WordPress 6.1 “Misha”: Enhancing Design Flexibility and Performance

WordPress 6.1 (November 1, 2022)

WordPress 6.1, named "Misha" in honor of the celebrated jazz pianist Mikhail "Misha" Alperin, was released on November 1, 2022. This update built upon the features introduced in previous versions, focusing on enhancing design flexibility, improving performance, and offering more tools for both users and developers. With WordPress 6.1, the platform continued to evolve, providing a more refined and powerful website-building experience.

Key Features and Enhancements

Enhanced Full Site Editing (FSE)

WordPress 6.1 continued to advance Full Site Editing (FSE), offering more tools and options to customize websites:

  • New Design Tools: The release included new design tools that allowed for greater control over the appearance of blocks. Users could now fine-tune border widths, add more detailed box shadows, and use more advanced typography settings.
  • Improved Template Part Management: Managing template parts became easier with better organizational tools, allowing users to quickly access, edit, and reuse different parts of their templates.
  • Global Styles Enhancements: The Global Styles interface was further refined, providing a more intuitive and user-friendly experience for customizing site-wide styles.

New Default Theme: Twenty Twenty-Three

WordPress 6.1 introduced a new default theme, Twenty Twenty-Three, designed to take full advantage of the block editor and Full Site Editing capabilities. This theme was highly flexible, offering a variety of pre-designed patterns and styles that could be easily customized to create unique and visually appealing websites. Twenty Twenty-Three focused on simplicity and performance, making it an excellent starting point for any WordPress project.

Performance Improvements

Performance was a key focus in WordPress 6.1, with numerous enhancements aimed at improving site speed and efficiency:

  • Query Performance: Significant improvements to query performance resulted in faster database interactions, particularly benefiting large and complex websites.
  • Improved Caching: Enhanced caching mechanisms reduced server load and improved overall site responsiveness.
  • Optimized Asset Loading: Changes to how assets like scripts and styles are loaded helped to reduce load times and improve the user experience.

Enhanced Block Editor

The block editor received several updates in WordPress 6.1, making it more powerful and user-friendly:

  • Content Locking: A new content locking feature allowed site administrators to lock specific blocks or entire sections of content, preventing accidental changes by users. This was particularly useful for maintaining the integrity of critical site elements.
  • Block Pattern Improvements: The block pattern system was enhanced with more pre-designed patterns and better integration with the block editor, making it easier to create complex layouts quickly.
  • Navigation Block Enhancements: The Navigation block saw improvements in usability and customization options, providing more control over site menus and navigation structures.

Accessibility Enhancements

Accessibility continued to be a priority in WordPress 6.1, with several updates aimed at making the platform more inclusive:

  • Improved Focus Management: Enhancements to focus management ensured that keyboard users could navigate the block editor and admin interface more efficiently.
  • Better ARIA Support: Updates to ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles and properties improved compatibility with screen readers and other assistive technologies.
  • Accessible Color Schemes: Additional accessible color schemes were introduced, ensuring that the admin interface was usable for individuals with various visual impairments.

Developer Features

WordPress 6.1 included several new features and improvements for developers, providing more tools and flexibility:

  • Enhanced REST API: Updates to the REST API provided more endpoints and better performance, enabling developers to build more powerful and responsive applications.
  • Custom Post Type Enhancements: Improvements to custom post type support made it easier to create and manage custom content types within the block editor.
  • Improved Theme.json Support: The theme.json configuration file received further enhancements, allowing for more granular control over theme settings and styles.

Query Loop Block Improvements

The Query Loop block, introduced in earlier versions, received significant updates in WordPress 6.1. These improvements included more layout options, better customization controls, and enhanced performance, making it easier to display dynamic content based on specific criteria.


WordPress 6.1 "Misha" marked another significant step forward for the platform, introducing features and enhancements that improved design flexibility, performance, and accessibility. From the enhanced Full Site Editing capabilities and the new default theme Twenty Twenty-Three to the performance improvements and new developer tools, WordPress 6.1 provided a comprehensive set of updates aimed at empowering users and developers alike. As WordPress continues to evolve, version 6.1 stands as a testament to the platform's commitment to innovation, usability, and inclusivity, ensuring that it remains the leading choice for website creation and management. Whether you're a seasoned developer or a newcomer to WordPress, version 6.1 offered the tools and features needed to build beautiful, high-performing websites with ease.