Here it is! Named “Eckstine” in honor of Billy Eckstine, this latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.
The Biggest Takeaways
Built-in Lazy Loading for Images
Images are an important tool for breaking up monotonous text and adding a visual flair to your pages. They allow you to uniquely express what makes your business special. In WordPress 5.5, images will now wait to load until the user scrolls them into view. This is called "Lazy Loading". Lazy loading your images gives your site a speed boost, since the images do not need to be loaded up until they're needed!
WordPress 5.5 Now Includes a Sitemap
While many of us may use a plugin like Yoast to generate an XML sitemap for us, WordPress now has it's own built-in sitemap by default! Sitemaps allow Google and other crawlers to more easily "see" the pages and overall structure of your website. The easier it is for Google to scan your website, the higher your rankings can potentially be.
Update Plugins by Uploading the .zip File
This update is by far my favorite part of WordPress 5.5. Thanks to this new feature, you can now update your plugins by simply uploading the latest version as a .zip file! This saves a ton of time and makes the entire process much easier to deal with. Previously, you would have to FTP into your site and replace the files manually. In addition to saving time, it also eliminates the possibility of accidentally removing files you didn't intend to.
Learn More About WordPress 5.5
This was by no means a comprehensive list of all the new features, but these were some of my favorites. If you'd like to learn more about what WordPress 5.5 has to offer, head on over to their official WordPress 5.5 release post and check it out!