX) to keep both your site visitor and Google happy.

Version 5.5 lets WordPress generate its own XML sitemaps, something you could only do by using a plugin like Yoast. This means that approximately one in three websites will now have XML sitemaps enabled by default.

Speaking of plugins, WordPress 5.5 automatically updates your plugins for you. Since the introduction of this new version of the CMS, WordPress plugins have been getting a lot of airplay, but there are two things you need to know:

  1. There’s a security feature that wasn’t announced. This improvement prevents all rogue plugins from accessing and overtaking websites. The WordPress site is able to check if the plugin trying to access the website has nefarious intentions or is legitimate. The plugin will be blocked from updating if it is found to be anything less than above board. While this feature didn’t get a lot of attention, it’s essential as it helps to better protect WordPress sites.
  2. Let’s circle back to the automatic updates of your existing WordPress plugins. This functionality needs to be manually turned on by going to your admin dashboard and clicking on “enable auto-updates” next to every plugin you would like updated. Experts warn users to be careful about allowing for auto-updates on all the plugins. We already know that too many plugins can cause havoc on your site and it’s good practice to test a new plugin on a staging site before adding it to your site. The concern with auto-updating plugins or themes without checking what the update involves is that these newly updated plugins can break your site. And you may not know about it until hours after the update occurred. Of course, running every plugin update on a staging site is a laborious task, so if you have a lot of plugins working on your site then tackle the updates one at a time. You don’t want to introduce a bug or glitch to your site, but you also don’t want to miss out on worthwhile features that’ll improve your site.

More SEO News You Can Use:

Google Confirmed that Last Monday’s Ranking and Traffic Fluctuations Were Because of a Bug: Last Monday was a bad day for many SEO professionals as massive ranking changes started happening throughout the afternoon and this continued for several hours. Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that the changes were because of a glitch from Google’s side and the issue has been subsequently fixed. Barry Schwartz put together everything you need to know in this article for Search Engine Land.

There’s a New App to Display Shopify Web Vitals: Shopify has announced a new app that displays valuable web metrics and the site’s Google Web Vitals score to all Shopify merchants. This is ahead of the announcement that the Core Web Vitals will be one of the most significant ranking factors in 2021. Shopify merchants can begin optimizing their sites to perform better and to meet these ranking factors before the big shift occurs in March 2021.

Ignite Visibility Joins Google to Host the Online Event 3 Pillars of Paid Media on Wednesday: This event promises to offer deep insights into user journey optimization, success metrics, new Google features and new methodologies. The featured speakers are Jordan Ludwig (Google), Eythor Westman (industry expert) and John Lincoln (Ignite Visibility). The event is free and is taking place at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific on Wednesday. Book your spot here.

Paid Media During this Recession is Tricky Business, but Ryan Moothart Can Help: Since March, many businesses have adjusted to a new way of managing their operations. Of course, the biggest adjustment has been that of budget as we’ve sunk into a deep global recession. And budget always affects marketing. Paid media is one marketing tactic proving to be divisive as some marketers believe now is as good a time as ever to push targeted advertising and others disagree. Ryan Moothart offers some advice on how to manage and adjust your paid media campaigns during these cash-strapped times in his latest piece for Moz.

Google has Released a Video on How it Improves Search Results: Google has published a video on the company’s YouTube channel explaining how it improves search results. It’s evident that Google is using its YouTube channel to publish content that assists the general public or someone who is new to the search space. Site owners and webmasters should still visit the Google Webmasters channel for more advanced content, but for a refresher of the basics or just to hear how Google teaches newbies about search, check out this video.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on SEOblog.com, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make SEOblog.com a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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